This LS 2014 Elections ... will you, the voter, make a promise ?

“The AAP will make no promises to you. Instead it will ask you to make a promise. This time you will not cast your vote on the basis of kinship. You will forget caste; you will drive away the distributors of alcohol and money. AAP has not come to ask you for your vote. If there is anything we ask of you, it is to have faith in yourselves; and to listen to the voice of your soul. This election is not about the victory or defeat of political parties; it is about victory or defeat within ourselves. In front of the voting machine, we must think of the future of our children, the future of our city and our dreams for the future of our country.” Short link

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The People of AAP

The hundred rupees tucked in our driving licenses. The chai-pani. The broken roads. The long lines. The decrepit poor. The sweaty, stifling power cuts. The bathrooms crowded with stored water. The rapes. The elected criminals, hoodlums, mobsters, felons. Thugs.
I complained and whined. I wanted an India without any of these things. I argued (weakly) with an electricity board officer, screamed at a man who paid money to avoid the queue and questioned politicians on Twitter. But, basically, I was a middle-class girl who wanted no trouble. Confrontations and protests were unnecessary, complaining and whining was safe and respectable.
Things did change for a curt few months of the Anna Movement. Later, when the Lokpal Bill was forgotten, nobody cried. Nobody questioned the politicians. The media milked the issue one last time – Barkha concluded, Sagarika muddled, Arnab yelled, Rajdeep nodded, Rahul tried. New hashtags were typed. I felt helpless and powerless. Maybe it wasn’t worth caring about or protesting again. Maybe I should pay taxes, work hard and focus on enjoying my life like the lakhs of people who are born here and learn to navigate their lives around the corruption and filth.
Then, somebody spoke. A group of Indians who had for many years been working to repair this democracy. They were RTI activists, Lokpal activists, lawyers who fought for the poor, wounded war veterans, womens’ issues advocates, environmental activists and people who had committed their lives to fight corruption. We’ve tried everything and nothing has worked, they said. We will now clean the system from inside. We will fight the 2013 Delhi elections.
This group made plans and manifestos that we always believed would clean India. They spoke the truth. They calmly got to work. All my conversations and thoughts and hair-pulling (my own) about corruption suddenly meant something. This is what we’ve been waiting for all our lives, I told friends and family. The people in this group have already done more for this country than any elected politician has during the last ten years. This group gave people like me the opportunity to demand and choose an honest government. People will have to be crazy not to support them, I said.
There were many crazy people. These crazy people called the group “naive,” “delusionary,” “inexperienced,” “jokers,” “vote-cutters,” “criminals” and “backstabbers.” These crazy people might not have been paying attention, maybe they suffered from a twisted Stockholm Syndrome and were unable to break away from long-standing politicians, or maybe they had vested interests. The media got to work milking. Barkha concluded, Sagarika muddled, Arnab yelled, Rajdeep nodded, Rahul tried. New hashtags were typed.
But, there were many people who stepped forward to back this group. They calmly got to work. They persuaded neighbours and they made phone calls. They wrote, tweeted and Facebooked. They moved from cities and countries to support this group. They gave up hobbies, jobs, savings and family-time to execute this group’s plans. The number of Indians who put their country’s interests before their own was staggering. We were a team. We were no longer lulled into powerlessness and helplessness. We took an unpaid leave from our factory job to campaign door-to-door, we made our husband get us a bluetooth so that we could Call Delhi while cooking lunch, we woke up at 4.a.m. in London so that we could put in a few hours daily to help the team, and we cancelled train tickets to our village at an unaffordable penalty fee to be in town to vote for the Aam Aadmi Party. We were arrested, injured and killed; and we kept going.
I don’t know what future holds. But what I know is that the past months have introduced me to India’s best. The Aam Aadmi Party has displayed the confidence that glows through honest humans. The Aam Aadmi Party has proved that truth is the best argument against clumsy allegations, charges and conspiracies. The Aam Aadmi Party and their volunteers have brought me closer to my people. By attracting this group of supporters, they’ve separated the wheat from the chaff, the law-abiding from the convenience-seekers, the honourable from the religious bigots, and the good citizens from the bad citizens. (Twitter trolls included, of course.) My Indians believe that it is worth fighting for.
I now see my people everywhere. They are in the buses and trains with me. They are in the cars stuck in this traffic jam. They are among actors, writers, journalists and singers. They are on the internet and in offices. They are in the gym and at the movies. They are selling tea. They are selling insurance. They are buying vegetables and they are eating dinner at the table next to mine. I am no longer alone.
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1 comment:

  1. You don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate! If you want our Country to achieve its potential, Vote for #Clean #Governance!