Sunday, December 29, 2013

Aam Aadmi Party: Charisma, Simulacrum and a new myth

While Kaleidoscope remains dormant for sometime several incidents reshape the world in which he strives to live on. One of the striking reshuffling that Kaleidoscope finds hard to overlook is the rise of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). On the one hand the rise shows anti-Congress wave that former CM sheila Dikshit’s popularity and political skill fail manage and on the other hand although Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP+) emerges as largest group with 32 seats it faces a stiff warning. Moreover, clearly the “Modi effect” which supposedly works in Rajastan and Madhyapradesh do not work in a cosmopolitan city. Locational analysis would prove the fact that BJP wins with its traditional voters.

What is new?

AAP and BJP continue to show interest in becoming opposition and the country sees an unprecedented situation where parties fight for becoming opposition in the run on elections. While Congress extends their primarily “unconditional” then “quasi-conditional” support, AAP goes for a SMS poll and accepts the verdict of people and Mr Arvind Kejriwal is becoming the CM of Delhi. A great transformation of a versatile individual from participating in a social movement to an active change agent – now with authority he needs to do something extraordinary with huge expectations.

Kaleidoscope’s tiny little books and AAP’s rise:

Kaleidoscope has long been admirer of bearded sociologists (of course new addition is non bearded and even bald thinkers), one of them who is particularly linked to Congress, BJP and AAP’s present condition is Max Weber and his tool kit of explaining authority. More recent condition which links Congress and AAP is of course the not bearded Jean Baudrillard’s cup of tea.
CONGRESS’s case: Congress is at its best to be explained as a party that uses nostalgia, or to be precise “tale of origin”. Congress claims the right to rule because its members in the past victoriously fought a common enemy, i.e. the Britishers and developed common resources to found a kingdom. The tales often becomes poetic-mythical, full of factual errors but nevertheless remains a powerful mechanism of maintaining legitimacy.
BJP’s Case: BJP too is a nostalgic team. It projects although now with a softer tone the glorious version of Hinduism and their fight or restorative effort. The tale of origin with factual errors are with formidable power as Kaleidoscope find’s while Sardar Vallabhbhai Jhaverbhai Patel is being projected as the maker of India, BJP ignores the fact that forming India by forcibly incorporating several princely states seeps in today’s regional movements. Even the divisive approach of Sardar Patel’s in creating Hindu Swimming Bath and Boat Club Trust in Mumbai must have been celebrated inside and ignored outside.  Meanwhile, they also use the charismatic transformation of Gujrat under the leadership of Mr. Narendra Modi – the declared Prime Ministerial candidate of the party.
AAP’s Case: AAP is a charismatic new avenue. It effectively blends the future fight against corruption- which has all the potentials of becoming poetic-mythical, quite similar to the Shri Krishna’s avatars using their charismatic power to restore humanity with future India. AAP says quite clearly “vote me because I can transform your life” (including reducing the Electricity bills and distributing at least 700 liters of water).
The irony is that today’s AAP is nothing more and nothing less than what Congress was during 1940s and what BJP was throughout Post Colonial India’s history. The alleged issue shifts from Colonial masters to rescue of Hinduism to corruption. Social scientists at least people who seriously think for the society and not people like Kaleidoscope who sleeps off are finding a new evolution in the nature of social movements. Many believe that rise of AAP is an alternative model of organising social movement. Although this approach is quite parallel to the people who once thought to come to power by violence and form people’s country. Only they fail to appreciate non-violence and democracy.
Tomorrow’s AAP with Kejriwal as CM of Delhi is ultimately a coalition government that is expected to rule Kaleidoscope’s country capital with “legal rational authority.” AAP will use a permanent machine of Bureaucracy loaded with much nuanced power dynamics and corruption than what they did encounter in their social movements.

Congress support and simulacra of AAP's origins:  

Kaleidoscope along with the entire country witnesses Congress support to AAP. Congress which holds 43 seats in 2008 and now holds only 8 seats supports one of its fiercest enemies that claim their identity from anti-corruption movement allegedly against Congress. AAP had no choice than to form the government to avoid being labelled as irresponsible. This condition at the very outset of AAP mounting on a legal-rational authority, making a transformation from their charismatic power is based on a notion that happens to be a simulacrum-like image under endless succession of depthless presents. AAP fought against something that is in the process of becoming contemporary myth, a well designed, strategically planned myth which soon would be a simulacra whenever AAP will seek its power with “tale of origin” and non-rational sources.

Kaleidoscope wonders five years from now he might be asking “did the anti-corruption movement take place at all?”