CHENNAI: The Lok Satta party and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), both parties founded by former bureaucrats, rose to fame as they supported clean governance and flayed corruption. While the latter has formed the government in Delhi, the former’s charm is limited to the southern Indian states.
Until 2014, Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, the founder of Lok Satta was an MLA from Kukatpally constituency, Andhra Pradesh.
Though JP, as he is fondly called, was all praise for the party’s re-emergence, he’s troubled with some of its fault lines as well.
“I am delighted that the urban middle class has shown that you cannot hate politics; you have to enter it and engage with the political process to improve things. Therefore it is a great fillip to the transformation of India, particularly in two respects — change in the political culture and decentralisation of power,” said Narayan along the sidelines of the ThinkEdu Conclave here recently.
Echoing the sentiment of the RSS mouthpiece Organiser, which in a recent editorial condemned the AAP for nurturing the freebie culture at the cost of growth, Narayan said the poor cannot be treated as vote banks forever.
“We cannot afford a culture of freebies in India. In the quest for power, that (reality) has been ignored. We should also guard against anti-institutional approach and be much more nuanced and mature,” he said.
While AAP has struck a chord with Delhiites and also managed to get a second chance, he said this could be attributed to the high literacy level in the National Capital Region and unprecedented media attention.
Asked if the rural poor could relate to a party like LS, he said all politics was ultimately local.
He also had a few tips for the youngsters who want to enter politics. “Tackle smaller problems like garbage disposal and traffic management. Acquire knowledge and experience of how to make people come together. True experience should give you insight and wisdom,” he pointed out.