Nobody has so far dared accuse the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of having ill intentions. While the detractors say the party lacks knowledge and experience and is shying away from responsibility, the genuine critics doubt its sustainability. “Will they be able to sustain the momentum,” is the million dollar question even for its lakhs of supporters. The party, by emerging second in race to the 70-member Delhi assembly, has created euphoria in the world’s biggest democracy. Online donations are coming across from various states and foreign countries. While some donated Rs 10, 20, 100, 500 and so on, there are people who donated up to Rs 25,000-Rs 30,000, accumulating around Rs 5 lakh per day!
The party has remained different, embarrassing the political rivals right from the day it decided to fight the electoral battle. Arvind Kejriwal was no wrong to claim that the support offered by a political party to another for government formation without being offered any cash or kind is unprecedented and it’s all because of AAP. This, if not with malicious intention, is an example of an ideal democracy.
The country has become so adjusted with the politics of compromise that idealistic thoughts sound unrealistic. Giving electricity at half rate and making water available to all in Delhi is the wildest dream for even a hard core AAP supporter, let alone the Congress and BJP. But the question is that if there is a judicious way of fulfilling the AAP promises, even till half way, shall we not call it a humble beginning to a stronger democracy?
Skeptics cite sweeping victories of Telegu Desam Party and Asom Gana Parishad in the past, only to perish like pack of cards with little chance of recovery in near future. Yes, the history is against AAP. The party may fall the way it came up. However, there is a difference between rise of other parties and AAP. They had won elections on state-specific issues mostly related to ethnicity, race or religion. But this party has grown out of an anti-corruption movement, which was never seen in the country’s history. Though there had been toppling of governments on corruption issues, they referred to particular scandals pinpointing at some individual politicians or parties, and not as a whole. The room for skepticism is there even in case of the most honest person on the earth because money can do ‘wonders’. But shall we not keep aside the skepticism for some time for the sake of this young brigade, who are yet to be dubbed “power hungry”, even by the enemies.
(Published in The Meghalaya Guardian as editorial on December 20, 2013)