Dear  Editors


I have just returned from a short family visit to India. I have come back with a remarkable sense that for the first time, after a long while, there is an “Indian Spring” in the making. All my friends and contacts who were turning into old cynical hacks saying their usual refrain of nothing-ever-changes-in-politics-of-India, seem rejuvenated.  They are joining in AAP bandwagon.


It is a leap in the dark for them but as one of them put it, “If at all there is a hope for a good change in this country in our lifetime, it has to be this one”. Their enthusiasm was palpable.  Even some CPI/CPM cadres are abandoning their old religion and converting to this new path. Realistically, without AAP, the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be Modi/Sangh Parivar to lose.


There is a mass revulsion against the corruption and the criminalization of politics carried out by the old-time parties. The urban young people who are surging in numbers are the major constituency for AAP. It has to be a record of some sort when Aap membership swelled by a million in 48 hours! And this tide is not losing its momentum any time soon. These tech-savvy, relatively well educated, urban young people come with very little baggage. They may have heard of Naxalbari but that has nothing to do with their life in 2014. But they do encounter stench corruption on every day basis. They can’t travel to work without encountering some stretched hand asking for a bribe. They are forced to participate in this corrupt way of living every day. As one of them put it, “dealing with systemic corruption is corrosive to your soul”. They are fed-up and they are looking for answers.


You can read any thing you want and imagine in AAP political ideology, anti-corruption, certainly, but also secularist (anti-imperialist?), for social justice and much more. It is vague, it is untested and certainly not comprehensive solution for all of current Indian social and economical conditions, but at this stage, that is precisely its strength. At the same time these undefined populist aims are also its weaknesses.


“Ya, ya we know all this but let us get moving out of this quagmire first. Don’t over analyze this and wind up doing nothing” is what one of socialist party worker said (it was after we were comparing socialist party leaders like Lohiya, S.M. Joshi, N.G. Gorey to the current leadership of the socialist movement). A sense of desperation, perhaps, but it certainly seems to have rejuvenated him.


I want to look in to this in more detail but I would value your comments greatly.


Sudhir Joshi (Toronto)

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