AAP Victory and Some Tools for Popular Self-Government: Sagar Dhara

KAFILA - 10 years of a common journey

Guest post bySAGAR DHARA

The Aam Admi Party (AAP) has won a spectacular victory in the Delhi assembly elections and will form a government shortly. The party’s manifesto 2015 ( promises to do many things—some positive, e.g., passing a Swaraj Bill and some that are not so positive, e.g., setting up pithead power plants to supply power to Delhi. Here are a few practical suggestions that may help AAP and its supporters to strengthen people’s participation in grasroot self-governance.

Participatory budgeting

AAP’s proposed Swaraj Bill is aimed at strengthening grassroot self-governance in Delhi mohallas and community neighbourhoods. Mohalla committees are designed to deal with local issues. However, they can also be used as platforms for Delhi’s polity to participate in decisions that that affect all of Delhi through a process called participatory budgeting.

Participatory budgeting first began in 1990 in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre.  In…

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Posted by on February 19, 2015 in My Success Stories


Newspaper ads do violate EC’s poll guidelines!


By Rifat Jawaid

Follow me on twitter @RifatJawaid

As expected, we have almost all major newspapers in Delhi carrying front page election advertisements by BJP even after the official campaigning is over. We are now debating if the newspaper ads published in the 48 hours period before the poll closes amounts to the violation of the Election Commission of India’s guidelines.

BJP has been quick to justify its action while AAP would like an intervention by the EC.

Here’s what the EC guidelines broadly say on campaigns.

“The campaign is the period when the political parties put forward candidates and arguments with which they hope to persuade people to vote for their candidates and parties. Candidates are given a week to put forward their nominations. These are scrutinised by the Returning Officers and if not found to be in order can be rejected after a summary hearing. Validly nominated candidates…

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Posted by on February 7, 2015 in My Success Stories


PM’s bazaaru jibe at media in Delhi


By Rifat Jawaid

Follow on twitter @RifatJawaid

So India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was once again addressing an election rally in Delhi yesterday. And once again the rival party namely Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP and the country’s media was under scathing attack from a visibly desperate PM rattled by a series of unfavourable poll surveys for Delhi elections.

He reportedly called channels carrying opinion polls that gave majority to AAP ‘bazaaru,’ a term we’ve all grown up seeing used for those soliciting money for sexual favours. In other words prostitutes.

Addressing media as prostitutes is nothing new. Social media users belonging to almost every political party have been using this terminology for the members of my fraternity. It’s usually the most effective way to express outrage towards a perceived twisting of facts to suit a rival political party by a channel, publication or other news platform.

But average social media users…

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Posted by on February 7, 2015 in My Success Stories


From the house of “Lie” ministers – not “Law” ministers


Once upon a time in the year 2000 at a place called the parliament. (source:

A concerned minister asked another concerned minister – “What is the total quantum of fruits and vegetables spoiled every year due to inadequate facilities of storage, transportation and marketing”?

The other minister responds “As per the Report of the Sub-Working Group on Post Harvest Management, Marketing and Exports for the Ninth Plan, it is estimated that the losses vary between 8 to 37 per cent in various crops in different stages after harvest”

The Concerned minister goes on to add that the following schemes will be implemented to strengthen the post-harvest management infrastructure:

  • Construction and Expansion/Modernization of Cold Storages/Storages for Horticulture produce; and
  • Development of Commercial Horticulture through Production & Post Harvest Management of Horticultural Products

Once upon a time in the year 2014 (source: , yet another concerned minister asks…

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Posted by on February 7, 2015 in My Success Stories


Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s Commandments Educate, Agitate, Organize

Dalit and Tribe's Blog


Educate agitate and organize concept of Dr. Ambedkar has given meaningful massage to the people in the mode of development. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar was born in a class considered low and outcast. Dr. Ambedkar fought untiringly for the downtrodden. The man who suffered bitter humiliation became the first Minister for Law in free India, and shaped the country’s Constitution. He was strong-minded fighter, a deep scholar, human to the tips of his fingers. Educate, Agitate, Organize are three final words of our saviour Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Being a Buddhist Babasaheb gave these slogans based on Buddhist philosophy. These commandments must be kept in this order. We are not trying to find responsibility in others who may have used different order by changing second commandment (Agitate) as third and changed this order to Educate, Organize and Agitate. It is highly suggested to all Ambedkarites across the world to use…

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Posted by on January 15, 2015 in My Success Stories


2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Posted by on December 30, 2014 in My Success Stories


What the World Needs Now is Peace. Don’t Let Hate Win !!



As i sit down to write this post, the world is becoming a dangerous place. It’s slowly being consumed by hate, prejudice, stereotypes and most of all religious fundamentalism. A week ago there was a siege in a Sydney cafe. The world was appalled by the incident. Seventeen people were taken hostage and three were killed including the hostage-taker – Man Haron Monis, a fifty year old man born in Iran and settled in Australia. The Prime Minister of Australia -Tony Abbott has described Monis as “a deeply disturbed individual with a long history of crime, a long history of mental instability and infatuation with extremism.” The man has over forty cases concerning  sexual and assault related offences and a history of religiously motivated activism. During the siege , Monis displayed an Islamic flag.

The world stood in solidarity with Sydney. The best thing that happened was the hashtag that trended globally on…

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Posted by on December 23, 2014 in My Success Stories