Lessons that political parties need to learn from Aam Aadmi Party

Wednesday, 8 January 2014 - 8:58am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The Aam Aadmi Party has taught India’s political classes some pretty important lessons and it would be wise on their part to heed some of them. They can be in denial if they wish but that won’t help them find the berth they are looking for in the May 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

To my mind, below are some of the key lessons:
The nation is tired of the arrogance and brazenness with which our political classes have run the country: They have been rulers rather than representatives. That will need to change. They will need to listen and respond. Not just listen and ignore. India has changed. The average Indian wants accountability not just the façade of one. So both our national parties would need to engage all the time rather than once every five years.

This country has moved beyond dynasties. It is finally embracing democracy in the truest sense. So those in the BJP or the Congress believe they have entitlement need to think again. We as a country couldn’t be bothered about what surname you have as long as you promise what is right and deliver within the timeframe you’ve promised.

Please don’t dismiss simple living as a concept that is populist. It is not. People are tired of seeing elected representatives live in fancy houses; ignore the plight of the poor and suck up to those who are more powerful and important than them. People in this country want to see a Gandhism Version 2.0, which Arvind Kejriwal is propounding. The red beacon is a symbol of hatred for civil behavior and a false sense of importance. People love to see their representatives standing in queues and taking public transport. Like in life, in politics too, people cosy up to those who are ‘just like us’. So don’t be dismissive of all of this because times have changed.

Don’t bother telling us who your Prime Ministerial candidate will be. We don’t give a toss.

Tell us what you will do to take this country out of a morass that has been of your making.

And stop blaming the United States and Pakistan for all our ills. You caused them and what would be wise is if you stood up and took responsibility for it.

This country is tired of corruption and don’t for a moment believe we don’t know where the money is going. We do but we are so helpless that we cannot stem this tide of corruption.

We now know that the power discoms were cheating the people of Delhi: they need to be severely punished. And this is not an act against Corporate India: this is action against corporate marauders who believed they could get away with corruption at their core. We are not stupid not to see your riches or for that matter how you favour some at the cost of the many. The people of India were in a minority until  December 28, 2013. That has changed. We are the people. And we are the majority.

Finally, this is not a flash in the pan. This is serious stuff and this is spreading. But unlike cancer, it will not kill. It will help India be re-born as the country, which we should have always been. Of, by and for the people. Not of, by and for some of the thugs who are in Parliament and in our Legislatures. Remember this is a movement that needs no leader.

So whether Arvind Kejriwal stands for the Lok Sabha or not is not important. What is critical for you both parties to know is that the AAP will garner at least 80 to 100 seats in the next Lok Sabha. If nothing else, this should give you some sleepless nights just like many of our poor have been spending sans even night shelters.

So wake up and smell the coffee. The revolution has arrived. It is no longer on its way.


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