“Imagine you stop at a roundabout to ask for directions to a particular place. The man at a nearby puncture shop will not know the way but out of nowhere, a ‘pappu’ will step out and say, ‘So, where do you want to go?’ and he will promptly send you in the exact opposite direction of where you intended to go.”

According to former Aam Aadmi Party member Yogendra Yadav, this is the situation that India finds itself in right now. He calls it a “very Indian kind of crossroad” because “we have a pappu who cannot tell you where to go” and “we have a very confident person who wants to send you exactly in the opposite direction”.

At an event in Goa, Yadav delivered a four-part analysis: Where do we stand today? How did we come where we have come? Why did we reach this state of affairs? Where do we go from here?

He began by outlining the crisis facing the country. “It’s not just that Narendra Modi is the prime minister or someone like him is the PM. It’s not just the kind of decisions made by the Censor Board or the kind of people who are sitting on it. It’s not only that situations like the Dadri lynching take place. It’s not that the currency changes and the ones who make the decision cannot think of the farmers, labourers. The crisis is much deeper.”

While speaking about the changing discourse and political ideals in the country, Yadav said, “Sixty years ago, India wasn’t a powerful nation on the world stage but even then, the leaders had something to say, they had a voice. Today, when our socio-economic, political, strategic clout is greater, at this moment, when our prime minister speaks, what he speaks is a poor, faded copy of what other powerful nations speak.”

Yadav concluded by talking about how politics must be reinvented. “Politics has died because we have limited it to the electoral arena,” Yadav said.