It is indeed unfortunate that the fledgling Lok Paritran has split, and this is not a good thing for hundreds of youth from the city who slogged their ass off to campaign for the party. This is a big blow to youth like Praveen, Incognito and their desire to change the system.
It’s a combination of internal politics and inexperience that has led to this huge setback and it remains to be seen if the party formed by former IITians will stand the test of character.
A friend recently brought my attention to this blog that claimed to be an expose on the LP founder Tanmay Rajpurohit. It is indeed a pretty well studied analysis but the fact that the author has not allowed comments makes one suspect foul play and malice.
When I did my first interview with these guys, Tanmay did tell me he was a mainstream politican party worker for a brief while and he quit it because it was corrupt. He had then refused to name the party because it was irrelevant and I had told him that it would some day surface. He just smiled then. I doubt if he likes these accusations now.
Going by the “expose,” it turns out that maybe it was the right-winged party known for its hidden agenda and Hindu fanaticism that he once worked for. But the important point here is that HE USED TO WORK FOR IT.
While WHAT ONE USED TO think in the past may not be all that important with the formation of a new party based on a development and growth based ideology, it is important to identify the DNA of a party.
Knowing the roots helps people become a little more aware of what the party could grow into. The transparency which the party promised in governance was missing in the DNA.
In hindsight it does seem to be a bad decision to rush into action by interviewing wannabe do-gooders, without really having any clue of how trustworthy their selected candidates were.
When I spoke to Elanthirumaran, State party president, when he was chosen, I asked him if he had quit his job. He said he had taken a break. That is not what inspires party workers. But maybe the party trusted him enough. The dude did come across as a well-meaning guy with good intentions after all.
He along with Rajamany, the Anna Nagar candidate who got over 10,000 votes thanks to LP being alloted Captain’s symbol of the drum in the constituency, are the rebels who have alleged high-handedness of the party core group.
We from the media had a good enough reason to support Lok Paritran. They had the drive and raw passion clubbed with intelligence and good intentions. They still do. The main guys from the party had given up their lucrative careers to take a plunge into politics, had settled for hand-to-mouth existence and travelling by autorickshaws, rented small apartments far away from their homes and spoke very clearly about what they wanted to do and why they wanted to do it asap. “When you want to do good for the nation, the earlier you can, the better,” they contended.
Fair enough. Besides, we from the media knew that if we rubbished a fledgling youth party, no young person ever would want anything to do with politics. When most engineers were happy taking the next flight abroad, here was a group of committed young people. Of course, we had to support them. Like I said in my post asking for people to support LP, if you don’t encourage the first man who tried something good, how will you give the courage to those who follow.
In their enthusiasm, they swung into action, interviewed scores of people they did not know personally and found able candidates in Rajamany and Elanthirumaran.
Post election, they realised they were betrayed by the very people they trusted. All in the game. Every new party will have starting trouble, especially with the inexperience.
But this is now time to learn from the mistakes and start from scratch if they still intend to do good. The youth should not get discouraged by such setbacks. LP or any other youth party can learn from some of these mistakes.
First, LP or any new youth party needs to make their roots public, with past record in politics, even if it was just two weeks or two months in a party they no longer can relate to. If you promise transparency in governance, first demonstrate that within the party.
Second, LP or any new youth party needs a few management and communication professionals to handle administration of the party itself and to design marketing communications. A political party is like any other organisation, it needs to be run and expanded. Techies and geeks could do with management and marketing help.
Third, if you want people to vote for you, you need time to tell them you are around and demonstrate what you can do for them. LP or any other youth party should begin preparations for next elections NOW… not months before the next election. You need to reach out to the people, understand their problems and introduce yourself. Like what Captain did. Phenomenal work. And that did pay dividends… About 27 lakh people voted for a party based on one man’s hard work, 8.4 per cent of the total votes polled is phenomenal, given that even MGR took years to establish himself.
There is no substitute for hard work. Let the youth not give up this soon. It’s time to learn. And keep walking ahead.
All the best LP. I want to see you guys come through clean in your darkest hour. Given all your good intentions, I hope you don’t become an example of why the youth shouldn’t take to politics as many of your critics have said and will continue to.