Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Underdogs

I tried it many times. I have many drafts on my blog to prove that I tried to write many times in the last few months but each time before pushing the Publish button, I thought, who cares! This site is only visited by a few people who I could count on my fingers, and the rest are just spammers from Russia. But, the bug in me made me come back again. Lets see how long it lasts this time :) 

I wanted to document my thoughts before a special event. An event, which might change many things in India or at least in Delhi. It's a city which has a very special place in my heart. No matter where I live, it always remain in my thoughts. The event I am talking about is the upcoming elections in Delhi. Now, to set it straight, I am a completely apolitical person. In fact, I am in my early 30s right now and I have never voted in India till today. A lot of people blame me for not voting but I have my own reasons. I will share two of them which are top on my list:
  1. I clearly remember an afternoon when I was in school. It was a voting day for the elections. At that time, I was below my voting age. Some people came to our house and asked our family to come and vote. My grandmother at that time was quite old and could hardly walk. My family took me to the voting place since they did not wanted to leave me alone in the house. I went with them and at the entrance of the voting place, we were told that according to their records my family had already voted. I was surprised since we had not left the house since morning. After talking with the guys, we were allowed to get in and simply vote on some other people's name. On top of that, although my grandmother was not with us, they allowed me to vote on her behalf. Naive in my heart with absolutely no idea of elections, manifestos, candidates, campaigns etc, I went in the polling booth with ink on my finger, feeling all grown up, I just stamped on the most fancy looking logo on the ballot paper.
  2. Many years later, after reaching the voting age, once again came election day. At that time I knew the candidates of the top three parties since they were known to our family. Since I knew that they are not the people who I would trust with my vote, I did not went to vote. I was helpless since there was no other choice. I could not bear the burden of electing a wrong candidate. My conscious did not allowed me. In that case, I would be the person to be blamed later since even after knowing that the candidates are lairs, I would have voted for one of them.
The above mentioned two incidents and a few others totally made me loose trust in the elections. And further through the years, I learned more about the workings of this world. I was convinced that all these elections are nothing but just a waste of time, money and energy. Until now. This is the first time, I feel like voting. Somehow, somewhere in my heart there is hope, once again. And it is only because of a new unconventional party called AAM, spearheaded by Arvind Kejriwal.

I must make it clear that I have absolutely no political alignment. I only want the governments to be honest and to work to make life of its people easier. I do not consider it a business and it is not a place where people should be making money out of it. Only people with intentions of doing good for the people should enter it.

Here, I would like to mention some points as to why that ray of hope has raised inside me. Or in fact some points which makes this party standout this time in elections.
  1. The most striking think I found about this party was its Manifesto. It is crisp and to the point with some very clear cut goals. Unlike the generic ones usually made by political parties which holds almost no credibility before or after elections. I do not know if any political party advertised its Manifesto before in a similar way as this new party since they are always afraid what if anyone comes and blame them later for not sticking to it. I do not care if they are able to fulfill everything in it if they win. At least they have clear cut points where they can be openly held accountable in the future.
  2. The next is their campaigning. The party leaders are really working at Ground Zero. I mean they are really interacting with an average person and trying to listen to their problems and then planning a way ahead to eradicate them. Yes, I have seen leaders of other political parties before interacting with people but even a 10 year old can make out that it is only for a picture which might be printed next day in its party backed media outlet. In this party, there are not people following their leader for ass-licking but for true admiration. I do not care if there is any show off in their campaign. What is more important for me is when someone who would be the head of an institution try and understand people he would be governing. Lately, I have always felt that we have entered a time like in the past where the king was totally disconnected to people living in his kingdom.
  3. I have always been a person who rate openness and honesty very highly. Maybe, I have very few friends as a consequence. Anyways, this is the first time where I have seen a political party competing as openly as it can. Funds a displayed online, profile of all candidates are open for scrutiny, easily accessible for questions and suggestions.These are some things which had not been seen so often before. I do not care if they have a flaw. Human beings are not perfect but at least they can try to achieve it and I see this party making every effort to be open and honest.
  4. I have zero tolerance for people involved in political parties with a criminal background. You cannot expect and good coming from them. A couple of years back, I came across a website called during elections in UP last time. I was shocked to see that more than 50% of all candidates in UP with criminal cases against them. And I am not talking about charges of theft, charges like murder and rape were not uncommon. I was totally amazed how is it even possible to contest an election with such a background and why no one comes forward to say it is wrong. I do not care how candidates of this new party behave in the future. I cannot predict it. But right now, with the agenda they have of accepting no candidate with criminal background is noteworthy
  5. I think this point can be biased since I am from IT. I hate websites which are not made in a good manner. By this I mean the color combination, fonts etc of that website should be handled aesthetically. I find the website of the party very well made. It is easily navigable, presents the most important aspects vividly, not overcrowded and aesthetically made. Checking websites of all the mainstream parties depressed me. They look like a project work done by a school student in his summer vacations. I do not care if everyone in Delhi cannot access it because they might not have the privileges of internet and computer and it might restrict their exposure but still I am in complete awe of their online campaign.
I do not know if elections are rigged. I do not know how much do funds, contacts and media play a role in elections. I do not know how people would vote on 4th Dec. But I know for sure that if this party does not win the elections this time, I will loose complete faith in elections and democracy in India for a long time. I hope that the people of Delhi will not let me down!


Renu said...

your feelings look like those actors who value awards if they get it, if they dont, then they are rigged:) offense meant.. said...

Though it is not what I meant through this post, still thanks for the comment :)

The Gardener said...

The Aam Admi Party (AAP) has kindled a ray of hope in the otherwise dirty (mostly) politics in India. Unlike any other older party, AAP put the list of its donors in its website. Once the amounts received reached Rs. 20 crore (which they had planned, it stopped receiving any more donation.It issued separate manifesto for each of the constituencies it contested.

People have received AAP well. It has won 28 seats. Arvid Kejriwal has defeated the sitting Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit by large margin.AAP gave a strong challenge to both Congress and BJP.It is not in a position to form the Government. AAP has declared that it will neither accept nor give support to either of these parties for forming Government. Ultimately no Party may be able to form Government and there may be President's Rule in Delhi. Fresh elections may be conducted along with Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

AAP has kindled hopes of corruption free elections. It is a good sign for the ountry. said...

I completely agree with the comments above !!

Niedhie said...

Nice post... and hope you faith has been reinstated now... I am myself quite impressed with the change they promise India (see my recent posts on this).

On the two points you made on your loss of faith, just some observations below -

The first point is literally shocking for me.. I knew such things sometimes do happen but to hear a first hand experience has shocked me... However given the experience is now quite old, I would like to think that situations have now improved...

The second point has now been tackled by allowing for an option of NOTA - None of the above - to help voters in situations where none of the choices are good enough.

And finally... do keep writing! said...

Thanks Niedhie for such supportive comments :)