Day 3: Hope

It’s been a while since I wrote on political happenings. But then it has been a while since something so envigorating has happened.

Yes,I am talking about the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP). They have done what was seemingly impossible – brought in a fresh wave of honesty and accountability into Indian politics. Despite all the nay-sayers, they managed to get such a huge number of seats. For a first time party, I think it was stupendous. The icing on the cake is, of course, the fact that they have done all the right things as soon as they started governance. And for a change, it does seem that we are talking about the ‘governing party’, as opposed to the ‘ruling party’ that we had been talking about.

Are all their policies right? Well, they seem to be alright to me, but then I am no expert. However, what I do think is that they do have their heart in the right place. If their policies are not effective enough, I do think that they would be open to changes/criticism to ensure that they do what they set out to do. So far, not only have they done what they promised about the water and electricity charges, they have also tackled huge issues of night shelters in Delhi, things which previous governements did little about. News like the manner in which the young minister, Rakhi Birla has already set about her job, is so heartening to read. For once, we can see the will to do things rather than politicians waxing eloquent about stuff and not doing a thing that actually matters( à la Rahul Gandhi, for instance). Are they perfect? Of course not. But they are pretty much as perfect as it gets at this point in time.

It feels like the dawn of a new era. Which is probably why the old time politicians have suddenly started to get edgy, uncomfortable. I find it funny that parties like the Congress which have had so many years to do all this, are now trying to ensure that AAP does what it promises to do, in 2 days. And BJP seeing how AAP could cut into their vote share, is all jittery and will do anything to discredit AAP(not that they are succeeding, they just sound childish and silly).

While I can understand the politicians reacting this way, I find it hard to understand people like you and me being cynical about AAP. I wonder how our expectations are so low from the other parties and yet, we are so demanding from this fledging party, which is trying its best to stem the rot that has been part of the system for so many years. At the very least, I would say AAP is forcing the other parties to adopt austerity measures and talking of things that so far was never even discussed. While I do understand that there have always been upright, non-corrupt, austere people across parties, the true difference in AAP is the fact that it is the party line. It is their way of life, while in other parties they are more the exception than the norm.

Also, AAP has forced the debate on the things that actually matter. We are now talking about the basic needs that our governments of the past have not bothered to address, and seeing the way AAP is taking action, it is clear that things can be done when there is political will. And my hope is that having had a taste of governance, the people of India will refuse to let good governance and accountability be a dormant option going forward. Hate them or love them, there is no doubt that AAP has changed the way people viewed politics.

Of course, not everybody sees them with the rosy glasses I have on, but I can only speak for myself and I have to say that AAP makes me hopeful. AAP gives me that hope that politics will not remain the refuge of the scoundrel. People like you and me could join and work for the country, if we so wished to. Hope, for a better future for our country, that is what AAP stands for, for me. And for that, I am grateful.