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Missing the point | The Indian Express | Page 2

If the army feels it requires continuation of the AFSPA to discharge its responsibilities, no other agency is qualified to credibly challenge that view. e way the Mandal parties understand India; as a collection of exotic identities. After 1989, when the Congress hegemony ended, the Mandal parties flourished. Their history begins not in 1947, but in 1977 at the end of the Emergency. They take a narrow local view of India, much like a kaleidoscope reflecting shards of broken coloured glass. For them, more reservations for separate identities is better. Is it not time then, 67 years after Independence, to begin thinking of Indians as Indians? This is what the message of AAP seems to be. Delhi is a microcosm of the nation. There is no reason to treat it as the old parties and Mandal parties tend to do — a collection of fragments. AAP innovated and thought of all Dilliwalas as citizens  whose demands needed urgent attention. This idea can be extended across India and this is the secret behind the sudden upsurge of support for AAP. The Congress has given up the ghost. The BJP faces a new challenge. Narendra Modi was the ideal villain for the Congress. But that fight is no longer relevant. The issue will not be 2002 or Article 370. It will be governance — but not as a code for a strong prime minister versus a weak PM. It will be governance as a problem of citizens to be solved — not from above but by harnessing the energy at the grass-roots, which can be generated if the people are given a voice. Can the BJP handle that?
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