Saturday, January 11, 2014

Why I decided to support AAP?

Last month results of assembly elections in five states in India were declared, most results were as expected except for result of India's national capital New Delhi, there a rookie party AAP came second, surprisingly it won 28 seats, only 8 short from getting absolute majority in 70 member assembly. Their phenomenal success surprised many including me, I expected some impact by them but unexpectedly they created a huge impact, it was so huge that now there is a government by AAP managing administration of Delhi. During that election I did one thing which I never do during any election, I openly supported AAP, I endorsed this party openly and even campaigned for them via phone calls to Delhi voters, this was the first time I campaigned for any political party directly. I voted many times during various elections (state, national, municipal) in India, I voted for different parties in different elections, I never supported any single party blindly, my choice was based on situation and need of that time, during local elections I voted for Shivsena candidate even I don't agree with many of their policies or their ideology, I voted for them just because their local candidate was really helpful and supportive to our entire neighborhood, like wise I chose different parties at different levels (state, national, etc.). I was impressed by honesty and youthfulness of Rajiv when he entered in politics, VP Singh's anti corruption drive attracted me, Manmohan Singh's economic policies after 1991 created lot of change and hope, Vajpayee's honesty and sincerity impressed me, even I had really high hopes from Manmohan Singh as PM of India, not every time I was right or my expectations were fulfilled but I was never (and still I am not) die hard fan of any one political leader or party. I support good candidate or policy, it doesn't matter from which party they come. So why I decided to support AAP this time? What made me to change my stand of not supporting any party openly, why I didn't keep my political inclination a private affair this time?

During every election campaign all parties promise so many things which they never even try to fulfill, they try to field winnable candidates, they even field candidates with very questionable background just because they have power and capacity to fight or win elections, every major political (state or national) party does these things there are very few exceptions to this. From the beginning AAP was different than all of them, first they declared their all funding sources and amount, everything was available online for anyone to check till date no other political party in India did this, it seems they have too much to hide, AAP was first to do it. AAP was also the first party to disqualify their candidate from their party when they found some corruption charges against that candidate, they did this even after the deadline of withdrawing nominations expired, this was again a unique step. Like this they showed their uniqueness and transparency from the beginning, all these things were enough for me to believe in their sincerely. I don't agree with some of their populist policies, I am even not sure if they will live up to all expectations, but at least they are trying and they are trying sincerely and that's the main reason I support them, I am also not expecting any overnight change, it will be very long and difficult battle with many ups and downs. In past many parties which came out of some movement and claimed to work to deliver social justice immediately surrendered to current political system and became integral part of it once they got power, they didn't even try to change the system. Now they all are busy in navigating their way to the top using same old techniques and methods, AAP didn't do this, and this is what made me to support them.

This was first time I felt that any political party in India is not playing politics of caste and religion during election, this was for the first time when some party talked about over all system reform not just offering good rule, as Amir Khan said in one of his interviews this was for the fist time when some party promised not to offer a good 'rule' but to act as people's representative and execute what people want. This was for the first time when any party did referendum to ask people whether they should form a government with outside support of the party against which they fought the election (this was done because it was major change of policy). This party seems to care what people like me think, they seem to listen to our demands, they didn't go and settle in VIP culture after getting elected, they look very accessible and approachable. For the first time people seem to have power to challenge the government, ask questions, demand action and pull it down if they don't like their work. For the first time any CM has to change his official residence because many people disapprove his choice, many see this incident as a weakness and lack of leadership for me it was walking the talk (remember their promise that people are in charge). For the first time ministers declined the security cover (however personally I feel this is unnecessary), for the first time ministers won't travel in cars with red beacons. Some politicians practiced many of these things individually but for the first time any political party included these things in their rule book and followed it. For me these things are enough to show that currently this party is different than many others out there and as long as they remain different, don't deviate form their path I will support them. For me no one is untouchable in politics so form which party they take support is not important as long as they follow their own agenda. The day they deviate from their path, engage in same old tactics, become totally corrupt I will be the first to question them, I will be the first to criticize and oppose them because my support is not blind and unconditional, I am not a devotee but just a supporter who is with them to built great and prosperous nation.

Actually I am waiting for the day when all other parties will become totally transparent in their activities and policies, field clean candidates, try to fulfill their election promises, and if presence of AAP forces them to do this then I think this will be greatest contribution by AAP to Indian politics. If this happens then uniqueness of AAP will diminish and every other party will become like AAP, there will be competition to provide honest and non corrupt governance to people and that will be true democracy. I wait for that day, I hope AAP stays on its path till then if they deviate or change their direction drastically they will loose support of me and many people like me, it might happen as nothing is guaranteed but as always I am optimistic.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]


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