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Mr. Kejriwal, Choose Wisely, Or Your Days Are Numbered

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By Yatharth Mishra:

The Aam Aadmi Party was born with a pledged commitment towards democracy and transparency. Its core ideology revolved around curbing corruption and establishing ‘Swaraj’. Since its formation, the AAP has proclaimed to be the only party that involves the people’s consent in the decision making process. It has always enjoyed the support of the intellectual class of our country. People have seen it as a hope; they have put their faith in it and served it wholeheartedly.

aap rift

Sadly, today the case is not the same. If the recent developments are any indication, then the party, which was perceived to be different and cashed in on this perception, now seems to be no different from its counterparts. Since the last month, a tussle has been going on amongst the senior leaders of the party. On one side Arvind Kejriwal, the party’s national convener, with his coterie, accusing others of anti-party activities, while on the other side Yogender Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, two of the AAP’s very senior and respected leaders, questioning the autocracy of Arvind Kejriwal – these are the two camps in the AAP.

Yesterday the fight turned ugly, when four of the party founding members, including Yadav and Bhushan were thrown out of the national executive body of the party. This shows that Arvind Kejriwal seriously lacks the leadership skills necessary to run a party. His autocratic style of functioning could work in an ‘Andolan’ but it can’t work in a political party. Today, he is the Chief Minister of Delhi and enjoys the support of a majority of the volunteers, but that is not enough for him.

If we go by the trends in the  social media, then many of the volunteers and supporters of the AAP are angry with the way Arvind has handled this matter. Many of them are standing behind Yadav and Bhushan. This clearly indicates that the party is on the verge of getting divided.

In my opinion, Arvind Kejriwal thinks that he can work well in Delhi and gain lost ground. It is true that people have a weak memory and party infighting is not an issue directly related to them. But, here things are different. What happened in the last few days has just shattered the credibility of Arvind Kejriwal as a leader. Today’s politics is all about perception and now, AAP seems to be similar to all the parties which were accused by them of autocracy and a lack of internal democracy.

From my assessment of the current situation, it is clear that the Yadav-Bhushan camp wants to keep principles on the upper side rather than just winning the elections, and on the other side, Kejriwal thinks that politics is all about winning the elections. For any other party, Kejriwal’s view seems to be right, but that is not the case with the AAP. This party was never formed to become another ‘election winning machine’ , in fact, it came into existence to change the rules of politics and make it clean and transparent.

Arvind Kejriwal has to understand that the AAP has just won Delhi for now, and there is a long way to go if he really wishes to see a corruption free and a well developed India.  In his very first speech after becoming the CM of Delhi, he signaled that he wanted to focus on Delhi for now and turn it into a model state. Theoretically, it seems to be the easiest way to grow into a big party instantly, but in reality this is not easy. In a diverse county like India, winning the main elections on the basis of work done in some other state is not an easy task.

This is the time when Arvind Kejriwal should start building leaders in the other states as well and act like a leader, who is ready to work with people having a different point of view. It would have been much better if the Kejriwal camp could have answered the questions raised by Yadav and Bhushan, before kicking them out from the top decision making body of the party. This has proved that the questions raised by them have shaken kejriwal. And if the issues raised by these questions are not rectified quickly, then in the coming times the AAP will suffer because of this.

You must be to comment.
  1. Karthick

    I dont think it is about ideals as yogendra yadav & prashant bhushan are trying hard to make it look like…It is about power & ideology …bhushan & yadav want to control the party , kejriwal is not willing to cede ground…

    everyone with whom kejriwal has had differences with in the past (binny, shazia) have proved to be power hungry..same will be proved in this case as well..

  2. piyush

    Humbly not agree. its very clean shanti bhusan want yy to become convener of aap.Mostly volunteers and leaders did not agree with this. so who is hypocratic in this . and now pertinent question raised by prashant bhusan about candidates,donation and rti.all candidates got clean cheat by admiral ramdas. donation taking process is alredy far better and transparent than other parties. how can improve this process that can be discussed their is no way to go to shout on this this is hypocrisy and suspicious action. and party can under rti when once party is fully structured. suppose their is 10 ac in kejriwal house ,but in kejriwal orderd to remove half of them, but in rti it shows 10 till this order execute. party came in governance since 1 month. so we have to give them time to completed each task whether its rti or improvment of system. but yy and pb not behaving like team member,they behaving like outsiders who black mail on every issue and go to media each day or leaking letters or planned articles publish in newspapers.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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