Today saw the swearing-in of the Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal as Delhi's latest and youngest chief minister. And this is a big turning point for Indian politics.
The Aam Aadmi Party (translating to common man's party) or AAP came into existence in November 2012 and was met with a wave of widespread skepticism. Even I was a skeptic at first. And as I see it, there were two reasons for the disbelief.
First up were the skeptics in the political circles. They obviously didn't want a "corruption-cleansing" party among the ranks to protect their own interests. When you are thriving because the system is dirty, you don't want it to be cleaned.
The other skeptics were the everyday people like you and me. Here was a party with absolutely no track record and it needed a leap of faith from people to believe in them. But the good thing was, there were individuals ready to take the leap.
Personally, I wasn't ready to show belief either. The AAP didn't have my support. I wanted Narendra Modi to become the next Prime Minister. No, I am not a BJP supporter. All the political parties in the country are hypocrites. Seeing Mr. Modi's track record in Gujarat, I supported him because I thought that he could kick-start our economy which is in the doldrums. Poverty, hunger, and the like can only be dealt with when the economy is in good health. Not when it is in the intensive care unit like right now.
And then, Delhi elections happened. I was expecting the AAP to score in single digits. Happily, that happened to the Congress. With the AAP giving the BJP and the Modi factor a run for their money, I took notice, and I was ready to rethink who I am going to support.
Of course, the AAP isn't perfect. Nobody is. And they still have to prove themselves. But now, I am ready to take the leap of faith and support this new style of governance. A style of governance which vindicates the principles of democracy by listening to the voice of the common man, the aam aadmi.
It is a good thing that the Aam Aadmi Party doesn't have any partisan ideologies to divide the public and capture specific vote banks. Their only vote bank is the people. And their only ideology is Swaraj - one of self-governance, equality and community building. Frankly, we have had enough of pseudo-secularism, saffronism, and leftism.
It is sad that already the AAP is being targeted by the other parties on foreign funding when they have already come clean once. Let's look at your funding statistics, Congress and BJP, shall we?
It is time for the political parties to eat humble pie and accept the winds of change blowing against them. Also, the AAP should refrain from making dramatic promises like the power issue as it might not be as simple as it appears to be.
I hope they do well in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, but I honestly feel that they will not become the majority party. It would be too much too soon for such a young party. I would rather see them as the principal opposition to what is looking like a Narendra Modi-led government. Let Modi show us what he has got and come 2019, I think the AAP has a damn good chance of showing itself.
The Aam Aadmi Party has shown it can take the challenge and I just hope, that after 10 years, it remains the way it is today. Hopefully, it can put up resistance against the curse of corruption.
Nevertheless, the Aam Aadmi has arrived for the Aam Aadmi, and it is time to celebrate a new era in Indian democracy. I just hope that in the name of serving the poor, they don't bring back socialism and Marxism.