Monday, November 12, 2012

India Against Corruption (IAC) - Thoughts - Volume 1 - IAC Volunteers

Arvind Kejiriwal has been very active lately in exposing a lot of wrong doers. His bold attitude in taking on the system has attracted attention from many quarters. He has earned a lot of following, from almost all sections of the society.

Now the question that comes naturally is if Arvind Kejiriwal is the person who can change politics for good. He claims that his idea is a refreshing new alternative that will change the face of Indian politics. Will it? I thought it would be good to do critical analysis on India Against Corruption Political Party to decide for myself (His party does not have a name at the time this blog is being written).

Let me start with volunteers of India Against Corruption. Who are the volunteers of India Against Corruption? I have met a couple of them personally and a couple of them in the online world (twitter/facebook). One thing anyone can say with conviction about these people is that they have fire in their stomachs and determination to fight and root out corruption. However, the only way they see this can be done is through the new political party created by Arvind Kejiriwal.

Are they different from other party volunteers? If so, how different? If not, how similar?

Let me look at how different IAC volunteers are from other party volunteers.
  • IAC volunteers are mostly highly educated
  • They are not sycophants, and believe in Arvind Kejiriwal only because they believe he can deliver
  • They know that politics is a dirty place, and believe they can be in the system without being the system
  • They are active on social media websites
  • At the time of writing this blog, I haven't got any clues to suggest that they are in politics for money or fame
  • They do not believe in indulging in violence and hooliganism (at least so far nothing of this sort has emerged from IAC volunteers)
How similar are IAC volunteers to volunteers from other parties?
  • IAC volunteers have blind belief in their leader, Arvind Kejiriwal. They defend anything and everything done by their leader without rationally analyzing his steps and missteps. History has shown that such behavior has often resulted in creation of cult personalities and sycophancy in the long run
  • They get very defensive when they or their leader are brought out of their comfort zones. They start alleging political motivations on those who question their leader
  • They are not open to ideas that come from outside their own party. They smell political conspiracy when ideas are suggested from outside.
  • They believe that all parties other than their own are exact same on most issues that pertain public. As with all other party volunteers, that pushes their actual mission of fighting corruption to the 2nd priority
  • They believe that other parties keep internet trolls to defame IAC, and are ready to viciously attack anyone who they think do not subscribe to their views. They do not realize that they themselves form a part of internet trolls for IAC
  • They believe that other parties are piggybacking their "original ideas" (like SP accuses Congress of stealing its minority agenda, Congress accuses BJP of stealing its OBC quota agenda etc.)
  • They do not believe in going to courts, unlike other party volunteers who approach courts in most cases against political opponents. When IAC volunteers raises allegations, they do not believe in going to courts even for the sake of tokenism.
  • They believe in gherao, which is a regressive form of protest mostly followed in leftist agitations

One thing that IS radically different is the aspect of peace. So far, IAC agitations have been by and large peaceful. If IAC is able to keep its activities peaceful, it is a huge selling point. However, it is also noteworthy that other parties also have a good share of volunteers with such +ve qualities but they do not gain much limelight.

If I were to vote at this time and an IAC volunteer was an election candidate, I would be very skeptical about voting him/her because of the collective direction this group is headed.

IAC volunteers have nothing radically different to offer other than peace.

In my next blog post, I will analyze IAC's work on political front since the formal separation of its anti-corruption movement with Anna Hazare.


  1. Anonymous8:58 AM


    I have to commend you on relatively fair blog on the IAC leader/leadership and their volunteers. I specially agree on your point that blind belief in a leader can result in creation of cult personalities and sycophancy.

    I follow you on Facebook and I have noticed that initially when Kejriwal was targeting the UPA you were applauding his every move. At that point of time you never even suggested that he should go to court with the complaints. But, the moment he started targeting the BJP your comments on Kejriwal and IAC took a predictable turn.

    I was a strong BJP supporter until the point where Sri. ABV was leading the party. He was fair, balanced and inclusive. I continued to support the party even after he left. But today I would never vote for the BJP given the rampant corruption that runs in the BJP (may be Goa govt is an expection). Amongst present BJP leaders I have respect for Jaitley, Ms. Swaraj, Y. Sinha, A. Shourie (he asks tough questions to his own party members) and N. Modi. But again there is the problem of cult following even in BJP, Modi for example. I appreciate the good work Modi has done in Gujrat, but I find that BJP representatives are spineless to ask tough questions to their leader. Corruption is rampant in BJP and I find that BJP supporters get very defensive when they or their leader are brought out of their comfort zones.

    Since I am an independent now, I would definitely consider voting for the least corrupt candidate in my constituency. So if IAC contests election, they are most likely to get my vote. I have spoken to several of my friends about the very same issue and I found that their opinion is no different.

    Here is a suggestion for a blog topic: How to revive the BJP as a clean, inclusive and progressive party?

  2. The first comment by anonymous reveals the mind of the average Indian who is fed up with the present political set up. Gunny should stop thinking only about Muslims and start looking at issues without bias and appreciate the good work done by committed people for the benefit of the society.

  3. Hi Anonymous, first of all thanks for your comment.

    I am a BJP supporter no doubt, but I have myself been vocal about corruption in BJP as well. Even on Facebook, I have called for resignation of Yeddy on issue of corruption and asked tough questions to BJP itself. If you dig my timeline, you would find those posts.

    I believe that a party on treasury benches should be held accountable for corruption. For the same reason, I do not believe in Karnataka JDS or Karnataka Congress being targetted. I support Justice Hegde in his anti-corruption effort in Karnataka for the same reason.

    Problem is, when I say that, people automatically assume that I am criticizing Arvind Kejiriwal because I am defending BJP. Nothing can be far from truth. It is the same dilemma Kiran Bedi and Anna Hazare faced when they told AK that party in power should be targetted - they were immediately labeled BJP agents.

    From your comment and from that of many others, I have realized that AK has been successful in proving that he is the only saint and all others are corrupt.

  4. Umanath maam, thank you for your frank comment. Please keep more open comments coming in the coming days, as I am only learning about the political landscape.

    I agree that everyone is frustrated with current political setup. I myself am. But I do not want to put my trust in a group that seems to be bordering anarchists.

    There is a reason why I worry about Muslim appeasement or for that matter appeasement of any community.

    I believe corruption is the affect - cause is something else. Cause of corruption is vote bank politics. The most corrupt parties today have very strong vote banks backing it, that gives them all the confidence to go ahead and loot the country, while ensuring unending supply of votes from vote banks.

    By retaining appeasement policies, any party that claims to kill corruption is only promoting corruption more. That is because its intent is again to tap into the same vote bank that other parties have done since independence.

  5. Anonymous6:50 AM

    I am happy with the clarification you have provided on your stand about BJP in Karnataka. I am hoping you will also acknowledge most other BJP governments (current state govts. and previously NDA)are/were corrupt.

    I would not vote for AK, for some of the very reasons you had pointed out rightly in your blog. Here is what I am going to do when I get a chance to vote: I will score the candidates mainly on these criteria a) Individual corruption score b) Party corruption score (both at state/central level) c) Rowdiness-index of self and party workers d) manifesto.

    Looking forward for your follow-up blog on IAC. After that could you please write on reviving BJP.