Why join a Political Party?

For the past few days, I have been reading up on the various circumstances for joining a political party if not to participate in the political process. This might seem contradictory. The thought arose while reading the news where continuous reference was made to Party workers. Who were these party workers? How did they become workers of a party? These are people who believe in the ideology of a political party but not with the intention of running for office of an elected representative. Right now most party workers seem to not have a venue to express their own thoughts anywhere.

The opinions of the party workers never seem to come through in any political party that is of any considerable influence. If you read party organs, they’re filled with the opinions of party leaders, who get space anyway to discuss and deliberate in the media. The main aim of the party organ should be to enable the party workers to pen down their thoughts. Then to it must not be for hero worship – which is in a sense slavery of one’s thoughts to a person. It is worse than even believing that God shall be our saviour.

The image of the party worker as a hooligan and nothing more than a stooge who listens to the diktats of the Party or Shaka chiefs must change. The role of the party organ must change from a place to worship the Party leaders to a place where party workers can offer contrarian well-thought of views and opinions backed by data. It must also change to a venue for party leaders to communicate decisions to party workers. India will become an even more vibrant democracy with the rise of “internal party democracy”.

Getting back to the question, Why join a political party. The only useful answer that I got was from the League of Women Voters of California website, which says thus:

If you join a political party you can elect members to the partycentral committee which governs the party. You can help to select theparty’s candidates and you can work to elect members of the party to politicaloffices. You are not required to work for the party, to contribute moneyto the party or to vote for the party’s candidates.

There is no document/article/journal entry written on this context written by an Indian clarifying the reasons one should consider joining any political parties. All political parties in India, excluding the Congress have prominent links on their main pages providing a venue to become a member of their party. The other parties do not explain their ideologies or reasons why you must join them – a feature practiced by business houses and non-profit societies. The Congress is even better since it does not have a way to join them. There is the Indian Youth Congress but there seem to be some sort of election to take membership in the same. There is no clarity at any rate.

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