With the promise of eradicating corruption from the system, Arvind Kejriwal launched his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). However, will the party be able to strengthen the country’s deteriorating democratic fabric and governance? Also, the phrase ‘Aam Aadmi’ is synonymous with the Congress party since 1885, so is it right for Kejriwal to stake claim on the phrase to name his political party? Speak Up finds out...
Congress has been deceiving people
The launch of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) by anti-corruption crusader-turned-politician, Arvind Kejriwal, will certainly strengthen the democratic governance and fabric of the country, if it comes to power. So far as I see, Kejriwal’s objectives are clean with no personal vested interests and he is working for a big cause. The only thing is that they haven’t discussed about the citizen charter.
The Congress party has been deceiving and cheating people. They started various projects using the term ‘aam aadmi’ but the reality is that no benefits have ever reached the common man. People are now aware that political parties use such deceptive terminology for their own selfish reasons. There is nothing wrong in Kejriwal using the term ‘aam aadmi’, it will not carry the hangover of Congress’s misdeeds.
Jugal Rathi, Convener, Sajak Nagrik Manch
People support corrupt parties
As per my experience of the elections held in Pune, I have grave doubt about whether Kejriwal’s party will make any dent in the overall governance of the country. The deterioration in the country’s democratic process is mainly because of rampant corruption in the system. The politicians even at the local level are bribing the public in exchange for votes. It is a tragedy that those people who are against corruption end up supporting such parties and don’t give a chance to honest leaders. For example, Pune Nagarik Sanghatana (PNS) started by city’s Vivek Velankar, which had their members nominated for the last civic election, not only lost their deposits but also the election despite many citizens pledging to support them.
However, if Kejriwal’s party gets elected then it is possible for him to make a difference, which will be an uphill task. Already, social activist Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal have divided their followers by parting ways. Kejriwal has played a googly by using the term aam aadmi, undercutting the Congress party for sure.
SCN Jatar, President, Nagrik Chetna Manch
Bring in health and education reforms
Now that Kejriwal has already staked claim to the phrase aam aadmi, the fact of the matter is how will the common man be projected through the Congress slogan? I don’t think it is going to work out, Kejriwal should have come up with some other name for his party. Instead of using the term aam aadmi or wearing Gandhi caps, Kejriwal should have been more innovative and brought out something new.
Today, what the common man needs is health care and education. The condition of our government hospitals are pathetic and what is available at private hospitals is beyond the reach of the aam aadmi. Instead of just shouting about eradicating corruption, Kejriwal should concentrate on exposing religious trusts in our country, where there is a huge accumulation of the nation’s wealth, which is all the common man’s money. If Kejriwal is keen on improving the overall condition of society, he should concentrate on health and education reforms. He has to come up with solutions, which will directly benefit the common man.
Lt Col (retd) Suresh Patil, Founder President, Justice for Jawan
Kejriwal can stand against repression
The Congress party does not own the copyright to the phrase ‘aam aadmi’, anybody can use it. The public believes in Kejriwal and they will support his party. It is true that the slogan ‘Congress ka hath aam aadmi ke saath’ is synonymous with the Congress party, but hardly any benefits were ever passed on to the common man. Why would the common man not appreciate what Kejriwal is doing, which is disclosing corruption scams one after another?
Kejriwal is the common man’s mouthpiece, voicing the public’s sentiments. Today, none of us have the guts to stand in front of a corporator and ask him/her about the work done. Kejriwal, however, has proved that he can fight against any repressive force. It is a different question as to how successful Kejriwal’s party will be in achieving its goals. It is too early to predict Aam Admi Party’s future as it has just began its journey and still needs to get well-versed with political games.
Ateeque Shaikh, President, Yuvak Kranti Dal
AAP is making false promises
I see Kejriwal’s move to name his party Aam Admi as just an effort to experiment with words and nothing more. Just by using the term aam aadmi and without clarifying who is this ‘aam aadmi’ is not going to work. It is not that Kejriwal is doing anything different in politics. The big question is will he be able to break the vote bank of the opposition parties by taking no sides. I see Kejriwal’s political party making empty promises just like any other party. When he says we are with the aam aadmi, he means the middle-class society and does not include the poor. The middle class is the civic society who just talks about politics but is not really involved in it. The poor and the repressed groups of society are the ones who protest and they are not going to support the Kejriwal party.
Prakash Pawar, Political Science Professor and Political Analyst