AAP needs to find ways to make the fight against corruption more relevant to the common man
I have said this before, but it bears repeating. The common man of India does not care much about corruption. They care about what the bottom line is for them. This is exactly how corrupt – even known corrupt politicians keep getting reelected – they do things people find relevant and useful and keep their corruption irrelevant to the immediate interest of their voters.
It would be folly for Aam Aadmi Party to ignore this aspect while being an anti-corruption party.
The common man has little awareness of National Wealth. How much wealth the country has, how it gets used or looted or who loots it are so distant to him, that they might as well not exist or be the same difference either way. It makes little difference to the common man whether an expose happens or the loot continues unabated in terms of direct relevance to their lives – the money is out of their reach anyway. If the corrupt are doing good things, they will ignore the corruption because either way the money won’t reach them, and vote on the basis of the interest satisfied.
Exposes alone will fail to “clean” Indian politics.
What Aam Aadmi Party should do as strategy – and I believe that it is also appropriate justice and accountability – is that it must make an effort to accompany every expose with a desired demand for action that is immediately beneficial to the people. For example, an expose of an electricity scam should demand that the losses suffered by people from undue billing should be recovered and refunded to them. This is beyond the actual demand for justice or PIL that gets filed. Perhaps the demand can also be in the PIL.
Exposing the irrigation scam is not enough when people are losing orchards to drought. the expose should be accompanied by a demand for immediate arrangements of water on an emergency basis by the government – on the establishment of the fact that irrigation paid for has not been delivered for a decade – regardless of who is found guilty or prosecuted and so on. When the guilty are found,the amount the government spends can be recovered with interest from their hide, but the aid to the region must not have to wait for projects to complete or cases to be judged. The PIL itself should include a plea for the government to make immediate arrangements and amends on a war footing and the conclusion of the case will decide who ends up paying for it.
Such actions will also pressure the governments to conclude cases faster to recover own funds and will help citizens understand what corruption did to them and what advantage an accountable government can offer them.
When I suggested this on twitter, several people claimed that AAP cannot do such things if it is not elected with majority. This is not true. Many agitations and protests happen through non political channels too! Let alone political channels with some representation and voice at least.Besides, the demand being stated itself will provide people with a vision of possibilities – that wrongs done to them can be repaired to some degree, not merely relegated to the abyss of newsprint while their lives continue to be the same.
As a side bonus, it will also provide AAP with ready data on exactly how many lives their expose improved.
Hope this makes sense.
Comment away, make suggestions to improve this, pick at fallacies, whatever.