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Populist anarchism is unhealthy, harmful for institutions: Political Observers
'Populist Anarchy' is a term which is widely being debated in the political world. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee in his address to the nation on the eve of Republic Day also mentioned this term during his veiled attack on Aam Aadmi Party. He said, "Government is not a charity shop. Populist anarchy cannot be a substitute for governance."

When Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal started his protest against the Union Home Ministry outside the Rail Bhavan and started causing problems to not only to the security agencies, which were manning a very sensitive zone, but to the commoners as well, and thus he became accused of causing anarchism. That time he proudly said, “Yes, I am anarchist.”

In the words of Vidhu Verma, Professor & Chairperson, Center for Political Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, “Populism and anarchy are two different terms. 'Populism' is when a party or leader makes claims on behalf of people in general against the elite. A slogan like 'garibi hatao' is seen as populist. And 'Anarchism' is associated with a position which sees the state as morally illegitimate in governing lives of people, this position sees the state and government as coercive and argues that violent institutions must be abolished.”

Presently, Shiv Sena and MNS workers are vandalising toll booths across Maharashtra while demanding their removal. The reason they are giving behind their action is that these toll booths are troubling people a lot. This may be possible, but isn't it once again an example of populist anarchism?

If a political outfit wants to raise some issues concerning public then there are laid down procedures for that. Is it right to take the route of populist anarchism just for the sake of winning votes? Are political parties taking lead from Arvind Kejriwal to win the voters' heart? Is populist anarchism going to be the new mantra of politicos? How dangerous it could be for the country going ahead?

Vidhu Verma feels that, as the people don't believe in state institution, so the slogan of being anarchist sounds appealing to them, but it is not healthy.

“It can be dangerous if everyone believes that the state should be minimal and citizens must rely on themselves to govern; after all we need the state and its institutions for law and order and implementation of the public policies,” said Dr. Verma.

Dr. Nisar Ul Haq, a professor of political science at Jamia Milia Islamia university said that Kejriwal is the person who brought this topic of populist anarchy in public domain and did it to garner votes.

“It will harm the institutions, because institutions are near and dear to us. Institution should be strong, and our institution is very strong. You cannot bypass the institution and create another institution of dharnas and protest, and solve every problem through protests. This will really damage the institution, which are very long established in India and is very strong compared to other countries," said Dr. Haq.

Dr. Rumki Basu, from Jamia Millia Islamia said that populist anarchy will not work in long term, and people are using it for instant popularity.

“Sometimes, it gives you some kind of instant justice. But that cannot be a standard routine practice. If you keep using it constantly then it looses its appeal. It can lead to some anarchic situation, where everybody takes it up as a common method of getting things done, and obliviously it leads to some kinds of chaotic situation. So, constant use of this, is not recommended, at least not in a structured kind of democracy, like India," said Dr. Basu.

Both, Congress and BJP have hit out indirectly on the populist anarchy route taken by the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The angry new entrant of Indian politics sought to reignite the sympathy for the people in the masses, by branding him ‘anarchist’, which has been a populist theme throughout the world.

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