Friday, December 20, 2013

Arvind Kejriwal: A phenomenon

PV Narsimha Rao saw Mayawati as the miracle of democracy. A dalit woman, to rise to power in the ganga-jamuna belt was nothing less than that for any political analyst back then. Today, it is taken as conventional common sense that dalit vote bank play crucial role in the game of numbers during any election.  One can owe this to V P Singh’s government’s passing of ordinance for incorporating the Mandal Commission’s recommendations and the subsequent protest by the upper caste, leading to deepening of caste consciousness and self assertion by the so far oppressed section of society in the backdrop of the changing economy post liberalization.

What we are witnessing today, is no less dramatic. The astronomical figures attached to each subsequent scam during the recent past, coupled with high inflation and rising food and petrol prices, outraged one and all. The tireless efforts of civil society, helped in the enactment of RTI Act in 2005. Since then, the opacity in government works have been lowered to some extent. The public demands and gets information. The government to is making more and more information available on the websites. The numerous news channels arouse the public sentiments against corruption and social media helps bringing the educated masses closer to mainstream. All this gave momentum to Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption in 2011. Now the government is about the enact the Lokapal Act by constitutional amendment.

Amidst all this, the meteoric rise of Arvind Kejriwal can be seen as the beginning the new era of politics where people with seemingly meager resource can rise by talking about developmental issues rather than playing the caste or communal cards. Though its just a start but there are all reasons to believe that this shift that we are witnessing, is going to be permanent. The educated  people of Delhi recognised the new voice and this is a good sign.

A lot depends on AAP. If AAP candidates set up examples of good governance then the other national parties will also have to redefine their ways of working. BJP has understood this and is not seen playing the communal card now a days. Narendra Modi rallies focus on issues of corruption and good governance.

The democratic mechanism has made such a thing possible. The voice of people cannot be ignored in a democracy and people want a corruption free India.


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