(Pic courtesy : english.manoramaonline.com via Google)
The Aam Aadmi Party astounded everybody last December, by winning 28 seats in the New Delhi polls. They virtually made the ruling Congress party eat dust with the Congress being reduced to a paltry 8 seats in the elections. People were ecstatic, for there was actually a hope that there was indeed a viable alternative to the existing Congress / UPA (who have proved themselves to be exceedingly inept at governance) and the BJP (who, represented by an authoritarian fascist, religious zealot, is sure to send the country spiralling downwards with his caste based fanaticism). AAP loomed large, their larger than life picture giving hope to millions as a possible alternative to the two existing political parties.
Right now, to state that India has a functioning government, would be a joke of the highest order. Simply put, right now, there is no governance in the country, there has been none for quite some time now. Politicians and their close relatives are busy making money and filling their pockets with the various cock eyed schemes that have been in the offing without any benefits whatsoever to the common man. Corruption reigns supreme in virtually any government body, so much so that it has almost become an accepted form of getting things to work. Ministers and their relatives are breaking laws with impunity, safe in the knowledge that they will not be held accountable or even questioned over their dubious actions. The country continues to be unsafe for women, with things not having changed in the least bit, even after the large number of protests and the hue and cry that the women raised in public. The scariest aspect of this whole thing is that despite all these major problems and shortcomings, no one seems to be bothered in the least. Common man suffers, the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. The crevasse is wider and deeper than ever.
Arvind Kejriwal did strike the proper chords with the Indian public which is totally and thoroughly sick and disgusted with the country being mired and stuck with a government that turns a blind eye towards virtually everything, with the country being sucked into this bottomless pit of corruption. In the light of all this, AAP barged on to the political scene, pretty much like the proverbial breath of fresh air. About a month later, the question that is now being asked is “Where is the AAP headed, does it have any or atleast some sense of direction ?”.
His attempt at holding a Janta Darbar ended up in absolutely chaos and confusion. But then again, why a Janta Darbar ? This whole drama reminded me of one of those Akbar Birbal comic books – where the praja go to the king to air their grievances and seek a solution. In the 21st century, does India or more importantly, does the common man in the country really need to be taken back to this centuries old custom ? The ruler and the ruled ? Is that the image AAP really wishes to portray. This whole Janta Darbar thing sounds like something that would suit the likes of Narendra Modi – who consider themselves a God given gift to humanity in general and India in particular. Modi has deluded himself into believing that he is a god like entity and that he has his praja or “his people” under him. Coming from the AAP, especially given the fact that Kejriwal is an educated IIT graduate with a number of educated people supporting him, this whole Janta Darbar thing simply reeked of populism.
The question foremost on the minds of the people now is whether AAP has any long term plan of action for the country. A month into power, the AAP still looks at the “agitation mode” towards sorting out issues and problems plaguing the country. Yesterday, they almost brought Delhi to a state of chaos whilst protesting “AAP style”, demanding the dismissal of five policemen who refused to follow orders to bust a drug and prostitution racket. While the sentiment towards bringing corrupt officials to book is right, the mode of implementation leaves a lot to be desired. Four of Delhi’s metro stations had to be shut down yesterday, traffic spilled over onto the streets and who ended up paying and suffering – the Aam Aadmi – the common man.
One is pretty much sure that most of their actions stem from the fact that the LS elections are but a few months away. Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP built their premise on the basis of an image – that of a corruption free country but that image is fast fading from the minds of the people, the common man while they battle with the hardships of life on a daily basis. While providing an image as a platform is good, what is also essential is to back up that image with a well-planned, well laid out system with visions which aim at the long term picture.
Unfortunately, given the pace at which news travels in today’s world, thanks to the manifold social media websites that are the lifeline of communication today, Mr.Kejriwal does not have the luxury of time or of a honeymoon period in which to prove his ability to streamline the political and governmental structures in the country, towards a corruption free India.
I am sure his intentions are good but whether Mr.Kejriwal and the AAP will be able to follow through in terms of actually putting plans into action, with an efficient working system in place, without letting power get to their heads and corrupt their minds, remains to be seen.