Arvind Kejriwal has named his political party the Aam Aadmi Party. Welcome to the big league, Mr Kejriwal.
While Robert Vadra’s reactions on the aam and aadmi bit of the party are not known yet, the general reaction could be one of déjà vu. We have all seen, heard, reacted, got electrified and cooled down somewhat to it, haven’t we?
A bit like Kejriwal’s press conferences. Meant as exposés amounting to thousands of crores, they seemed to stimulate enthusiasm less and less as the zeroes began being lopped off in subsequent ones. The last one, where the anti-corruption activist alleged that NSG commandos who took part in fighting the terrorists during the November 26, 2008 Mumbai siege are living in pitiable conditions, found a short, single-column mention in Times of India, to give just one instance. Hardly any newspaper played it up, not unlike the general public reaction.
So, who is the aam admi? You and me, the ones reading and writing for this website, for instance? Or the men and women who delivers the newspaper and collects the garbage every morning from home, make our tea in office or parcel out and deliver our lunch boxes? There are scores and scores of them. Far many more thousands than the ones like us.
The point is not to etch a jejune Mrinal Sen-esque tearjerker that draws out a yawn and propels the mouse to click shut this website. The point is to wonder whether there is a mismatch in promise and action, and the consequent confusion over eliciting a reaction. If people like them are the aam admi for whom Kejriwal is founding his party, why is he exposing scams and wrongdoings at places from where his subjects would have nothing to do, at least in the given set-up?
How is the aam rickshaw-puller affected whether HSBC Bank carried out hawala transactions for 700 uber-rich Indians? That money would not have been used for his benefit under the present set-up, after all.
Or how, for that matter, would the life of a lower division clerk at a mofussil town in Sangli, Maharashtra, be better if BJP president Nitin Gadkari had paid taxes etc for all his companies under Purti brand name, which he allegedly evaded, among other accusations? Look at it dispassionately and with cold logic, without getting swayed by the blood pressure-raising hullaballoo over the loot of “taxpayer money”: would that money, even if it had gone to the sarkari coffers, have actually come to her aid?
Corruption in public and private offices is a heinous crime. But it does not kill people. Hunger does, poverty does, bad crops do, lack of irrigation or proper channels for loans do, caste and communal hatred and ‘honour killings’ certainly do, rising prices aid it, joblessness abet it. And so on, and so forth.
The point is, Kejriwal, now that he has finally formed a party and named it after the mango people, needs to give his issues a fresh look and harp on some genuine ones as well while carrying on his exposés on the side. Make no doubt, the two could be as different as apples and oranges but are just as equally important to us as apples and oranges. For, there are not many voices speaking against the sham and scam in the name of governance, and the lord above and the devil below knows India has enough of both to last it a lifetime and more.
But if he fails to get to the boring brass-tacks, his exposes might have some audience, his party would have none.
Related story from PTI
Arvind Kejriwal''s party named Aam Admi Party
Arvind Kejriwal's party was today named 'Aam Admi Party' at a meeting of its founder members here during which the Constitution for the organisation was also adopted.
The meeting of around 300 founder members was held at Constitution Club here during which Kejriwal proposed the name of the party which was accepted by other members, sources said.
The Constitution of the party was also adopted at the meeting. It was proposed by Mayank Gandhi and seconded by Chandramohan, they said.
The formation of the party came after a bitter split with Anna Hazare over the question of the anti-corruption movement taking a political plunge as Kejriwal desired.
During the August fast, Hazare and Kejriwal ended the agitation saying they will work for providing a political alternative for the country to fight both Congress and BJP.
However, both Hazare and Kejriwal announced parting of ways on September 19 following differences over forming a party with the former sticking to his position that the movement should remain apolitical.
On October two, Kejriwal announced the formation of the party saying its official launch will be on November 26, the day Constitution was adopted in 1949.
Ahead of the meeting, Kejriwal said today that common men, women, children are forming their party.
"They are not politicians. They are fed up of politicians. They are the people who are fed up of corruption and price rise. This is why the common man has decided to challenge them. Now the common man will sit in Parliament.
"Party's vision is Swaraj. People should get the 'raj'. That vision will be finalised. 25-30 issues will be discussed which all issues need to be taken first by the party.
Committees will be formed. They will make drafts in four-five months. There will discussions through the country," he said.
Activist Yogendra Yadav said that the party will have provisions against domination by one family.
The meeting also saw some disagreement among a section of workers who were not allowed to attend it. A group from Tamil Nadu was seen arguing with a party coordinator on why they were not accommodated.
Stories you might like