A lot has been written about the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). And looking at their sterling performance in the recent New Delhi elections, much more will be written about them in the weeks and months to come. When I speak with real patriots (not the pseudo types) in India, I find a widespread sense of apprehension and frustration about where the country is headed.
AAP’s electoral performance may have brought a new ray of hope. But pre-poll promise is different, very different, from post-poll performance. As an Aam Aadmi, I have a few questions for the leadership of this emerging political force. Till these questions are satisfactorily answered, many of us will hold our verdict:
- Will AAP leadership’s LIFE be more valued than Aam Aadmi’s? If not, will they be moving around in the shadow of black-cat commandoes while all Aam Aadmis who have voted for them will be left to face frequent brutalities of both law-enforcers (security forces) and law-breakers (criminals)?
- Will AAP leadership’s TIME be more precious than Aam Aadmi’s? If not, will they be blocking the traffic for hours and causing inconvenience (sometime even costing life) of Aam Aadmi, while moving around on the streets of their own cities and towns?
- Will AAP leadership’s COMFORT be more important than Aam Aadmi’s? Candidates of all political parties spend their pre-poll lives in their own houses (owned or rented; big or small). But right after elections, our leaders leave their constituencies to live in “exclusive, high security” enclaves. Will AAP leadership continue to live in their own houses (and save tax payers’ money) or will they follow the precedents of other political parties (whom AAP demonize everyday) and move away from their local support base?
- Will AAP leadership’s DIGNITY be more sacred than Aam Aadmi’s? Pre-poll, candidates happily compromise their egos by folding hands and touching feet of mamis and chachisand bhabis. Post-victory, will AAP leadership treat mamis and chachis and bhabis with respect by promptly meeting them when they come calling; and doing their best in solving their problems? Or even better, reaching out to them regularly to ascertain their problems and finding solutions??
- Will AAP leadership’s (and each family member’s) HONESTY be shared with Aam Aadmi publically and transparently by declaring their assets on an annual basis? Or they will continue to grow their balance sheets behind the scene and Aam Aadmi will remain in dark about how rich they have grown while staying in power?? I agree it is cumbersome. But when you chose a difficult path of cleaning-up the mess in the society, then there is a price to pay.
- Delhi is cosmopolitan. Cast and religion are important factors there, but clearly not decisive factors. So AAP’s success in Delhi is no big deal. When stepping out of Delhi (specially in non-metros), will AAP leadership continue to field candidates purely on the basis of CHARACTER/QUALIFICATION or will succumb to “the electoral realities” and appoint candidates on the basis of cast, religion or other similar factors?
- Finally, as a Muslim Aam Aadmi, I can assure you we do not need special favors, special privileges or special treatment or special concessions from governments orpolitical parties. Seeking preferential treatment is against the grain of Islam. We only expect justice (not empty promises for justice). And by justice, I mean social justice, economic justice and political justice. For instance, there are hundreds of thousands of under trials rotting in Indian prisons (both Muslims and non Muslims). Will AAP leadership do something on a top-priority to ensure they are either promptly convicted or immediately released and rehabilitated with honor?
These are simple responsibilities of political leadership where our established parties have gone wrong. Terribly wrong. If AAP leadership, from day one, remains conscience of these simple responsibilities of theirs (and expectations of ours), then Mulayam Singh Yadav’s prediction that “AAP’s success is a bubble” will surely prove wrong. If not, AAP will prove Mulayam Singh right – sooner or later. It is your call. Indians are running out of patience!
Note: This article was received by IO 2 days before the AAP’s 18 demands released for BJP and Congress.
By Dr. Mansoor Durrani
Is The US Done & Dusted