Today was a significant milestone in the political and democratic development of India.
A new political party, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or the Common Man’s Party, made a stunning debut in the Delhi Assembly Elections, unseating the long-serving and feisty Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit of the Congress Party.
The AAP is run by Arvind Kejriwal, an engineer-turned bureaucrat, who jumped into the political minefield after being challenged by the Congress Party and the BJP (the main opposition party). He wanted to prove he can win elections coming in as a rank outsider, and he did it handily today.
The Congress Party surely lost in a big way in the States of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. It seems to be having a tie with BJP in the State of Chattisgarh. It lost hugely to BJP and AAP in Delhi.
The election results connote two important and democratically critical things:
1. Democracy works very well in India
2. The elected legislators have to deliver on their promises, or else !
AAP is a game-changer in the Indian political scene. AAP may not be a big factor in many other state elections, or even in the Lok Sabha (Federal) elections scheduled for April 2014. But, AAP made a very important point – that the Indian electorate listens to any political party which it perceives to be comprised of honest folks, and it will not hesitate to chuck out the incumbents if it is proven that they are corrupt and ineffective. This is a huge achievement for Indian democracy.
Look at the other countries which have tried for democracy and have repeatedly failed, and you will realize how critically important is Indian democracy as a beacon of democratic principles for all world to see and learn.
It has to be seen whether the victors have learnt well from the deficiencies of the incumbents and are committed to pursue a different brand of politics which is clean, honest and incorruptible.
Let us see.
In the meanwhile, kudos to Indian democracy.
8th December 2013