Recollected reconnaissance

Arshid Malik

AAP-historical-win-67-out-of-70I am a skeptic by all standards and I guess it is the meanness of the “world” that has turned me into a literary dispatch gunner who is always ready to shoot down any positive speculation about anything, especially politics. Or perhaps I am different and always like to hold a different point of view – like the cellphones that I have owned over the decade, all of them non-conventional. I hardly fall for brands. One way or the other I was highly skeptic of the AamAadmi Party winning over everything else. How could it be, I would ponder? How can a party that is so common that it smells of soot ever come to power? How can a new generation of people turned politicians secure a win in the national capital of the country when the precedent has been that only a person who is politically spoilt, has quite a handful of scams to his or her credit and perhaps a “good” criminal record can get elected to power, not only in Delhi but all across India? How can the common man win? But my predictions and predilections were wavering as soon as the actual poll results started rolling out over media channels. I was flabbergasted over my own self. How could I not have known that a party which, some diligent grapevine carried, had framed its election manifesto in consonance with the results of a “sensibility poll” carried out by some IITians. It all sounds so unlike India but I Guess It is True!

Bereft of any grounds for propounding my baseless theories about how the common man is losing ground in India and does not have any say in political choices even though he/she has the right to vote which to me was nothing other than street magic revamped to suit the needs of the people in power or people who wanted to be in power, I fell to my knees (not literally) and started contemplating a better future for myself and my kid in this very country. My hopes had hit an all-time high as if they were on dope or something and continue to be so till the point my utter skepticism again breaks the order of things and I turn into a “serpentine creature” who only knows how to knock things down – I believe, though, that I should be credited for being one of the most closed-minded people in the world who is bound to go crazy any day now. All the same, the Aam Aadmi Party’s landslide victory in the national capital of India signifies a detachment from deadened moss that constituted, till now, the political fabric of India. It certainly spells disaster for the “Modiazation” of India and defines the path ahead for secular, truly democratic and down to earth principles setting the vibe in India. I am led to believe that the BJP had early on anticipated the verdict of the voters in Delhi and to counter the “Jhaadu” (broom) of the AAP it had started the “Swach Bharat Abhiyan”, somehow hoping to cloud the broom with a “potential” practical cleansing campaign with the lead symbol being a former member of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, KiranBedi whose victory “succumbed” to the verdict of the people who are out for a change. But beyond all it spelt de-rooting of the most influential political party of India which has been part of the freedom struggle against the British, the so-little secular party of India, the Indian National Congress, which had been taking up most of the political space at the center till now while achieving very little for the benefit of the common man.

For a skeptic that I was the very nomenclature of the party which was to win the elections in Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party was quite a laugh in itself. It sounded so very silly then given my jaundiced proclivities. But the joke was on me, I guess and the fact dawned on me when pop imagery about the landslide victory of the AAP, brushing the Congress and BJP under the carpet in Delhi swooped the social networking sites. I did spill my sides laughing, while tears welled up in my eyes over the very prospect of the common man of the country eventually rising to govern his fellow countrymen – democracy indeed. While it is in Delhi that the “common man” has acquired the power to rule the people but it is certainly bound to impact the overall polity of the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken an air to himself and had started making too bold statements about himself and his party proving lucky for the people of the country and was certainly hopeful that he had learnt the “art of disguise” all too perfectly. Little did he know that technology is the new “me” and people hold the power in the shape of the smartphones, tablets and all. Now the rule is set and the PM has to make sure that he follows suit lest his party may witness such disaster elsewhere, and why not all over India.

It is hard for a common man to believe that he or she can get things done, to believe in democracy and its ideals because the state of affairs has been such over the past 3-4 decades or perhaps more with the common man dis-empowered and hooligan politics having a great laugh at the expense of the commoner. It is hard to believe that the country can undergo change after so much had changed with the agenda clear and loud – “the common man shall not thrive or something akin to that”. As for instance me, I am a skeptic not because I love being skeptical but it is my only refuge, my only safeguard against going nuts living in a country which backseats the preferred. It is my shell to hide from the subterfuge of inane and corrupt system(s). But the victory of AAP tells me I can start shedding my cocoon and so can everybody else, lest the AAP takes the verdict of the people to be sarcastically for the party rather than for voting out the major players which have been feeding off it all along. The victory of AAP needs to be deconstructed to a level where the verdict sounds clear. The AAP happened to be there, just there where it was needed.The very coming to power of the AAP in Delhi in itself is an act of recollected reconnaissance.

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