5 observations from An Insignificant Man that caught attention:
1. Probably this was the first and the last documentary ever in India of this kind; In general, no political party (especially the likes of INC, BJP. SP, AIADMK and so on) would never be comfortable to allow the level of access the Directors of this movie got.
Aam Aadmi Party’s emergence and the process how it shaped us are probably what each and every Political Party has gone through; Considering Janta Dal or BJP both came out of some socio-political revolution of their times.
2. It is super difficult to make a political documentary which comes out to be unbiased. This movie presents the positives, the mistakes, the turmoil and the internal balancing a political party went through. No doubt, The Censor Board even had an issue with this movie and wanted approval of The Prime Minister of India (PMO India) for a movie release.
3. Idealism is probably not a sustainable trait at least in Politics. This is one phrase which has been repeated by Yogendra Yadav multiple times in the movie and shows that how can a political party only aspire to be ideal but there would be crossroads every day when they would have to mould and compromise.
4. As a CEO of a company or a political party, one needs to know when the situations are out of hands if your friend or even a co-founder should leave; those are never easy decisions in both of the circumstances. When egos and opinions clash, turmoil is bound to happen and the exits of Yogendra Yadav + Prashant Bhushan were bound to cause a lot of fumes.
‘Hard things about Hard Things’ is one of the most famous books in startup world written by Ben Horowitz where he says
‘’Sometimes an organization doesn’t need a solution; it just needs clarity.’’ — Probably this holds equally true for a political organisation too?
“Hard things are hard because there are no easy answers or recipes. They are hard because your emotions are at odds with your logic. They are hard because you don’t know the answer and you cannot ask for help without showing weakness.”
5. Last but one of the most important points is how we look at the democracy and how philosophers and its creators in past have looked at it. A lot of debate went around the clip of Angry Arvind Kejriwal when the Party Workers were arguing about their right to decide the final candidate where AK said what about his opinion and would he have a choice to do rallies or not. This raises an even important and bigger question of looking democracy with curtains and in binary Yes/No form and how should our lenses and filters judge/define merits of the decision makers. This also questions the approach of AAP that whether it will be realistic in future to ask people to vote everytime the Party has to make a decision.
Here is an interesting story about views of Socrates on Democracy:
‘In the dialogues of Plato, the founding father of Greek Philosophy — Socrates — is portrayed as hugely pessimistic about the whole business of democracy. In Book Six of The Republic, Plato describes Socrates falling into conversation with a character called Adeimantus and trying to get him to see the flaws of democracy by comparing a society to a ship. If you were heading out on a journey by sea, asks Socrates, who would you ideally want deciding who was in charge of the vessel? Just anyone or people educated in the rules and demands of seafaring? The latter, of course, says Adeimantus, so why then, responds Socrates, do we keep thinking that any old person should be fit to judge who should be a ruler of a country? Socrates’s point is that voting in an election is a skill, not a random intuition. And like any skill, it needs to be taught systematically to people. Letting the citizenry vote without an education is as irresponsible as putting them in charge of a trireme sailing to Samos in a storm.’
A small video on above differences of Socrates on Democracy.