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6

AAP volunteer Milan Gupta has filed an RTI with the Election Commission and obtained the National Council Members list that Aam Aadmi Party should have published on their website and has not. Milan Gupta has made the list public.

Milan Gupta, a worker of Aam Aadmi Party has released the National Council member list that Aam Aadmi Party has not put up on its website and is calling out to supporters of Aam Aadmi Party to urge them to attend the National Council meeting and strive to save the party from its imminent sabotage. His video explains his credentials in the party (since anyone raising questions is termed as a BJP agent these days) and his message. The list follows below.

Making the AAP National Council official list public:Volunteers reveal what the office hides. ( http://goo.gl/4BIsLG )
______________________________

1) First image: is a scan of reply received from Election Commission asking the names of persons who came together to form AAP and AAP's date of formation.

(You should know that Article IV-F-a of AAP constitution mentions that "All those who come together to form the Party and are present in the first meeting of the Party, shall form the first National Council of the Party.")

Reply received says: Date of formation is 24.11.2012 and the names of persons required are in 957 pages of records. It can be obtained on payment of Rs 1914/-.

2) Second image : is the bundle of 957 pages of certified records that I received from Election Commission today after the payment. You are free to inspect these records for yourself at my address.

3) http://goo.gl/4BIsLG : The list of National Council members culled out from these records is on this public link now. It contains 295 National Council members only.

These papers will also be kept in front of the venue of National Council meeting on 28th March for anyone to inspect.

Milan Gupta
306,Plot 39B, Santosh Apartments,
Sector 6, Dwarka,
New Delhi -75
Election Commission reply to Milan Gupta's RTI seeking list of Members of National Council
Election Commission reply to Milan Gupta's RTI seeking list of Members of National Council

List of names:

Name
Arvind Kejriwal
Pankaj Gupta
Krishna Kant Sevada
Yogendra Yadav
Shanti Bhushan
Yogesh Dahiya
Vishvas Kumar Sharma @ Dr Kumar Vishwas
Manish Sisodia
Prashant Bhushan
Naveen JaiHind
Kishor Asthana
Mehmood Khan
Shazia Ilmi
Surender Singh
Rahul Mehra
K K Niyogi
Surajit Das Gupta
Vinita Deshmukh
Ajit Jha
Gopal Rai
Sanjay Singh
Mayank Gandhi
Madhu Bhaduri
Tapan Misra
Sanjay Kansal
Hubung Payong
Somnath Bharti
Sharad Singh Kumre
Waman R More
Kamal Shrivastav
Dedhia Chandubhai
Pratyush Kumar
Deepak Sane
Shailendra Kushwaha
Ved Prakash Balryia
Preeti Sharma
Sanjay Babubhai Parmar
Sandeep Nagori
Indra Vikram Singh
Jai Prakash
Kiran Upkare
Ibrahin Alimuddin Khan
Subhash Ware
Shweta Agarwal
R C Pathak
Vilas Rajput
Yogesh Manikrao Kanekar
Savarkar Ambrish
Rajesh Kumar Pugliya
Devendra Chandrasen Wankhede
Prafful Vora
Vidyadhar doshi
Nidhi Chandresh Trivedi
Vithal L Satav
Dr. Girdhar S Patil
Chandrakant Suvama
Neeta Sukhatanker
Vijayshree Khanivadekar
Ravi P Srivastava
Thakar S Bhaviben
Akshay Hunka
Manju Jain
Jagdish Parmar
Prahlad Pandey
Vinay Kadam
Bipul Dey
Alpana Malik
Mohammad Azad
Arun Kumar
Chandra Kala
Rajender Pal
Gopal Mohan
Aruna Singh
Shimla Shri
Archana
Dr. Mahesh vikram Singh
Vishal Sharma
Yogesh Kumar
Gyanendra
Iliaz Azmi
Yogesh Kumar S/o Sh Anand
Vaibhav
Satyendra
Sudhir Bhardwaj
Araresh Bajpai
Gaya Singh
Amarendra
Omendra Bharat
Moolchand
Sharad Raghuvanshi
Mehek Singh
Neena Jain
Manoj S/o SoorajBahn
Dr. Prem S Pahari
Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay
Ram Sumer
Dr. Atul Gupta
Cap. Srinivasalu Mekala
Pranjal Bordoloy
Anupama Sethy
Ratilal S Desai
Kishor N Desai
Parmar Pitambar
Mukesh Phoolchand Kothari
Gurpreet Singh Uppal
Sameer Sharma
Namrata Sharma
G Ranjith Kumar
Dr. R C Jaggi
Krishna K Solanki
Deep
Basant Hetamsariya
Rajendri w/o Tara Chand
Desh Raj
Sandeep Sandal
Salil Kumar
Hesamuddin Ansari
Dhiraj Kumar
Dharmendra Kumar
Anand Kumar
Suryadeb Pra Singh
Manjul Mayank Srivastava
Pradeep Kumar Singh
Dinesh Kumar Singh
Sunil Kumar Chipde
Neeraj Kumar
Rajendra Paswan
Ramnath Singh
Anup Singh
Rahul Gupta
Angesh Kumar
Gourav Singh
Sarita Singh
Kuldeep
Sushil Chauhan
Ruchika Manaktala
Ravi Shankar
Avinash Kumar Singh
Kuldeep Mudgil
Praveen Deshmukh
Maqsood Ul Hasan
Mohinder Goyal
Gobind Ram Choudhary
Shashi Kant Kumar
Shaleen Mitra
Madhuri Kashyap
Suryakant
Anil Kumar
Mohit Sharma
Shri Bhagwan
Kamlesh
Sakshi
Rajnish Verma
Neha
Munindra Singh
Satish Pandey
Ramniwas Gupta
Praveen Kumar Gupta
Narender Rathi
Sahajanand Rai
Rajesh Rishi
Omkar Shukla
Krishan Kumar Yadav
Jitendra Sharma
Nirupama Singh
Dimple Solanki
Bandana Kumari
Rajeev Kasewa
Ameek Ahmed
Dr. M. H. Ghazali
Rajesh Sharma
Asna Nausheen
Surinder Kumar
Devendra Sehrawat
Lenin
Praenjit Chakraborty
Harish Chandra Mane
Ajay Saxena
Ramesh Chandra
Anand Kumar Samal
Sayantan Panda
Narayan Manjhi
Diptiman Chattopadhyay
Chandra Mohan
Jahir Hussain
Upendra
Satish Sharma
Mohan Prasad
Rajesh Sharma
Narendra Singh
Christina Samy
Dhanada Kanta Mishra
Sumit Bhattacharjee
Prince Kumar Pathak
Krishna Moorthi
Harjot Singh Bains
Baljit Singh
Bhupendra Singh
Shahnaz Akhtar
Ramesh Kumar
Rajesh Jakhar
Dharam Veer Singh
Rajeev Godara
Lalit Kumar
Gurnaam Singh
Kuldeep Singh
Madan Puri
Ramjan
Sarita Oswal
Shankar Soni
Kirti Pathak
Gopi Lal
Prahlad Singh
Dr. Rakesh Parikh
Kuldeep
Prashant Kumar Ranasingha
Vijay Singh
Jafruddin
Sunil Agiwal
Ashok Talwar
Naveen Jeratha
Harinder Singh
Pawan Kumar
Ashawant Gupta
Shailendra Kumar
Ashok Kumar
Budha Nilesh Kumar
Naveen Kumar Mishra
Dalip Singh
Shivender Pratap Singh
Yusujaypehan Impiyakhan
Ratnesh Gupta
Rajesh Omprakash Mittal
Rajesh Mehta
Ashutosh Dutt
Ashish Garg
Anandaganeshan
Aravind Anand
Ashok Aggarwal
Anjali Damania
Avinish Sinha
Ankit Krishna Lal
Banamwar Sahu
Chegena Jee Chandra Sekhar
Dinesh Babulal Vaghela
Diwan Singh
Deepak Raj
Dilip Kumar Pandey
Durgesh Kumar
Gaurav Singh
Gunjan Kumar
Kuldeep
Kamaraj
Mamta Patra
Mangesh Dayaneshwar
Maruti Bhapkar
Manju Devi
Nishikant Mahapatra
Naresh Sharma
Naushar Ali
Naved
Narendra Kumar
Pawan Kumar
Pawan Kumar Pandey
Prithvi Reddy
Prabhakar Thyagrajan
Prashant
Praveen Kumar Gupta
Rahul Pandey
Ranjan Kumar Sahu
Rakesh Kumar Sinha
Raj Kumar Mishra
Sudesh Kumar Verma
Shailender
Subodh Sethi
Sanjeev Kumar Singh
Satish Pandey
Shyam Kumar
Sharwan Kumar
Sushil Kumar Kasyap
Siddhartha Sharma
Vinod Fotedar
Valmiki Nayak
Vipin Mittal
Vivek
Virendra Singh
Vandana
Vicky Sharma
Vikas Pandey
Laxman Singh
Manish Kumar
Abid Ullah Khan
Peeyush Nashine
Dinesh Mohaniya
Deepak Sarin

1

There seems to be a fringe theory floating around about a larger international conspiracy (CIA etc) influencing Indian politics using the Ford Foundation (among other things). The Great Game India blog (linking to blog because too many interlinked posts to link individually) has been with this train of thought for a few years now. That the RSS creation VIF is manipulating Indian politics and that they started the India Against Corruption movement and so on. They link the Aam Aadmi Party with this larger political conspiracy.

Some of it is verifiably true. The Vivekananda International Foundation was indeed formed in the year after the Vivekananda Kendra got a grant from the Ford Foundation. Manish Sisodia, Kejriwal and others have got grants before the IAC movement and so on.

Some of it is only to be expected and verifiable through sources outside the country for example the US and CIA specifically not being interested in manipulating  a country the size of India makes no sense given their actions world over. There are leaks involving spying. The Great Game India Blog itself has provided considerable evidence of Mossad activity in India based on reports in Indian media including diamond mafia links and raising questions about Israeli role in the 26/11 attacks.

While there are many gaps in the logic that don't allow me to agree with many questions they make, the sheer effort they put into to reference their claims makes it important to at least consider the question with an open mind when they ask "Was AAP victory in Delhi Elections Planned?". The claim being that it was a larger part of a game plan all through to have Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister and Arvind Kejriwal as the Chief Minister.

My views on this are mixed.

Observations that point to the possibility of scripted wins in Lok Sabha Elections for Modi and in Delhi Elections for Arvind Kejriwal

Both these results would not have been possible without the self-destruction of the other just prior to the polls.

It is likely they would still have formed governments, but If the Aam Aadmi Party had not collapsed so thoroughly after discrediting the Congress, the landslide win for Modi would not be possible. The run up to the Lok Sabha Election saw the Aam Aadmi Party pretty much drop everything to find God and criticize Modi.

And the BJP returned the favor for the Delhi Elections. We saw Narendra Modi and Amit Shah go out of their way to "snatch defeat from the jaws of victory" as a disgusted supporter put it. Would the Aam Aadmi Party have won anyway? Probably, but 67 seats out of 70? Highly unlikely.

Is there any advantage to these sweeping wins in terms of manipulating India? Definitely. Complete lack of opposition leaves one entity controlling what is done without question.

"Kejriwal for CM, Modi for PM" slogan

This slogan is fascinating, because BJP supporters had used it to woo AAP supporters during the Lok Sabha Elections, and AAP supporters almost used it to woo BJP supporters in the Delhi Assembly elections. The Aam Aadmi Party actually put it up on their website before outraged volunteers made them take it down again.

Kiran Bedi as CM candidate

While many paint this as a move to get some credibility to a discredited BJP, it is impossible that those who crafted the IAC had no idea just how absurd and damaging to credibility Kiran Bedi can be. This was a calculated move to demoralize the Delhi BJP leaders. Dr Harshvardhan, who had been a face of credibility was available and unused, so to say, while Satish Upadhyay did not even get a ticket.

BJP's "abandonment" of the Sikhs

Arvind Kejriwal had reopened investigations into the 1984 ant-Sikh riots. The BJP had made vague and unc0nvincing comments. This definitely lost them Sikh votes. Yet yesterday, a day after the results of Delhi election, the BJP government in the Center announced another SIT (Special Investigating Team) to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. If this was their intention, it is rather astonishing that they did not do it before the Delhi Elections.

Religious alienation

There seemed to be a checklist of religions to alienate. Muslims were easy, with the "Ramzadon and Haramzadon" stuff. Churches were vandalized. Sikhs were ignored and BJP's most dependable vote bank - Hindus were achieved with absurd dictates to Hindu women to produce 4, 5 or upto 10 children (depending on which idiot you happened to hear). It was almost the exact reverse of BJP's calculated propaganda to target identities to con into supporting.

Why BJP may want to lose Delhi Assembly Elections 2015

There is an article by this name circulating. This article is fascinating, because of several reasons. It outlines a diabolical game plan to make Aam Aadmi Party responsible for its own failure and eventual decimation by making delivering of promises difficult from the Center. The intent being "The media spotlight on Kejriwal government will allow Jaitley to quietly to push through unpopular reforms — disinvestment of PSUs, budget cuts in health, education in his attempt to cut budget deficit." among other things. Do read. A fascinating article. Also probably untrue for the Delhi BJP and supporters at the very least - the Modi cartels in the center apart.

My guess is BJP Delhi is discovering what Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena, Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan, Telangana and many others discovered after raising Modi to his lofty Lok Sabha victory. What Vidarbha is discovering after bringing BJP to power in Maharashtra. The goals and agenda of those "driving" the BJP have little to do with those of supporters or even their expectations when they supported.

There are other smaller pieces of information from news reports and more that fit into these patterns. Like information for exposes on Delhi BJP leaders coming from leaders within the BJP itself.

What do I think?

In my view, politics is rarely so black and white with a single agenda playing out. Where there is power, there are grabs. Is there a longer game plan involving the VIF? I believe so. Is Aam Aadmi Party a part of the plan? Not so sure.

The Aam Aadmi Party, in my observation was formed when BJP tried to bottle the IAC genie before it got too inconvenient and expected them to not be corrupt as well. Till then, the IAC had the strong backing of the RSS and BJP. For all its claims of being an apolitical movement and it probably was, in terms of the leadership of the movement, the amount of support on the ground it got from the RSS and BJP cannot be denied. In many places, "IAC" protests were organized by BJP offices, often right outside the office, where most of the speeches made a point of praising the BJP while criticizing UPA corruption.

Was Anna Hazare complicit? Many in the Congress claim so. Particularly after he praised Modi before hastily withdrawing his statements. He may have been influenced by the support rather than doing the influencing.

However, it cannot be denied that there was an abundance of VIF-RSS-BJP support, which eventually led to an ideological clash. Those in the IAC who were not willing to exempt the BJP would have to find other means of going about their agenda, because they could very likely no longer count on the support of the BJP machinery to hold nationwide protests (which took Anna and Kejriwal by surprise initially).

Thus, the Aam Aadmi Party being a VIF-RSS-BJP creation sounds a bit outside the realm of probability. However, it is almost guaranteed that there were people planted in the party right from the start. It is simply how the RSS operates. These people may have been able to influence the actions of the party to a greater or lesser degree or simply attack from within at inopportune times. So AAP actions could have played into a larger game plan UNKNOWINGLY - for example during the aftermath of the Ambani FIR and subsequent resignation of the Arvind Kejriwal government or the Lok Sabha Election.

We saw AAP leaders and volunteers "defect" for no apparent reason. The stated reasons of a lack of internal democracy or whatever the accusations were, were hardly something to have cropped up at specific times - they would be a part of the party culture that they didn't appear to have a problem with till the time to leave - within days of each other. So it looks more than a coincidence. Given the complicit media promoting all and sundry quitters as "ex-AAP leaders" and in one instance calling an "ex-AAP leader" a representative of AAP in a programme that had no one from AAP on the panel, it seems to be organized and given visibility in a time when media was openly called "Modified".

Also, AAP being a US-Israel conspiracy seems a little more improbable, because I cannot recollect offhand the last time these forces empowered "communist" ideology to empower their agendas. It is counterproductive to the US-Israel agenda for people who don't like "imperialists" to get too much voice - which is a sentiment often shared by Aam Aadmi Party supporters - while they are not actively against, they have a perception of being unwilling to bow to imposed interests or disproportionate or unjust appropriation of national resources by big business.

Thirdly, the US-Israel lobby almost always rattles up countries by empowering the right wing. We also see this in action with the occasional comments of right wing leaders that are in agreement with these two countries as well as the larger tendency - for example being fine with attacks on Hindus by the right wing Buddhists in Sri Lanka or on Rohingya Muslims in Burma or even a VIF member meeting the top right wing terrorist influencer in Pakistan and endorsing him on Indian television channels. A lot of the anti-Muslim propaganda arguments and methods used by the Hindutva brigade are extremely similar to Israeli propaganda. Right from selective history to demonize, to organized social media propaganda.

There are no such "behavioral" corelations with the Aam Aadmi Party that I have noticed so far. There is disproportionate weightage to Ford Foundation as funding anti-national interest. While it would hardly be surprising that the CIA uses front organizations or makes opportunistic use of genuine organizations, it is a little extreme to imagine that all its funding is proof of destabilization. The same with the Magsaysay awards. Only a complete idiot would imagine that P. Sainath is somehow working to further US imperial capitalist interest in India given how much time he has devoted to deconstructing such influences.

Of course, it could "all" be astroturfing. But it isn't useful intellectually to believe something that goes contrary to observable dynamics just because it is possible.

This of course does not exclude the possibility of influencing or otherwise manipulating.

Role of Shanti Bhushan

Shanti Bhushan is a respected lawyer and ex politician of BJP and close to Jaitley as well as one of the founders of the Aam Aadmi Party. He made a donation of one crore rupees to the Aam Aadmi Party, but almost every time he has come to attention since then, it has been for damaging the interest of AAP. Just before the Lok Sabha Election, an article "by Shanti Bhushan" was published in India Today, which he claimed to not have written and it was subsequently taken down. Many of the things said in that article continue to be attributed to him in recent interviews, though he denies writing it.

A "breakaway faction" or "collective of ex-supporters" of Aam Aadmi Party, the AVAM, which has made news with absurd allegations against the AAP appear to enjoy his support. More recently, in answer to some questions I asked after a stray remark by an AAP supporter caught my eye, several AAP volunteers shared privately (since they cannot provide proofs and he's a respected and senior member) that he had been in favor of AAP's overreach in contesting in the Lok Sabha polls, which was possibly the single biggest factor in AAP's defeat.

Whether Shanti Bhushan has an ulterior motive or whether he was simply easily influenced by inconvenient narratives is difficult to say and irrelevant at this point, but he does appear to be a consistent source of damage for AAP, including often reported disapproval of Arvind Kejriwal as the leader.

The curious case of Shazia Ilmi

If there is anyone who topped Shanti Bhushan in damage to AAP, it is Shazia Ilmi. The only two "sting" videos to do real damage to AAP credibility involve her. The first appears to show her providing methods to make donations to AAP off the record. The second is where she supposedly asks Muslims to be communal. Whether these were genuine mistakes and she was targeted for stings because she was observed to be careless with words or if she was corrupt or if she was setting AAP up cannot be said. But other common factors seems to be an inopportune exit, affiliation with the "apolitical" AVAM (the RSS is apolitical as well, for a benchmark), new affiliation with the BJP - incidentally a party she leveled outrageous insults at, including personal insults aimed at Modi - some of which even me, an open Modi critic would cringe at.

Binny seems to be more of an opportunist who wanted a way to easy power and got his hopes dashed, who later found enough "appreciation" from BJP. BJP is unlikely to ever give him a cabinet seat either.

All this is water under the bridge. merely stating as an example of how while the AAP as a party may not be "in" on any conspiracy agendas, there is no telling how many people committed to other agendas are embedded inside, who influence or sabotage the actions of the party to suit.

The RSS machine is an expert at subversive strategy and poor at accountability. Sooner or later, disillusionment was inevitable, because there is only so much you can tell people that Acche Din are here, if their lives don't get easier or actually get more expensive. They are smart enough to deploy propaganda at key times and let disillusionment happen in the interim.

So can the Aam Aadmi Party government be trusted?

It would be the height of gullibility to blindly trust ANY political party. Whether the AAP has an ulterior motive or not is irrelevant. It has abundant gaps where more refinement of policy is needed in order for their actions to not harm people's interest. The bottom line always ought to be whether the ACTIONS are helping people or not - regardless of motives or intent.

The AAP has some protection from outright damaging citizen's interests simply because it cannot stand without its volunteer base, and it is impossible to have a conspiracy large enough to include thousands of volunteers and still keep it secret. So even if there are foul agendas at play, implementing them would be an uphill task. That said, it wouldn't be impossible, and only the foolish would believe that all that it takes to receive good governance is casting a vote.

The Aam Aadmi Party government has been entrusted with making Delhi a happier, safer place where all its citizens can thrive. This is a tall order. And if the AAP is honest, spotting mistakes and objecting on time will HELP their objectives. If it is not honest, spotting mistakes on time and objecting may improve chances to prevent them.

Regardless, citizens should not trust governments, but hold them accountable, relentlessly.

7

As I write this post, no results are declared yet, but it is looking like BJP will have a clear majority without allies being needed. Needless to say, this is a deeply disappointing result for me, and one that I don't believe has been fair. Regardless, that is what it is, and I must accept it. Clearly my predictions were wrong.

That BJP would do better was a given. That it would do so much better was not. I offer my extremely grudging congratulations to them for winning the election, unless some late miracle happens.

Let me not mince words. I don't trust the BJP. I don't perceive them as having any interest in India as a whole, and I consider them opportunists without ethics who will leave no stone unturned, whether ethical or not, whether legal or not, to get Modi on the throne. I find their regressive and often false views on many things ranging from religion to sexuality and from economics to free speech extremely alarming. I don't believe this is a good time for India that is unfolding.

There is still hope that the BJP will fold under the weight of its own facade, but that is dim, since a good victory bolsters many things.

The only thing that remains is to hope that Modi's God complex makes him rein in the fascists enough that his name is not tarred. A country is resilient, but when you have a right wing party with a known propensity to rewrite history and facts to taste coming to majority, it is clear that our steps down the Pakistan path of self-destruction just got faster, because politics that thrives on hate does not stop finding objects of hate.

About the Congress, there is a seething anger. From being the party that built the nation, it has become one with its head stuck so high up its dynastic ass, that they are simply unable to move from defaults that have failed over and over and this is the greatest reason for Modi's win. In my view, corruption is one thing, an arrogant persistence in doing the same things that get resisted over and over to the point where your leaders publicly raise the alarm of growing right wing influence in country and STILL do the same things driving people away is a spectacular self-destruction that takes the nation down to the dark ages with it.

Or perhaps that was the point. That the power not exit the closed loop of Congress and BJP, so that when Congress defeat was clear, they ensured a BJP win.

Aam Aadmi Party lost its way and its momentum when Arvind Kejriwal signed up to fight from Varanasi against Modi. Regardless of whether he wins or loses, the AAP track changed drastically to something people were not expecting and didn't need from them. In my view, it was this shift more than the Delhi resignation that impacted AAP's prospects. Two things in particular stand out, if anyone is taking notes.

The first was Arvind Kejriwal's horrendous speech where he asked for the people's mandate to fight from Varanasi, where he reduced a nationwide fight to one that happened in two constituencies. This devalued nationwide efforts and created a perception that they were of no consequence in comparison with the Varanasi and Amethi results. This, in my view also had an impact on voters, who probably understood it to mean that AAP hadn't fully launched nationwide in terms of focus - which was a completely unnecessary self-sabotage.

The second was when Arvind Kejriwal suddenly went on a God overdose with the kudrat ka karishma and bhagwan and allah and wahe guru and what not. Gods are governing themselves well and the issue was completely irrelevant to governance. From that point on, there is a visible increase of religious symbolism in AAP's public presence, culminating with the infamous Shazia Ilmi "communal" video. AAP got neatly slotted as the new voice of Muslims and anything else to the contrary remained under wraps. In other words, AAP tried to play a game Indian politicians are long time masters of, and was a spectacularly stupid move when opposing a right wing party, which only needed a whiff to claim "proofs" of its propaganda.

And there is a third. AAP mistook its ability to rattle cartels for its ability to win over entrenched corruption. As a result, cartels have won, and the AAP game plan is in disarray. They are going to need to go back to the drawing board and figure out who they are and what they stand for and what they want to achieve.

It is not the end of the world, elections come and go in a democracy, but I suspect India is about to find out just how difficult it is to grab control from the right wing. I don't know any place in the world where it has been easy. For the simple reason, the right wing has a default tendency to create illusions of reality. The unquestioning make "informed decisions" that lead to what their leaders want them to do. And with state control, speaking truth to power has higher stakes.

For the media, this is my only happy part of this election. I do hope you get the government you campaigned for. Just remember, when your offices get vandalized at any hint of a spine, I am going to LAUGH. Black humor, yes, but I do think you will deserve it thoroughly.

For the minorities, religious, gender or any other, including thought. The time is to keep your head down, think strategy more than grand gestures. Change will be needed, you will need it most desperately, but you will also need to be heard in ways that can't be silenced easily.

Lastly, our intellectuals. If there is anyone who has lost more than the Congress, it is India's intellectuals. The thinking few who are able to articulate higher thought for others to understand. Who are able to see deeper than facades people are led to. They remained in the armchair. The intellectual laziness of not thinking through important thoughts for the country and being able to prioritize on the basis of their urgency brings us to a point where they will be soon reduced to where Pakistan's intellectuals are. In one token corner of the media that very few read.

For me? I am back to where I was before AAP. There is no hope in politics, and this country will devolve till there remains nothing to steal, or too unsafe. We are not going to rise till we hit bottom, which will be a very shitty place to be in, by the time we get there and perhaps there will not be much to salvage.

The only hope will come from elevating thought. There are no movements for it yet.

Time to go back to my highest belief about India.

The next freedom struggle will be for minds.

5

A video titled "The real communal face of the Aam Aadmi Party" is doing the rounds, and shows Shazia Ilmi recommending that Muslims become communal. If we go by word counts, we can end the post right here with "OMG communal", but is it really communal in the manner usually condemned?

This is the video

Here's a transcript by a volunteer.

Shazia seated along with long bearded people

Shazia : me to manti hu musalman k liye insaniyat ke khuda ke waste itne secular na baniye

Guy One : nahi nahi humko banna padhega aur kaam karna padhega, humare islam k khilaf jo kaam karoge to hume karna padhega..
Shazia : mein to ulta kehti hu.. Me kehti hu musalman bahut secular hai.. Musalmanon ko communal hona padega pehli baat.. Musalman communal nahi hai.. Apnon ko nahi deta he vo.. Aravind Kejriwal aap ke apne hai. Ham to kah rahe he.. Secular bahut ho gaya musalman. Ya congress ko jita rahe hai, kisi aur ko.. jo apna nuksan kar rahe hai.. Aap log itna secular mat huiye.. ab apne ghar ka dekiye.. Na huiye itna secular...Musalman secular hai.. Dete rahte hai auron ko vote.. Baki partiyon to nahi karthe hai kuch.. hamare vote bighadthe hai. Apna faida sochna.. Bahut controversial baat hai.. lekin saroori baat hai.
Guy Two : kuch baat to aap sahi keh rahi hai wo baat apni jagah sahi hai lekin humare zimme do kaam hai daro aur harao, dare bhi hum haraye bhi hum aur malayi khaye dusre
Shazia : kaam badal dijiye ladho aur jeeto

Guy Two : abhi apne sarfaraz arzoo se baat ki na aur aise bahut sare log hai

Shazia: sarfaraz bhai se puchiyega ????

I want to make this clear that this is how I see this situation. Your mileage may vary. Also note that I have no idea what the Aam Aadmi Party stand on this is. Last I heard, they were condemning. I see a very ignorant person, but not someone who is "communal" or "polarizing" or even aware what the words "secular" and "communal" actually mean (and apparently neither do those sitting with her). Ironically, she actually seems to be talking them down from a communal high.

For those who don't understand Hindi, here's a rough translation:

Shazia seated along with long bearded people

Shazia : I am saying for the sake of God don't be so secular

Guy One : no no, we will have to and act. If you act against our Islam, then we will have to act.

Shazia : I am saying the opposite. I am saying Muslims are very secular. Muslims will have to become communal. Muslims are not communal. They don't vote for their own. Arvind Kejriwal (who is not a Muslim) is your own. I am saying Muslims have become too secular. Either you make Congress win, or someone else and suffering losses on themselves. Don't be so secular, see to your own home. Don't be so secular. Muslims are secular, keep giving votes to others. Other parties don't so anything, only spoil (waste?) our votes. Think for your own advantage. This is controversial, but essential to say.

Guy Two : what you are saying is somewhat right in its own way, but our role/task remains at two things. Fear and defeat [competing candidates]. We fear and we defeat [political opponents] and the rewards are reaped by someone else.

Shazia : change your task and win

Guy Two : you spoke with sarfaraz arzoo now, right? there are  many others like him

Shazia: Ask sarfaraz bhai????

If you go by the dictionary meaning of "secular" and "communal", this above conversation makes no sense. Shazia Ilmi is asking the people to not be secular and recommending that they be communal, but how? By telling them not to vote for those who usually represent their comminity and exploit their votes for political gain. She is telling them to support Kejriwal, who is a Hindu.

In fact, when "Guy one" initially disagreeing with her is a full on Alice in Wonderland moment if you go by the Oxford dictionary. Shazia says for Gods sake don't be secular. Guy one negates this (implying they will have to be secular) if someone acts against Islam and they will have to act. So, acting on a religious threat is passing as secularism for this group.

Either she is doped, or she has learned what secular and communal mean from Indian politics and its unique warped "opposing sides". If you are a Hindu zealot, you are communal, which means if you are a Muslim zealot, you are secular in the name of protecting minorities - essentially, both sides operate from a premise of religious loyalty. It is also how Mayawati actively chasing dalit votes is not seen as communal, because you have to be an upper caste Hindu to be communal. Mayawati is secular. All dalit community should vote for her. This is the brain damage our opportunistic and exploitative political leadership has inflicted on the country by lobbing labels at each other to the point they make no sense.

It is in this that Shazia Ilmi is wading. Recommending that they don't be secular. Meaning, that they don't vote on the basis of being a Muslim minority and bring someone to power who will again use their fear and their efforts to defeat the threat for political profit and forget about them, but to vote for "their own" - who happens to not be a Muslim. So how does communal compute? It doesn't.

Unless the community you are talking is not one of religion but caring. It is a cheesy explanation, but there is no other. It is exactly what Aam Aadmi Party tells everyone - Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, rich, poor, film stars, rickshaw drivers.... that it is YOUR party. If this is to be interpreted as Aam Aadmi Party being communal, then I imagine there will be mass conversions. And all AAP members will aslo change professions to rickshaw drivers, or bankers, or whatever.

In my view, Shazia Ilmi's only crime is monumental ignorance. It would not matter so much if it were a random worker, but a politician getting a ticket to contest elections in a country where communal politics rules ought to know the basic meaning of the words secular and communal, regardless of how they get warped in use. That said, it is impossible to know everything we don't know, till we find ourselves ignorant. I doubt if Shazia Ilmi is going to be confused about this again.

About the "polarization". It is a BJP con being run on social media that takes advantage of more political labels that can be flung regardless of meaning. To polarize anything, you need two entities. You speak with Hindus about Muslims, in a manner that highlights differences, you are polarizing. You speak with Muslims about Hindus in a manner that highlights differences, you are polarizing. You speak with Hindus about themselves, or Muslims about themselves, where is the polarization? It is merely conversation pertaining to the community. If speaking with Muslims about Muslims were polarizing, then BJP probably needs to trash the Ram Mandir from its manifest, yes? It isn't, which is why no one is screaming bloody murder about the manifesto, like they are, about Togadia, who is inciting Hindus about minorities (as opposed to talking about Hindus themselves). If Togadia spoke of the need to build a Ram Mandir, as long as he didn't mention other communities in a way that created ill will about them, he wouldn't be polarizing (though that one is tough, since Togadia has turned himself into a polarization symbol - but say if Modi spoke.)

Speaking of Modi and secular and communal, the BJP people yelling about criticism of secularism and promoting communalism may want to check out his Jammu speech. He pretty much knowingly rejects secularism and stops an inch short of thumping his 56 incher on being communal - within careful boundaries of the Model CODE of conduct.

Lastly, taking this opportunity to recommend YET AGAIN that AAP have some kind of code of conduct for representatives to follow when they interact on behalf of AAP. It is not merely about saying the wrong things, but as this incident proves, it is also about finding the right words for what people want to say. Given the state of our education system, public intellect and political stupidification, the abilities of various people to articulate the AAP view on various subjects will fluctuate wildly, and standard protocols will help bring some stability for everyone's speech. Shazia Ilmi is hardly the only reckless speaker in AAP.

1

Dear Arvind Kejriwal,

Today's "Historic Speech" disappointed me. I am glad of the main outcome - that you are planning to contest against Narendra Modi. I agree that Modi needs to be defeated soundly. However, today's speech could have been far more. I know you are not obliged to cater to expectations, but I do hope you will give these some strong thought.

The stress

There is an urgent need to pause and reorient. Granted that Aam Aadmi Party and you are under a constant barrage of challenges, both natural and man made, the fact remains that doing the wrong thing will be more damaging than a delay in doing the right thing. Somewhere, the traditional politics seems to be rubbing off, and this is not a welcome influence. It is the politics we are trying to escape. There is a tenseness today that was not present before, and to me it speaks of having little time to center and speak from purpose. In my view, this is urgent. Some space needs to be created to say what you want to say, instead of trying to beat a failed model at its own games.

The freshness of Aam Aadmi Party was its lack of focus on religion and other "identity bank" gimmicks. This is the party where Shazia Ilmi did not need to contest from a "Muslim area". Yet today's speech, in such a crucial moment visited Ram, Harishchandra, Eeshwar, Khuda and what not. It is not a core area of AAP, and it took up time that should have been spent on core issues. There is no need to "prove" anything about AAP's secularism, it is self-evident. Belaboring the point actually looks like an opportunistic mention of God, which I am dead certain was not the purpose, or it would have been tried well before this point.

Arvind, technology is a wonderful thing. A good mic will pick up your whisper. There is no need to stress your throat with trying to reach the audience with voice alone. More importantly, when you try to speak loud, you start talking like a speech - possibly an automatic reflex, which is not your best style. Your best style is the hundreds of speeches you have given that inspired people. Informal, straight talk. Countless interviews. The difference is visible. In one, you look relaxed, open, candid. In the other, you look tense, defensive, shrill. You need to get back to the old style. It brought you this far and served you well. It will take you through. No need to turn into a neta overnight.

Prioritizing content for historic events

Today was a historic event. This was the day the common man's party decided to put up its candidate against the other leading politician (Rahul Gandhi being the first one). It was a speech that will get referred to, brought up again as a landmark in Aam Aadmi Party's history. It should have been spent on content you want to make immortal. Swaraj, Jan lokpal, people ruling themselves through a party that serves as a conduit for their voice. Sure, there was a need to explain why Modi must be contested, but the rest of it - Akhilesh Yadav and Gujarat model and such could have been left out to make space for the priority - the foundations of Aam Aadmi Party and what makes it the common man's party. Criticism of Modi and Yadav and so on is really common. And there are abundant opportunities to do it. Interviews are a great place for that, for that matter. You didn't need to waste a historic event on the garbage AAP are planning to throw anyway. I confess I was waiting for a mention of Swaraj right till the moment the video ended. It never came.

No one is saying that UPA and NDA are not corrupt, or that their evils must not be placed before the people, but you failed to recognize a milestone in the history of Aam Aadmi Party and to use it strategically to state once more what unprecedented ideas it is offering to the people. It was even a time to speak of the candidates - a large number of whom are social activists, professionals in diverse fields, clean honest people few have heard of if you leave out the few famous names. Aam Aadmi Party has a visually impaired candidate as well as legends like Medha Patkar. Long suppressed people finding voice through Aam Aadmi Party like the anti-nuclear power protesters at Kudankulam or a victim of the state like Soni Sori. There is so much to tell people about why the Aam Aadmi Party is in their interest! This HISTORIC SPEECH should have at least touched these subjects - however briefly.

The people of Varanasi

This part is wishful thinking. I acknowledge that you have no means of reading my mind, and while I hinted on Twitter, I never made a proper suggestion that this be done. But, stating for the record, so that it may be included in future speeches in Varanasi:

Varanasi has inadvertently become the battleground of a National fight. Yet the people have local needs. You touched on their problems, but more was needed. An acknowledgment was needed that it is becoming a hot spot for helicopter candidates, including yourself, and of course, Modi. An apology would be appropriate that the people deserved to have their heros in the fight, but circumstances had brought it to this. The people deserved candidates who were dedicated to their region and its development specifically, if contesting from there. And you should have promised that you would see them as your own special people and give them that dedication, even though the AAP candidate was not a local in this instance. A belonging of the heart, if not your actual address and a promise that you would be there for their problems specifically and long term, and they were not being taken for granted for the larger good, while being deprived of their right to be represented in the Lok Sabha by a leader directly committed to their well being.

***

This sensitivity has usually been present in the party, and I can only think that like an over burdened horse cannot discern a leaf added to its burden, an overburdened person cannot perceive things not specifically mentioned. In this matter, I acknowledge that I failed AAP too, because I noticed, yet did not suggest.

I hope that these suggestions are taken in the spirit they are offered. I do wish AAP to thrive and upend the traditional politics of India so that something more wholesome and enriching may emerge.

Vidyut

Update:

PS: I also think you need to ditch the gareeb-max immediately. False modesty serves no purpose. Statements like "main to bahut hi aam insaan hun" etc are not required. Any person who understands the country and current affairs knows that what you achieved is nowhere "mamuli". I understand your point that it is not about you as a person, but the process of change, but better expression needs to be found for that. Perhaps something like [Note: This is just an example]

"I was able to succeed, because the need I fought for resonated with many. There are many people who fight for change and lose and are forgotten. I just happened to come along at the right time, saying things many people needed to be said and the spark I lit took on a life of its on and is a wildfire. People didn't lose interest or lose hope - or maybe some instinct knows we are facing the abyss and there is no other real choice. It grew and grew and is still growing."

It is more accurate and honest than pretending that you did nothing. What you did has value. Incidentally it has enough value that you are asking for votes on its basis. Calling it insignificant does not help stress the importance of what is happening. False modesty is counter-productive at this point. Don't brag, but don't deny so obviously that it makes no sense either.