This article is written by Riya Singla
AAP is undoubtedly, the hottest topic of the season. A lot has been said, heard and written about the same. But the most curious was, that the entire episode looks like a recapitulation of a movement a few years back called ‘Arab spring’.
The movement began on 18 December 2010 in the Arab countries of Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Oman, Saudi Arabia etc. It was widely stimulated by dissatisfaction with the rule of the local governments, though some have speculated that wide gaps in income levels may have had a hand as well. The other factors which led to the protests were human rights violations, political corruption, economic decline, unemployment and extreme poverty. Doesn’t it look like a list of problems in India? A major slogan of the demonstrators in the Arab world had been ‘Ash-sha`b yurid isqat an-nizam’, i.e. “the people want to bring down the regime”. I guess every Indian wants the same thing too.
With the campaigning for General elections 2014 in full swing, I get a feeling that the our situation is going to be a mixture of what happened in Sudan, Iraq, Kuwait etc. The government in power being thrown off because of a series of protests (keeping in mind the ‘anashan’ and the most recent one ‘dharna’) can be a prediction for the coming months. Frustrated with the self-serving politicians and the all-pervasive culture of corruption, the Aam Aadmi Party has demonstrated that the power of votes can catapult politically-inexperienced citizens to become chief ministers and cabinet ministers. The growth this revolution has shown surely tells us that ‘Indian Spring’ is on its way. One may call it Congress’s Plan B, it still stands alone with its head held high in the face of all the allegations it has faced.
Recall how the youth poured out on the streets of Delhi and faced water cannons to express their shock, anger and frustration over the brutal gang rape of a young Delhi woman who died a tragic death. Those were young Indians only, who were at the forefront in demanding better security for women, better laws and better policing. In short, they are tired of the status quo, tired of the same old excuses from politicians and administrators. The message that came through was that the people of India and especially the youth, want change. Arab Spring and AAP have depicted the fact that yes, there can be new idioms to old, prevailing rules of politics.
India is not a monarchy but what is the demand of the situation is ‘takhtapalat’. It is not about Kejriwal or AAP, it’s about the strive towards, and a longing, for change.