Lage Raho Arvind Bhai

  • Atul Sobti
  • India
  • Jan 10, 2015

Yes, it’s AAP time again. Some may have left the bandwagon, but AAP politics is even more relevant now -  especially at the local level. Modi and BJP have made scarce difference at any local level, even in BJP-ruled States. Let us ask our Delhi brethren to give AAP a chance.

The big boys don’t want Kejriwal to upset their mutually convenient apple cart. There is coziness in their system. They seem to have agreed to look after their own – or at least their (opposite) leaders’ own. They don’t want anyone to talk of any change to the system, let alone a ‘kranti’ – or, horrors, an Indian Spring. 

We have cribbed for years and decades about the poor state of affairs in our daily lives. There is no point in our just extolling good men and women, and deeds,  from the scriptures (or Bollywood movies) – and goodness in general – if we continue to allow bad to happen under our noses. We now have the best instrument to help us significantly temper a local change. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) offers a clear, credible alternative. They have been at ground level for over 2 years now. They have men and women, good and skilled, to take on the status-quoist forces. The Aam Aadmi Party folks have walked the talk. They have robustly entered the poll arena. They may not have the ‘relevant’ political experience, but that is precisely the point – they offer the change that we want to see. The point is also not whether their agenda is the most comprehensive or clever – forget perfect. It is the intent, the motivation, that is critical. They, like most of us, want to ensure that the local is governed better. Let’s for once just stop pointing out what they could/should have done (since we always seem to know better – even about politics), and instead appreciate what they have already done in a fairly short time. We can always talk of why they may not succeed; it is time to accept that they can.

The Aam Aadmi Party candidates have been selected in a fairly transparent manner. The leaders of AAP seem to be men/women of integrity, who have made sacrifices for the public good (FG has already interviewed a few). They deserve a fair chance. We have, maybe by abstention, given chances to many unworthy candidates over decades. It is time we felt more responsible and accountable for our actions (or non-actions). We should not be so steeped in inertia that we do not want to be part of the change that India so desperately needs at the local level today. We should not be so lazy and insensitive to assume that we have no problem with daily corruption or crime as long as we can ‘manage’ it. We should have the guts to stay the course. We should support those valiant and determined AAP men and women who are trying their best, in a still murky scenario, to bring about a change at the local level. They seem the more honest, the more caring. They will never always be right, but they are a hell of a lot better than many in the political world today. We owe it to these good folk, and our souls, to stand solidly in their support – rather than find excuses to back away. Let the Capital city folk set in motion an aam aadmi oriented local (City and State) politics and governance in the country.

Kejriwal still strikes a chord with the public (though less with the media now). He has obviously done something right, to be taken so seriously by all. He has boldly gone where others have feared to tread. And why must he have readymade solutions for everything? Some will evolve. The big boys’ solutions are still evolving. Arvind Kejriwal, you are on the right karma and path - and that is what matters. 

The majority of the voters, the lower middle class and the poor, have been hammered by inflation for years now. Their food, electricity, transport, education and health bills have skyrocketed. They continue to live a poor life. There is hardly any job-creation taking place in Delhi – or even in Gurgaon now. Industry died decades ago. These frustrated, even angry, voters are looking for change. They are all Aam Aadmis. They would be more than happy to vote for one of their own; they have tried the others, in turn, and obtained little real benefit.

Do we really want Kejriwal to shift to a single scam – like corruption - focus? We surely must realise that this would mean Kejriwal just getting stuck on a legal case(s) for a decade(s), while the plunder would conveniently continue elsewhere. Let us also remember that even Anna’s high moral authority and single point focus could not ensure the passing of a Lokpal Bill.


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