Sunday, January 19, 2014

Don't Underestimate The Power of A Common Man ! !

Well, I do not normally blog on core politics and this is my first one. I am an Aam Admi (common man, not a party member) of India :), who loves news channels at 9 for their shows by Rajdeep Sardesai, Barkha Dutt, Arnab and the like for their better comedy than 'Comedy nights with Kapil'.

Common Man of R. K. Laxman

Lot has been tweeted, shared, liked (sad that FB doesn't have 'hate', 'disagree', 'sad' buttons yet), blogged on the functioning of AAP, so much so that even if Arvind Kejriwal sneezes it becomes a sensation.

I remember, sometime in 2010, my neighbour inviting me for the Lokpal movement and march happening at the Freedom park in Bangalore. Anna Hazare was in news, and it was during that time I started reading and hearing about Arvind Kejriwal. After that I have seen the movement on-and-off with the events that followed. I did not follow the pre-election news and it was a surprise when AAP had won a good number of seats in Delhi. I am sure lot of others were surprised as well. This was not expected. A good job done by AAP. Winning these many seats for a party which is less than 2 year old is indeed a big thing, and that too a state which was ruled by Congress for ten years or more.

Two things, according to me, has made this happen. One, Delhi as a place/state had lot of issues which could really engage the activists. It did have burning issues in the past two years for which the previous government did not/could not do anything substantial. Here, AAP had a significant role in getting involved in social causes and gained people's confidence. Second, Delhi is the capital as well as a small state. So all the political buzz starts here, and as I understand it had lot of scams in hand, alleged corruption in govt. office etc., which again strengthened AAP's position.

I think even the AAP top team would not have imagined that they would win so many seats in the elections, forget forming the government. Now that they have, and this making lot of accomplished professionals joining the party along with lakhs of common men and women, AAP has really come into limelight. Sounds like a fairy tale, or Rajnikath movie. Previous year beaten by Police, this year Chief minister.

Now, coming to the controversies against AAP that they are friends of Congress, unclear about policies and governance, anarchists etc. Well, I feel certain things could be true, while others are speculations.

On being friends of Congress - I happened to see and read many posts and news items on this, and thought - 'Could be'. Well, we cannot rule out anything in today's world. I happened to see the interview of Arvind Kejriwal with Rajdeep and Barkha in their respective channels. From what Arvind Kejriwal was talking, the way he was responding, I think he has substance. His clarity of thought seems to be good, and he responds to the allegations quite maturely. He looks grounded and doesn't seem to be backing, or being backed by anyone.

About being unclear about policies and governance - Could be. But we will have to give it to AAP. Like I said, they wouldn't have imagined this state would come where they will form the government. So they would not have had discussed in depth on economic policies, national issues, and their stand on various other things in detail. Let us be fair and give them some time to come out with their agenda. With what they have done in 3 weeks, looks like we can expect something, while I do agree that they seem to be in a hurry. May be they are still transitioning from their activist role to governing role. Takes time.

Till yesterday I was unsure about AAPs future. Thought that they will create this hype for few months, and fade away after that once they are out of government but still remain activists. After seeing today's interview, I am quite impressed, to be frank, the way Arvind faced the questions and the way he responded. If the same clarity drills down to the party ministers and office bearers then there is hope. Party members and volunteers can have their views and opinions but it is critical for the office bearers and spokespersons to have this clarity.

I do feel that they should have focused on Delhi now, not wanting to contest for Lok Sabha elections. All they can do is grab few seats, which otherwise would have gone to BJP as I do not believe Congress do not stand much chance this time. But again, it is better to ride the wave that is created now, take advantage of it to create a nation-wide presence, and grow the party. So may be it is okay.

I do not see a PM in Arvind for sure, and I see that in Modi, though I believe BJP is also tainted with corruption. I would say that if the necessities of nation are being met (curb inflation, generate employment, develop infrastructure, and control corruption) then who rules is not a big issue. Congress has proved that they can't. Now BJP can try. But with corruption it is again doubtful, but could be better.

My only wish for AAP is that while scaling up in number and spreading across the country, their core principles and value should not get diluted. After all, they are also human beings with minds. Power, position and money gives a better kick than anything else.

Jai Hind !

I will vote. Will you?