Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Arvind Kejriwal and the 2014 LS elections

The Lok Sabha election has come to an end in the mecca of democracy. The votes have been counted and the mandate of the electorate is out in the open. While its time for jubilation for the opposition, it has also been a humiliating defeat for the ruling majority. They have been ousted by a population from which their over ambitious corrupted endeavors were clearer than the promises of future merry making. In this political brewery, there stood one man who not only lost from his own constituency but witnessed defeat in more than 400 others. He led a revolution which he believed would get national credence but apparently failed to strike a chord with the voters. He is Arvind Kejriwal. His faults might be many. There might have been serious craters in his maiden national political strategy, but this post is not to discuss that. I would like to share the impression of this man in the Indian political potpourri and also my personal opinion about Indian politics and I am sure there would be many who share the same thoughts.
First some hard background checks:
In India, like many other professions, politics is considered to be a total waste. It is indeed difficult to believe that the country which boasts of the largest democracy in the world cannot properly educate its own children and motivate them to join this proud service. Politics is reserved for those who either belong to an already rooted political family, or to those who cannot do anything else. I am not saying that there aren't any educated people involved, but by the time they climb the ladder of their respective parties, they become their own 20 year old enemy. The manifestos of the political parties become mere scribbling on a piece of paper. The motto changes from national service to personal welfare. The bed of roses is preferred over thorny development. And the vicious cycle continues. And more people turn away from politics out of disgust and hopelessness. This creates a suitable work environment for the parties as they don't have to deal with questions from smart people. They show up before the elections, cull their votes and go about minding their own business till the next bell of election rings. Rampant corruption follows and the voters feel betrayed and change the government for the next round. In this claustrophobic arrangement of governance, voters stop caring. They come back home to their growing children and motivate them to become doctors and engineers. And hence, nobody wants to become a politician in India.
But in 2014 something different happened.
There rose a man from the lesser known neighborhoods of NCR, who dared to challenge this morbid smog. He dared to punch a hole in this flak created by the system. From his cushy post of a Tax officer he hit the streets and talked about revolution. From his 9 to 5 daily job, he chose to spend sleepless nights of protests. He got a degree in engineering from IIT, cleared the tough hurdles of UPSC exam and got himself a highly reputed job. His was the life every middle class Indian dreamt of. His were the achievements that every good student worked hard for. And it is this connection for which he became an overnight sensation. People saw a ray of hope. They found a leader who did not sway into the big houses of established political parties but draw his own line of principles, who did not salivate for power but talk about selfless honest government, who did not talk non sense but base his explanations on lucid logic. People saw a man grow out of a revolution against a corrupt government. People caught a glimpse of how the truth got suppressed under the strong armed ruthless ministers. They watched on when water cannons met the peaceful protesters at India Gate. And that is why when Arvind decided to form a political party leaving behind all his comfort and calm, people joined in numbers. All those who shared the dream to wake up in a better country joined hands to make a chain of truth and virtue. They wore the Aam Aadmi caps and hit the roads. Many sacrificed their jobs, many donated their daily earnings, and many started spreading the good word through Facebook and Twitter for they believed that if someone like Arvind Kejriwal can, why can't they. They couldn't have let him slip away. The nation couldn't have afforded to lose one of its prime assets in its most important industry.
Hence came the Delhi elections 2013. Arvind Kejriwal came out from the streets of revolution. He open fired at the corrupt representatives. The media did everything possible to cover his acts. The results brought a beacon of change. A fifteen year old government suffered a horrific defeat. There was a rage of anger among the voters against the ruling government. It was the roar of a lion being held captive for long. The message from the voters was loud and clear and the electorate showed that their tolerance had a limit which should not be breached. Arvind Kejriwal was sworn in as the chief minister of Delhi. He got OUTSIDE SUPPORT from the ruling congress without asking for it. Like he had promised in his political campaigns, after 49 days of governing Delhi, he tried to move the JanLokpal bill in the Delhi assembly. This bill met with strong protests and so were two others and the chief minister could not convince the house. Following this, Arvind Kejriwal resigned from his CM post. This ignited the greatest political debate that our nation had participated in many years. "Did Arvind Kejriwal do the right thing by stepping down?" Everybody had their opinions and they went an extra mile to voice it. Facebook was flooded with updates from unexpected corners. People who had zero political interest were arguing the decision. Media minted a lot of controversy and the drama culled more viewership than the cult saans-bahu serials. Some people were praising the selfless attitude while some called him an escapist. Some saw a hint of Bhagat Singh and Subhash Bose him while some saw it as a political move to contest the national elections.
But behind all this, the nation had awakened. People, who did not care to know the name of the President, were now discussing politics over office lunch hours. It was everywhere. My neighbor, a class sixth student did his own style of campaigning by going to every apartment in the building and asking people to vote for AAP. The political analysis was more scrutinized. The misdeeds of the past government were condemned. My mother sacrificed watching her favorite television soap to watch the Newshour. People like Arnab Goswami and Rajdeep Sardesai became celebrities. The middle class was rising. They got enough food for their thoughts and the blanket of hopelessness was removed. Everybody knew India was a super power, but people had started asking obvious questions. Irrespective of what political end they held, people cared to come out and participate in this tug of war. There was someone out there who spoke like them and had a common origin. People frustrated with both the Indian National Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party had a new glint which they could hold on to.
It would have been better had Arvind managed to secure a seat inside the Indian Parliament this coming session but his contribution to Indian politics is something that we all will remain indebted. He has brought an entire class of educated people inside politics. People who earlier preferred staying out having no comments, are now interested to know the proceedings. People now care.
And for this change, the credit goes to Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, because in hindsight, his was the only differentiating factor in this election compared to the previous LS polls (political parties).
Only time can tell whether the voters have given the responsibility to run the country in right hands, but I am sure that anyone who will get involved in an act to harm the national interest of the country will have to think twice for they know that a more enlightened, a more interested and an active strata of the population is watching closely. The common man with its enormous force has woken up. 
We care, so you better care.

Monday, May 05, 2014

What to Write

What to write and How do I write it
Is the constant of all battles and we all have to fight it
Shall I make it like the Bolero with castanets clinging
Or do I just add a feel that with an acoustic upbringing?
Do I paint my piece with tears of social evil?
Or do I write about hope to scare away the devil?
Shall I pen down something for the inner laughter bone?
Or let me just write romance from the apex of a double cone.
Oh wait, why not write about the new fiery intense leader?
Or do I just start writing caring less about the reader.
Can I write a piece of which every word be meant?
Lets not write anything, my time has already been spent.

//a random access malabar masala\\