On AAP Conflict.

Political parties take shape from an ideology (Stage 1), scale up through personification of that ideology (stage 2), and become stable through institutionalisation of that ideology (stage 3).

It has taken great effort by Kejriwal personally to see party from stage 1 to stage 2. Kejriwal faction understands activism and zameeni-politics far better than PY faction (personal experience – I have been involved with campaigns of both factions – Manish Sisodia in Del 13, and Pankaj Pushkar in Del 14)

Foundation of this Ke-PY conflict has been this stage 2. PY are uncomfortable with personification, and may be don’t foresee any transition. (Personfication also means the person makes most decisions and hence holds most power – where to fight, what to do, who to promote, who to lead). IMO, PY should have been more patient with transition to happen to stage 3. It was too early for them to go all guns blazing about it.

As far for transition from stage 2 to stage 3 is concerned, I think if Kejriwal fails to do that Delhi success will be flash in the pan for AAP/Kejriwal. Personification of politics leads to centralization of power, which soon turns into sycophancy, and thus leads to loss of merit in the party. Thats what happened with Congress over the years.

As for me, I support Ke faction right now. I will stop supporting them completely if the transition from stage 2 to stage 3 doesnt happen. ActuallyIMO they will make themselves become unsupportable.

A parable from book Art and Fear

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.

His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”.

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

My brush with AAP

I went to Delhi to vote, participate and campaign for AAP. I was there for about 10 days, and I could not have seen democracy from a better ring side seat. It was plain fabulous. I am posting some picture that I clicked while I was there.


Aam Aadmi Party Jansabh Patparganj

Kejriwal Rally Delhi

BJP and AAP - New Delhi  Yogendra Yadav Adressing



1. Its from a Manish Sisodia Jansabha in Patparganj. It started around 7 PM with 100 odd people, and swell upto 2-3k people by 9. The star of the evening was Kumar Vishwas. IMO, he is an extremely capable public speaker weaponed with a potent mix of humor, politics and rhetoric.

2. Its from an Arvind Kejriwal rally in New Delhi. We roamed around in a group of around 200-300 people, with 2-3 open jeep kind of vehicles.  The reception to Kejriwal and AAP from constituency people was unimaginable. People were walked upto us from their homes, asked for AAP topis and joined the group.

3. This pic is one of the most interesting moment of the complete campaign. While going around in New Delhi during Kejriwal’s rally, we reached a big chauraha. As soon as we looked towards the perpendicular road to see traffic, we saw BJP rally with Vijendra Gupta on the campaign. Generally policeman accompany these kind of rallies so as to avoid any untoward incident. As soon as the policemen with each group saw each other they came running to make human chains to keep the two groups away. You can see the BJP flags in the pic; the white flags are from AAP. It was extremely frightening since BJP people, like they are, wanted to flare it up.

4. This one is from the main AAP office in Hanuman Road office after the campaigning got over on 2nd Dec. Yogendra Yadav can be seen thanking volunteers for their work. He said, there is a difference between a karyakarta with a 500 rs. note, and the one with brightness in his eyes and a will to contribute to a change. He is incredibly polite ! 🙂


India as a great experiment for the world

This is what I came across in one of Ram Chandra Guha ‘s essays. He quotes J.B.S. Haldane on why he wanted to be called and Indian citizen.


Fifteen years after India became independent, the distinctiveness of its national—and democratic—experiment was foregrounded by the biologist J. B. S. Haldane. Born and educated in the United Kingdom, on whose behalf he had taken part in two World Wars, in 1957 Haldane left London to take up a job in Calcutta. Shortly afterwards he became an Indian citizen. When an American science writer referred to him in print as a ‘world citizen’, Haldane issued this clarification:

No doubt I am in some sense a citizen of the world. But I believe with Thomas Jefferson that one of the chief duties of a citizen is to be a nuisance to the government of his state. As there is no world state, I cannot do this… On the other hand I can be, and am, a nuisance to the government of India, which has the merit of permitting a good deal of criticism, though it reacts to it rather slowly. I also happen to be proud of being a citizen of India, which is a lot more diverse than Europe, let alone the U. S. A., U. S. S. R., or China, and thus a better model for a possible world organisation. It may of course break up, but it is a wonderful experiment. So I want to be labelled as a citizen of India.


India is an interesting microcosm of the world. Plurality in language, colour, faith is well discussed. But beyond that is reasonable sameness in plurality of ideas on – capitalism, wealth, (west) welfarism/socialism/communism poverty,(Cuba, North Korea, China) dynasties, democracy, marxism, religious radicalism(West Asia), state control through army (Afghanistan), exploiting tribal rights (Africa) in pockets etc. I don’t social scientists can get a better place than India to study how these ideas interact, and what can work or be predicted for the world.

AAP song by Kailash Kher

Listen to the song here.

Quite excited that adoption of AAP has been happening in such different ways – thanks to Kailash Kher for this.


I meanwhile like the small poem they used to recite during Jan Lokpal Movement from Jantar Mantar.

हो गई है पीर पर्वत-सी पिघलनी चाहिए,
इस हिमालय से कोई गंगा निकलनी चाहिए।

आज यह दीवार, परदों की तरह हिलने लगी,
शर्त लेकिन थी कि ये बुनियाद हिलनी चाहिए।

हर सड़क पर, हर गली में, हर नगर, हर गाँव में,
हाथ लहराते हुए हर लाश चलनी चाहिए।

सिर्फ हंगामा खड़ा करना मेरा मकसद नहीं,
सारी कोशिश है कि ये सूरत बदलनी चाहिए।

मेरे सीने में नहीं तो तेरे सीने में सही,
हो कहीं भी आग, लेकिन आग जलनी चाहिए।

And more books

One morning when I got up, a dream was very fresh in my head. I had closed the startup, taken up a job, and had started earning once again. And I was very happy in the dream 🙂 The reason of my happiness was that I had bought myself lots of books.

I got up, recollected it smilingly, thought about it and got on to my life.

Now that whatever I had dreamt has happened, I bought myself happiness yesterday. I have been on book buying spree. Ordered three books yesterday.

Glimpses of the World History – Jawaharlal Nehru
The state of the Nation – Fali S Nariman
Gandhi Before India – Ram Chandra Guha

Bought couple of more books a week back. Discovery of India – Jawahar Lal Nehru and Why Nations Fail.

Now all I have to do is to find time.

Arvind Kejriwal Poster or a 404 Page idea

Had made a 404 page for PriceCheckIndia sometime back. Too bad that we did not put it up. I think its cool for sites to have an identity. It builds loyalty.

I was very happy to make this – it feels nice to work on photoshop to convert ideas you have always had.

Kejriwal Poster for websites

Also I am sry that I do not know about the cartoonists behind these character toons – I mostly took up these pictures from google images. Thanks whoever made this.

Quite a few books

Since PriceCheckIndia traffic has gone down, I have had a great deal of time on my hand. This is not an unfamiliar situation in my life 🙂 After every 6 months of work, I generally prefer doing nothing. This time around though I have taken quite a liking to books. Sharing the list – actually I am quite happy the way I have performed.

India After Gandhi
Facebook Effect
Lucknow Boy – AutoBio Vinod Mehta
Google Story
Beyond the lines – Autobio Kuldeep Naiyar
Billionaire’s Apprentice

Couple of more were there – cant seem to remember them though. Feeling a little lazy but will add some reactions/comments as to how these books are.

Pushp Ki Abhilasha

चाह नहीं मैं सुरबाला के
गहनों में गूँथा जाऊँ,
चाह नहीं प्रेमी-माला में
बिंध प्यारी को ललचाऊँ,


चाह नहीं, सम्राटों के शव
पर, हे हरि, डाला जाऊँ
चाह नहीं, देवों के सिर पर,
चढ़ूँ भाग्य पर इठलाऊँ!


मुझे तोड़ लेना वनमाली!
उस पथ पर देना तुम फेंक,
मातृभूमि पर शीश चढ़ाने
जिस पथ जावें वीर अनेक।


Got reminded of this poem, one of my favourite during childhood. Gives an instant nationalistic kick.

Coomi Kapoor’s anecdotes from Indian Politics

Coomi Kapoor is a regular columnist in Indian Express where she covers the anecdotes from Indian politics. The section makes a super interesting read. Posting some of the very amusing anecdotes.


Menon rocks

National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon is a singer with a special fondness for the music of the sixties, particularly the Beatles. Menon, in fact, is lead singer in a rock band formed by former chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi. The members of the band include Nirupama Rao, India’s ambassador to the US; Rao’s husband Sudhakar Rao, who is a former chief secretary of Karnataka; and Madhukar Gupta, a former home secretary. Quraishi plays the keyboard. These senior officials, some of whom are now retired, meet every few months to let their hair down and take part in a jam session. The band members happened to be contemporaries at Delhi University where they first bonded over a shared love for music.


New NHRC member

In the collegium to select a new member of the National Human Rights Commission, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj disagreed with the majority’s choice of Justice Cyriac Joseph. The minutes of the meeting approving the appointment were first signed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha P J Kurien. When it came to the turn of the Opposition leaders to affix their signatures and attach their dissenting note, they discovered to their amazement that the ruling party members had all signed the minutes without even realising that the place where Joseph’s name had to be filled in had been left blank. An embarrassed government hastily withdrew the minutes and made a fresh document.


Advani Searching for Seat

L K Advani is looking for a safe seat from where he can fight in the next general elections. Because of the bad vibes between Narendra Modi and Advani on the leadership issue, the latter does not want to put himself at Modi’s mercy by standing again from the Gandhinagar seat. Advani has reportedly set his sights on the Bhopal constituency since Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is a friend who can be relied upon. An advance team has already gone to Bhopal to make an assessment of the constituency.


You can read her regular column here – http://www.indianexpress.com/columnist/coomikapoor