Prof. Kamal Chenoy
AAP emerged as a new type of party, open minded, inclusive, pluralist and committed to a new, untainted, pro-people organisation. The resignation of Shazia Ilmi has squarely raised questions about how far AAP has been able to live up to these promises. Shazia has claimed that there is no internal democracy, a very serious charge. But the composition of the leadership raises serious questions. The Political Affairs Committee (PAC) does not have a Dalit or woman member, though Rakhi Birla, an MP candidate would be an obvious choice. On the dias of the volunteers meeting last evening, were controversial members like Kumar Vishvas and Somnath Bharati. No wonder the volunteers (with whom I was sitting till 7.15 PM) were provoked, and called for a recasting of the PAC and National Executive.
AAP is in serious danger of drifting from its moorings. If we are true to our promises, such things must not happen. Committees must be representative, volunteers must be heard, dissent must be respected. Why were the concerns that Shazia raised not heard? Those who maintained contact with her like Mr. Bharati must have passed her concerns on to the PAC. Shazia reacted to the episodic nature of action in AAP. This is a concern of many loyal to AAP. The party must be inclusive, respect difference in a pluralist India. In a word, get back to the promises we promised to our people and ourselves, before it is too late.
(Kamal Chenoy is a Professor at SIS, JNU. This article is reproduced from his facebook post.)