Aam Aadmi Party Swearing In at Ramlila Maidan – Some Observations

Fascinating views from Ramlila Maidan. Aam Aadmi Party members arrived without any fuss, swearing in witnessed by their beloved crowds, packed full, with people sitting on each other’s laps in the audience.

The simplicity of the moment is profound in its beauty.

My comments on Aam Aadmi Party’s swearing in today.

So, Day 1 of Aam Aadmis in power is done. Kal kya gul khilayega?

Wishing Aam Aadmi Party all the best. May the capital lead the nation.

Monday will be the big day for electricity, I guess. Delhi should expect power cuts if a rampaging power sector decides to hold their needs hostage to prevent AAP slashing prices.

In other news, Arvinder Lovely has asked Congress politicians to quit from boards of various government bodies. And the AAP government isn’t a day old yet. Turmoil in corridors of power. The sulks and sneers cover a far more desperate struggle to cover up, retain control or at least stay out of jail?

Less than 6 hours after swearing in as Chief Minister of Delhi and assigning portfolios to his Cabinet, Kejriwal has removed the CEO of Delhi Jal Board, and all I can say is I am quite delighted, considering that I detest those World Bank puppets playing power games with people’s water.

Some Strange views about Aam Aadmi Party

Predictions of doom and gloom

While the BJP and Congress supporters are predictably sulky, what is surprising is the number of people who think the Aam Aadmi Party may not be good at governing. That they will somehow ruin everything achieved so far by putting unsustainable stress on services they are aiming to revamp and so on.

I have no idea where this belief comes from, since, the Aam Aadmi Party may have little experience of politics, but the one thing it does know is how the country runs, with its abundant resource of bureaucrats, RTI activists, lawyers and more. Further, AAP is calling for audits, not dismantling.

If the audit does not show areas that can be improved, then that is that, yes?

So this panic with the open letters and what nots really makes little sense.

People think Aam Aadmi Party is a media invention that catapulted stupid people into power because media was bored …. or something.

Or perhaps our comprehension of what can be respected is so warped by a gloss selling media, that ordinary looking people don’t appear to be competent to us. So the idea that a group of people with neither the visible flaunting of power of the typical political class, nor the dazzle of the media class, cannot possibly be clever seems to be the assumption.

What people fail to notice is that it isn’t a joke to bring a party from birth to power in one year. No matter how much media helps you. Not to mention that our media is highly disinclined to help anyone that doesn’t pay for it. If you look to the information rather than the packaging are that Kejriwal is an excellent strategist. Be it the harnessing of popular discontent, or the choosing of the identity of the party as “them” – the Aam Aadmi – the common man.

If you look at the deliberately planned and execution campaign, it is not so difficult to see that beyond idealism over the country being governed as it deserves, there is an extremely shrewd mind ensuring that these messages reach people in a manner they will embrace.

The humble requests for funds. Candidates no one had heard of, till they got selected. The election symbol. The cozy sabhas in neighbourhoods with space for people’s voices rather than shows of grandeur. The refusal of elite perks. The swearing in being accessible and witnessed by the common man. The MLAs who traveled by public transport, and wore ordinary clothes. The works.

It doesn’t just speak of a determination to represent people as one of them, which it certainly does, it speaks of communication skills that convey that camaraderie to the people in a manner they recognize as one of their own.

Scam exposes, public declarations, demands – all official communication has been extremely specific and unambiguous. Neither the sign of one lacking competence, or that of one lacking the confidence to use it. There would be plenty of glossy corporates wondering if they could bottle this talent in an MBA and purchase it to up customer loyalty.

Do not confuse ordinary looks for stupidity.

Without a clear majority, Kejriwal will not be able to fulfill his promises

Well, the population at large is not stupid. They know that without a majority, the Aam Aadmi Party’s ability to deliver is compromised. At the end of the day, the list of promises becomes irrelevant if people experience significant improvements in their satisfaction with the government and enough promises are visibly fulfilled without a PR team having to point them out.

Also, there are many things AAP doesn’t need a majority to achieve. As we speak, Kejriwal has removed the CEO of Delhi Jal Board, and 8 other officials. Even if the government falls, they cannot exactly be brought back without explanation, so that is one change, that has happened within 6 hours of him swearing in.

As long as AAP gives it all they have to rapidly deliver positive changes and accountability, even if they go down fighting, all that will happen in reelection is a magnificent majority that allows them to achieve the rest. And the journey is on.  And the meter is down.

There is no way AAP can succeed by destroying everything

Some seem to think that even if AAP is doing the right thing, doing it all at once will make the country unstable. Frankly, I think what AAP is doing is so outside our experience that we don’t have precedents for it. The doom and gloom predictions have been around forever, right from the Jan Lokpal Andolan, and they haven’t come true yet.

The party was formed, it got funds, it campaigned, it got opportunity to form government, it formed minority government, Center passed a hasty Lokpal bill and it has already started attacking corruption where it sees it.

Each of these steps was technically unstable without a background or any powerbase that enjoyed impunity. Against all logic, it happened. The core team was confident it could, it seeked the support it needed, and converted it into results.

In my view, without a precedent for what happens if rapid changes are made, perhaps we can trust the precedent of people who have been delivering against odds anyway.