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Millennium Post

Empowering the common man

Arvind Kejriwal’s party is being launched finally. In what could be seen as a direct challenge to the Congress Party, his team has zeroed on the name Aam Aadmi Party, which translates as Party of the Common Man/Citizen. The party launched on Sunday afternoon, has already inscribed in its founding constitution that any kind of ‘dynastism’ will be forbidden in the party, a new and contemporary version of swarajya or self rule will be its governing principle, which would mean that the party would strive to realise the opportunity of actual empowerment of people at the grassroots level and towards that more power to the gram sabhas has been envisaged as the first step forward. The programme is doubtless noble and we must welcome the party into the political fold in India. Not every day professionals, lawyers and scholars come together to find a political alternative and if for nothing else, one must honour the zeal of Kejriwal and his team in doing what many among the middle classes would perhaps dream of but never actually do. A section of the same class would of course smirk at the idea of a political party as a change maker but through the last year and a half we have seen how the role of a whistle blower which Anna and his team had adopted with some alacrity, has been constantly undermined by the political establishment. So may be the future lies in actualising a party of the people.

No one can doubt that Indian politics is in a serious need of reconstruction. And in that sense the semantics around the word aam aadmi is crucial. The fate of the aam aadmi has been at the centre of the political debate that Kejriwal, Hazare and others, launched two years ago. The Indian political system was getting sucked everyday into a murky, subterranean world of bigger and bigger corruption and it seemed that the UPA government, more accurately its second avatar, has given the nation’s thugs a free run to steal whatever they could, from telephone spectrum to coal fields. Hence by naming it the Aam Aadmi Party, Kejriwal would hit Congress at its weakest and also show that the latter could be everything else, but is surely not the party of the people as its blind eye to corruptive practices and unthinking reform agenda has proved again and again.

The future of the party is a thing not for us to discuss. But surely it’s a step in the right direction.
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