His boldest initiative was to file FIR against Mukesh Ambani and Veerappa Moily and others in what he calls the gas pricing scam in the hope of stopping a huge jump in energy prices in April 2014 and the pain it will bring to the common man.
49 Days in Power
A short tenure in government on its first political foray is not without precedence for a fledgling political party. The first NDA government under Vajpayee lasted 13 days. The second NDA government lasted 13 months. The people of India elected NDA again for the third time and the government ruled till 2004.
The people did not elect BJP a fourth time because by then the people had realized that there was no difference between the BJP and the Congress. Both are governments of the privileged, by the privileged and for the privileged. Both parties are tolerant of corruption and crony capitalism.
People chose the Congress in 2004 because Sonia’s policies were closer to the Aam Admi than BJP’s “India Shining” policies which favoured the privileged classes. If the people are happy with Kejriwal and the AAP, they will keep voting them back to power in Delhi and elsewhere.
Understanding Aam Admi Party (AAP)
To understand Kejriwal’s resignation one must understand the ethos of AAP. Eliminating corruption is its primary focus. It is a political party born out of civil society’s angst against all pervasive corruption that is impoverishing the people and Anna Hazare’s agitation for the Jan Lokpal Bill. Kejriwal, one of Anna Hazare’s trusted lieutenants and the founder of AAP, realized that corruption cannot be stopped without political power. Political power comes from the bullet or the ballot.
In a democracy, the power should belong to the people. But the power of the people has been usurped by their leaders from the privileged class who have fooled them with promises and taken advantage of the inability of the Aam Admi (ordinary people) to unite against them.
Kejriwal and AAP have succeeded to a large extent in uniting the Aam Admi of Delhi against their exploitation by the privileged class. That is why AAP could win 28 out of 70 seats in Delhi in their first attempt and formed the government. But the main political parties of the privileged class, the Congress and BJP joined hands to ensure that Kejriwal could not bring the Jan Lokpal Bill and stop them from exploiting the Aam Admi.
Kejriwal had two options, to resign and fight fresh elections or to submit to the manipulations of the political parties representing the privileged class. He rightly chose to resign. Congress has thwarted him from seeking a fresh mandate from the people of Delhi by not dissolving the assembly and ordering fresh elections. But how long can Congress rule by manipulation?
Corruption Affects the Poor More
Almost everyone pays bribe. The rich businessmen pay bribe as speed money to get things done or to share money saved with government servants and politicians by paying less income tax, sales tax, service tax, exercise duty, import duty, stealing electricity and water, under pricing of government land and so on. They pay nothing out of their pocket. They gain by paying money.
The salaried middle class pay money to get things done and to save their time and reduce inconvenience. They can afford to pay.
The poor have to pay bribes out of their meagre earnings to survive. They have to pay the police to hawk their goods on the footpath, to sleep in the public parks and to avoid being picked up on false charges and being beaten up. They have to pay government officials to get their BPL cards or ration cards and to ensure their hutments or temporary shops are not demolished.
They have to pay the Sarpanch to get their MNREGA earnings and caste certificates, the Patwaris to get land records, the bank manager to get a loan, and the RTO to get or renew licences and vehicle permits. The demands are endless.
Corruption does not bother the rich and the privileged. It helps them to get richer and more powerful. That is why the privileged class and their political leadership are worried about the rise of the Aam Admi Party and will do their best to ensure that they do not gain political power.
The people of India must have seen the difference AAP's 49 day rule did to the Aam Admi of Delhi. They must vote for their own empowerment by voting for AAP.
Kejriwal and his AAP must continue their fight against corruption and rule of the privileged, by the privileged and for the privileged. The fight will be long and difficult. There will be set backs and disappointments. There will be people like Binny who will betray their cause.
Keep fighting corruption Kejriwal. The people will slowly realize what improvement into their lives you can bring. They will support you. “AAP Honge Kameyab Ek Din” (AAP will succeed sooner or later).