AAP is the talk of the town! In fact many towns, many villages, though the latter needs to be ascertained. Television debates on every other subject related to governance, draws comparisons or corollaries with AAP and its moves. Newspaper headlines are captured by AAP, so much so as to prompt other party ideologues to refute it as ‘paid media’. Twitter hashtags and facebook updates have AAP written all over them since a long time now. The reality of a newly formed political outfit, translating rhetoric to required seats in assembly, believing and walking the talk of a radical change in style of politics; shifting the onus of power to the ‘common-man’, ‘mango-man’, ‘aam-aadmi’, listening to their pulse and acting accordingly, has begun to settle.
Perturbed nay-sayers, confused mouthpieces, doubting Thomases and suddenly-woken-up-from-a-slumber electorate are a common feature harboring on becoming a phenomenon these days. As a natural response, discrediting the newly formed Delhi government's socialist leaning schemes, tirade on the lines of damn-if-you-do, damn-if-you-don’t are afloat in plenty. Cautionary words are being written by ‘political watchers’. However all this while, AAP membership is exponentially rising, their political ambitions, and their ‘populist’ or ‘promised-in-manifesto’ schemes too, depending on which side of the fence you are.
Does AAP comprise of a set of novices, with left of the centre ideology, delivering through theatrics, who will ultimately trip over their own high wall of expectation? Or are these the new age netas who will take the subway to work, like few of their ilk in Germany or France, will make massive reforms to fight corruption and in the long run, and change the way politics works in India? Only time will stand testament to the above possibilities. But what is for certain is the fresh breeze of clean air that AAP has circulated in a space that is murky, congested with corruption, bred in family lineage, marketed with obnoxious muscle and money power. And this fresh air of change has ruffled feathers.
What did the fresh air bring along with it? Salient features which the common man makes a sense of, identifies with and desires for.
The credibility of its leader Arvind Kejriwal. The non-political lineage of its members. The humble backgrounds they belong to. No display of money or muscle in campaigns. The acceptance of non-VIP culture. The stance against corruption. The reclamation of faith that politics is to serve and there is a way to enter that arena. Door-to-door campaigns and finding top pressing local issues. The dire failure of mainstream political parties to find common ground with the distressed public. A cocktail of these above factors, punched with multiple other smaller components, has brought about an unprecedented positive response.
The Congress and BJP by discrediting AAP’s every move are only drawing the ire of common man, who seeks a positive change, but has been bogged down by lack of options. While a scale up at the national level may not happen for the forthcoming general elections, not because of anything else, but for logistical and organizational reasons; AAPs victorious endeavors in few pockets might create a stir in the political scene. Established systemic rot that parties have pulled since years will also take time to shake off.
These few words expressed here are just adding to the millions being written since few weeks on AAP. It is just an attempt to drive a few points across, from a common man, observer of political actions, in a developing with great potential India.
The greatest achievement of AAP is perhaps not making a government in Delhi, but breaking the barrier of entry into clean politics. The greatest challenge of AAP will not be killing corruption in one fell swoop but perhaps be fighting corruption at the level of that corrupt contractor or babu or various mafias. Its national ambitions might take time to realize, its realization in greater scheme of things might be another part of the story, but the fresh breeze it has brought along with it will find greater meaning if it can convert the established perverted systems to sync with that of the masses. That will be the real achievement of AAP.