Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why I am voting for Aam Aadmi Party

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Dear Friends,

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In 1999, while doing a part time job during college, one noon sitting in office I read an article on some political outfit started by some ex-IITians. They had named it Parivarthan (Change). In an era where Laloo Yadav beamed from television screens, I remember marveling at the thought of qualified professionals entering politics but smugly wondered at what few guys can do to an established, strong fortress of a system. What I didn't remember reading was the name of the guy who started it – Arvind Kejriwal.

Today Arvind Kejriwal has stormed into this corrupt political bastion with the fearlessness of a suicide bomber. Sections of all the pillars of democracy (judiciary, politicians, administrative and the media) are working overtime to bring him down. The corrupted system unlike the large sections of the Indian populace clearly understands Kejriwal. For the CORRUPT system, Kejriwal is cancerous - hence they are using the radiation of scrutiny to burn AAP's progress before it spreads through the country and kills them.

Otherwise, can anyone explain the media scrutiny of a party that the media itself claims will get only 4 seats? The relentless attacks by senior leaders from BJP, Congress, and Shiv Sena, etc. on a party who they claim will not win any seat outside Delhi. Why are all of them scared of Kejriwal? Why is the unintentional falling of 2 metal detectors in Churchgate station more important than the numerous instances of intentional vandalizing by political parties (burning, breaking property worth of Crores?) The fining of the rickshaw driver who ferried Kejriwal more hyped than BJP and Congress giving Lok Sabha tickets to Kings of Corruption – Yeddyurappa & Srimullu (BJP of Raping Mines fame) and Pawan Bansal (Congress of Coalgate fame).

Please fine AAP's rickshaw driver or its leaders for breakage of any laws however small but also scrutinize the list of candidates from BJP and Congress which is more like wanted list of criminals. AAP on the other hand, is asking the public to source proof in case any of their candidates have any criminal background, and publishing the source of its funds – why is no one highlighting this? 
(According to Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), 35 per cent of Modi's BJP candidates face criminal charges; of them 17 percent are serious charges. And, 27 per cent of Rahul's Congress candidates face criminal charges, with 10 per cent facing serious charges.) ). Meanwhile Kejriwal has ensured topics that were spoken in hush tones – are now mainstay in political discourse – from Robert Vadra to Adani, from Paid Media to Ambani.

When the entire intelligence machinery was unable to find anything corruptible in Kejriwal, the political class latched on to a term he uttered in sarcasm – Anarchist. Anarchy is not when a CM sleeps on the pavement in 4 degrees on a cold Delhi night to fix accountability on the police force to check rapes happening there. Anarchy is when a strong CM with 56 inch chest can't stop the public rape of women, flinging of toddlers on rocks, burning of pilgrims in a train or the relentless and well organized mass killing of over 1000 people in 2 weeks. Anarchy is when a death of a PM is used as an excuse to mass murder an entire community with no justice even after 30 years. Anarchy is when bombs explode in trains during rush hours – one station after another- and you are frantically wondering who you will lose at the end of it. Anarchy is when Kashmiri pundits find themselves homeless one fine morning. Anarchy is when you buy onions at 100 rupees and the prices of petrol have the guts to compete with Sachin's milestones. Anarchy is when you go to a railway station or a five star restaurant and witness some gun toting men spraying bullets like kids spray coloured water during Holi.

This Anarchy exists because the ruling class in its failure to address core issues of governance has distracted the population with divisive and emotive issues. The BJP calls us Hindus and Muslims, The Congress – minorities and majority. Mayawati calls us backward and forward castes. Shiv Sena/MNS pit us as Marathi Vs North Indians while the left parties classify us as rich and poor. Here is a party which is making an attempt to call us INDIANS. If we don't respond to this call then we will risk the DNA of our nation. As Indians, before we get swayed by the emotive rhetoric, we need to understand that onions costs the same for Hindus and Muslims, your Maratha pride or Gujarati Gaurav can't save you from a pothole on pathetic roads, a bridge doesn't collapse after counting the number of backward castes travelling on it. The emotive issues are a perfect foil to cover the core issues – corruption and bad governance. Corruption breeds lacunas and bottlenecks in everything from defense to development. It also plagues seemingly unrelated issues - Nirbhaya's ordeal could have been avoided if the corrupt collusion between Delhi transport authority and the bus owners didn't allow busses to ply with curtains.

Meanwhile critics found a new name for kejriwal,  "bhagoda" (desserter or one who runs away). A man who challenges the might of Ambani, Sonia, Modi and the Paid Media has not come to run away. In a country where people hang on to their positions even when they are half in their graves - here is a man who gave up power and decides to go back to the people for a majority mandate and be in a position to pass the anti-corruption law rather than warm the chair. In the meantime , the critics are still searching for another government that has done so much in 49 days. http://news.in.msn.com/national/what-the-aap-government-achieved-in-49-days .

Electing AAP is not electing a new party – it's an attempt at changing the system. A systemic change that will make sure that if a Rahul Gandhi is born 20 years from now, he won't do the mistake of thinking his surname will get him anywhere OR a future Narendra Modi doesn't need the plank of hate politics to stake claim to the PM's chair. Modi or a Rahul or the political classes are not from Pakistan – they are our own – and we are here not to destroy them but to change their thinking. We are here to change our mindsets, fight our habits.

Rahul says Congress is the answer, BJP says Modi is the answer but Arvind is saying WE (you and me) are the answer. BJP and Congress will always remain with its reserves running into crores – but AAP may not survive if we don't support it today. Are you comfortable with a babysitter who has a criminal background to take care of your children? Will you hire criminals as domestic helps for your parents? Then how can you trust convicted criminals, rapists and murders to protect your family or wealth, to lead you and society? Dr. Ambedkar, the architect of our constitution once remarked, "Rights are protected not by law but by the social and moral conscience of society".

This is India's chance in history – to set things right – so that our children will breathe in an air of hope, of equal opportunities, the men who protect us – will get their due, our women feel safer on the streets, our young can prosper here and we can soar together unchained beyond the horizons – and set an example that we a collection of 30 states – as diverse as 30 countries – can be united in our resolve for a better tomorrow like a smile that would erupt from Kashmir to Kanyakumari when Sachin would raise his hands to the heavens.

(Author is an Entrepreneur and AAP volunteer. email : jimmyforaap [at] gmail.com)

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