A Turning Point In Indian Democracy

It has happened; happened today the 28th December 2013 in Delhi. A silent revolution has taken place. Democracy has breathed the freedom from the shackles of bondage after approximately 4 decades. Nobody could even imagine till December 7 that something like this was going to happen. Not even the Chief Minister of Delhi, sworn in today, Arvind Kejriwal could imagine what was destined. The movement for change had started in 2011 under the leadership of Anna Hazare to rid the country of the scourge of corruption and corrupt governments at the states and the centre. Though Anna never approved of Arvind’s decision to enter directly in politics, the latter had done his home work in advance. Perhaps he happens to be the first educated person who has applied his technical knowledge to plan and execute a political coup in Delhi, a transparency revolution in India, a chain reaction in our neighbouring countries like Pakistan whose politicians are studying the strategies of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), of which Arvind Kejriwal is the Chief,to replicate some of its models in their own country. It is bound to influence democracies throughout the world, if it succeeds in delivering on its promises. A minority party like the AAP has formed a government with just 28 members in a House of 70 members, forcing the Congress party to extend it support without being an ally. Till yesterday, a section of the Congress was trying its level best to undermine the formation of the government by the AAP. The ZNews TV channel telecast a story of the ill will of the 5 out of the 8 Congress MLAs giving outside support at the behest of the Party leadership, giving an impression as if it was an attempt to frighten away the AAP or dissuading them from forming the government. But the AAP leadership outsmarted the Congress at its own game of playing power politics. The gravest miscalculation the congress Party has made is to prop up the AAP government. But the die is cast now and they have to wait for the next moment of their reckoning. The AAP, as also the people, are prepared for the Congress ditching the newly formed government by failing it in the confidence vote next week. What the young Chief Minister did, unconventional in the true unconventional politics he has been playing so far, was to take the oath of office in an open ground, the Ram Lila grounds, at the confluence of New & Old Delhi,in the august presence of the people (no VIPs on the dias). These are the aam aadmi or the ordinary people, who are the members, volunteers, voters, MLAs, Ministers & the Chief Minster of the AAP. They were dressed as ordinary as anybody else, without security personnel encircling them and number of vehicles in tow. But the master stroke was his address after the oath taking ceremony, which went live on every channel telecasting it through out the whole country *as if he was addressing the whole nation like the PM or hopeful in his national address! He scored over his rivals- Congress & BJP- for the ensuing general election 2014.

Kejriwal or the AAP were not treated excepting with contempt till 7th December. His party has shown its reach and supporters convincingly. That has sent jitters in the main stream parties. How has he succeeded in enlisting the support of the youth is the cause for worry for these parties. They have yet to admit the disgust people feel about corruption and the corrupt. Corruption is so endemic in the country that the people have come to accept it as the only way of life. The situation had become so awful that everbody seemed to be corrupt and the people had become hopeless. Irrespective of whether the fledgling government survives or collapses, the most valuable reward of this change is the revival of Hope. That millions of people in the country can stand up for probity and transparency is certainly reason for celebration. India’s unique strength lies in its ability to stand up when so required. The country has faced many challenges in its long history and emerged stronger after every encounter. The change in Delhi is symbolic in many ways. Several models of corruption were developed first in Delhi and then imposed or traded to other states of the country. If Delhi sets up new models of transparency and probity, it is going to influence others similarly. More than anything else, the call for morality in public servants (political and administrative), businesses and all dealings in society from the younger generation is a sign of healthy change. Today’s developments in Delhi are “freedom” from bondage (of the politician coerced by corruption). Next will be the awakening of the giant India, the super power. It needs honest government and administration, as it is a nation of intelligent and hard working people- an ancient nation known for its prosperity and high potential for prosperity.

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