Five Years of AAP

A lot has changed in Indian politics since this day five years ago when a young political outfit called AAP was formed. They made a spectacular debut in Delhi assembly elections in 2013, were badly defeated in the 2014 general elections and then went on to win 67 out of 70 seats in Delhi assembly elections in 2015. Despite all their shortcomings, AAP has managed to achieve a lot in last five years. They have also set out new terms of engagement in politics. First, they have shown that an outside entry can be made into Indian politics without any kind of caste and religious based politics. They have managed to come to power based on issues which are very central to the lives of ordinary people like corruption, water and power. Second, they have shown that a new kind of politics is replacing the traditional politics which is based on widespread use of media and social media. Though, it is usually said that the party is no longer being run on idealism and is no different from other parties, it still has a lot of freshness in its approach. It has an ability to adapt as per changing environment. It changes into a party which attracts a lot of media coverage when required, and it might even fall silent when it considers silence necessary. It is a party which does not want to get into religious identities when it is fighting elections in Delhi, but when in Punjab, it appears as a party that is just coming out of a Gurudwara. The questions it has raised about decentralization, sources of funds, and citizen participation are the questions that are going to shape the politics of future. Narendra Modi and his politics of Hindutva might overshadow these questions for some time but not for long. A lot might change about AAP in the coming days, but the idea of new brand of politics that it aimed to create is here to stay.

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