AAP deserves the benefit of doubt

November 24th, 2013 Posted in India, Politics

“Your party needed Rs 20 crores to fight Delhi elections. We have met that target. We don’t need any more money for Delhi elections,” tweeted Arvind Kejriwal, AAP’s national convener – Simple, direct and unbelievable. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) then went on to stop accepting donations on their website. When probed a little further on the issue by a reporter as to why the party had stopped accepting donations, he said, “We had set a target, we have achieved it. We are not here to accumulate money from donations!”

When is the last time a political party said, thank you, we don’t need any more donations? (Many of our existing political parties have a big enough war chest to say this. But would they?) When is the last time a political party vowed to fight elections purely on donations from the common man? When is the last time a political party could account for every paisa that was donated to it? When is the last time a political party could provide a list of its donors no matter what amount they donated to the party? When is the last time a political party released its income and expense statements on its website?

God! Is this real? Will someone please pinch me so I know I am not dreaming? Is this what the young, vibrant and new India has in store for us in the years to come? I certainly hope so.

Arvind Kejriwal, AAP’s National convener, has the habit of saying, “Desh me ek prakrithik shakti paida hui hai (a unique force of nature seems to have taken shape in the country).” In the backdrop of rampant corruption, blatant nepotism, and black money, AAP’s approach to this election is truly unique and commendable, and it nothing short of a miracle to accomplish what AAP has achieved as of today. This might sound bizarre and superstitious, but I must confess, Kejriwal’s words about a “prakritik shakti” ring true.

This is surely a watershed moment in Indian politics. It is hard not to be excited and optimistic about India’s future, when you see a new political force fueled by the youth emerge in the nation’s capital. It is interesting to note that AAP has gone from being treated as a marginal player to a key participant in a three-way contest to a possible winner of the Delhi elections – quite a journey in less than a year.

Click here to read the rest of the article in The Economic Times

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