November 30, 2013

10 reasons why I am voting for AAP... And why you should too.

Delhi goes to Election on the 4th of December, and if you live in Delhi with a valid Voter-ID, I sincerely hope that you will go and cast your vote. Because if you don't, then you would be worse than those who can't caste their vote and those who don't know the value of casting a vote.

Now, I write this piece to try and garner your vote in favor of the party I myself am voting this time: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). But before I start, I just want to clarify a few things:

  • I have affiliated myself as a member of AAP, so yes I am quite biased towards them. But I don't get paid nor do I hold any position in their party. I am just writing this from the POV of a fan.
  • If you think that someone else can do a better job in your area than the AAP party and their candidates, I believe that you must vote for that particular party/candidate only. When it comes to betterment of society, ends matter more than the means.
  • I must say, when they started last year, like many others I was also skeptical. I was unsure what a party of newcomers would be able to do in an year against stalwarts with decades of experience of the "dirty game". But they proved me and many others wrong and now have truly won me over!
  • I do not like a lot of things that some of their leaders/members do and say (like maligning other parties/candidates). I find some of the things that they promise highly impractical (like "Bijli" at half the rates). But they seem confident, so I want to give them the benefit of doubt. But, if these guys don't deliver what they promise (if given a chance), I won't hesitate to write and debate against them. 

Taken from AAP's twitter handle

Here are a few reasons I am voting for AAP. I hope you will find merit in my reasoning and at least think about giving them a chance:

1. They are the underdogs: I understand what it means to be an underdog, what it means to be sidetracked simply because you don't have enough experience, enough credentials to show your potential. But the thing is, unless you give someone a chance you will never know what they are capable of. They don't have the big names like NaMo or RaGa to campaign for them, but they 

2. They don't know how to do politics: If you see the way the leaders of AAP talk you would know that they are not your traditional politicians. They just don't know how to sugarcoat their thoughts to suit or convince everyone. They talk straight and the best thing, they admit when they make mistake. Now, I don't agree to their each and every sentence but I can relate to their thoughts. I can feel them to be one of us, one of the Aam Aadmis.

3. They walk their talk (or at least try to): Recently they took back the candidature of one of their candidates (from Rajouri Garden) when they found that he had hidden the fact that he had a criminal case against him. They have announced that that particular seat will remain empty from AAP's side. I haven't heard of anything like this before in Indian politics. So, while I can't say a lot about the capability these remaining 69 candidates, at least I can bank on their integrity and that really is a big thing for me.

4. They are innovative: Here is where it gets interesting. Local manifestos for each constituency made in collaboration of the local people in something that's unheard of, at least for me. Collecting election-money from the janta itself and putting every transaction online is an commendable thing to do. I haven't even heard of even NGOs revealing their sources of income. Both the party name and party symbols are well thought of. It gives me a sense that there are active thinking and intelligent people working behind the curtains. 

5. They are fearless: Being just an year old party, debuting in elections they don't have anything to lose. And that gives them the leverage to ask their party leader to stand against the Delhi's CM of 15 years. That gives them the 'ridiculous' hope to win the elections and not just settle for a few seats. And to even think this is a recipe for madness, but I have an inclination for such mad people.

6. They connect: I (being a member) get their email almost every other day explaining their strategy or asking for help. Almost every member of AAP is active on twitter (and I believe on FB as well) and talk directly to the Aam janta. They post Youtube videos in droves.  The party leader directly comes to radio and asks for vote straight forward, no bullshit or stupid songs involved. Their "Call Delhi" campaign is a brilliant idea. This makes me believe that they aren't just after my vote, they really do care about me being involved in their efforts. So different from other party candidates who have all of a sudden started making appearances in my locality and hugging people while asking for votes. 

7. I vote for development and development only: Unlike older generations,  today's youth doesn't believe in 'traditional voting'. I have no qualms to say that I had voted for Congress in both State and National Elections last time, because I genuinely believed that they had taken the city and the nation forward. But for various reasons, they have lost my faith in last 5 years. State elections, we know are about local issues. I have a BJP MLA in my area and a BJP-led MCD, but I don't see much development done since last elections. I have been waiting for potable water supply since past 7 years of living in my area. The sewage system remains abysmal. The lanes are constructed only a few months before the elections. So, this time I am giving a chance to a new party, a new player, in the hope that all this will change. And if even they fail to deliver, I won't have any problem giving someone else a chance next time.

8. I connect with their ideology: I don't understand the "holistic development" idea of Congress, or the Hinduism of BJP, nor do I get the Secularism plank of parties like SP and JDU. I fail to connect with the Communism of CPM or the dalit-favoritism of BSP, TMC etc. I wasn't around when all these parties were formed. But in the case of AAP, I know why it formed and what it wants to do. And I can't wait to see what it will be able to achieve in the coming years.

9. I find their leaders worth following: Whether it be Arvind Kejriwal or Prashant Bhushan or Kumar Vishwas Or Yogendra Yadav, they all have different styles, but it's fun to listen to all of them. And when you listen you know they are passionate about changing the system, and  passion is what we need in politics. Isn't it?



10. The system can really be changed from inside only: I respect Anna and what he did and has done. But I haven't really been a fan of his fasts-till-death. It feels like blackmailing to me. If the Government elected by the people of India doesn't want certain things to be done, or is going against the wishes of its own people, I believe it's better to change the damn Government instead of blackmailing it through fasts or courts.

Now, do I seriously think that AAP is going to form the Govt. this time? Do I really think the AAP candidate from my area is going to win? NO and NO.

So, why bother voting at all, you might ask? Why not instead vote for a party that has a chance to win? You see, this is the kind of mentality that I don't buy. My question is even if you were all but certain to lose, won't you even fight? Would you join the pigs if the pigs are in majority?

I don't really care if my single vote doesn't make any difference in the end-result of my favored candidate; at least I will know in my heart that I gave vote to someone whom I believed in. And in that, I think my vote won't be wasted. 

I don't really know a lot about the candidate whom I am going to vote this time, but at least I have faith in the party to which he belongs. Otherwise, I was seriously considering the shiny new "vote for rejection" this time.

I can't say what's going to happen in the elections this time around, but one thing is sure that AAP has really made these elections interesting. In last one decade of following it, I have never been this excited about the politics, ever before!