AAP has aroused hopes

Over six decades since independence India made remarkable progress in many sectors. We became self-reliant in food-grains and other household items. After the debacle of 1962 China war, we are proud to have at present an efficient world-class Army. If all this could happen in a fractured India, one can imagine the great leaps an undivided India would have taken. After all, the best way to development is through human resources. We have good institutes to produce qualified professionals though it is shameful that they prefer to work for other nations around the world, perhaps frustrated by the bottlenecks of the red tape here.

After independence, dedicated, honest and hard-working politicians tried to build up institutions which may make India stand on its feet. However, Gandhiji’s emphasis on rural economy was largely ignored. Nehru’s romantic socialism was responsible for giant steel plants in collaboration with Russia but this gave way to liberalization and the influx of multinational corporations. Middle class, in particular, enjoyed the benefits of luxuries provided by an open economy and our politicians became complacent. Wailing sirens, beacon flashing cavalcades of automobiles became the norm of day for these politicians visits. Precious resources, in particular fossil fuels, were wasted on unproductive expenditure. While China realised the importance of alternative sources of energy and invested intelligently to become a superpower, we lagged behind. No doubt, we progressed in communication network with TV and mobiles reaching to nook and corners of our country but essential commodities like potable water, clean environment, village-based cottage industries were not given due priority. Rich became richer and poor poorer with money concentrating in a few hands. Rural India’s development which Gandhiji equated to India’s development suffered and even food processing industries to utilise farmer’s hard toiled growth were not facilitated in rural India. Our politicians filled the vacuum left by ‘Gora Sahibs’ and obnoxiously behaved like ‘Brown Sahibs’. They filled their coffers, helped their kith and kin and roamed with a vulgar show of unnecessary security. They competed through extravagant expenditures on political rallies for their political aggrandizement. Aam Junta (common man) suffered.

Independent India witnessed Police force being a tool in the hands of unscrupulous politicians similar to its role under the British Raj. Aam Junta became fed up with corruption prevailing in all walks of life. The ‘real desh-bhakts’ were aggrieved and wished for a change. However, it was not possible to have a “Tahrir Square” in India but AAP effectively did just that. Delhi witnessed a new kind of revolution through ballot and if AAP missed the mark of clear majority, it was only due to apprehensive voters doubting claims of this new entity. Another election could have given thumping majority to AAP. Emergence of AAP on the political scene has made a paradigm shift in political thinking. However, the sharks are out to gobble the fish and the road ahead for AAP is full of hurdles. In addition to the defeated political parties, a bureaucracy seeped in the tradition of corrupt practices and benefitting at the cost of ignorant inhabitants of this great country will sure be trying to manoeuvre the downfall of this new phenomenon which can tackle effectively all bottlenecks to let India emerge as a force to reckon with. A good sign of AAP is the absence of veneration for an individual as is the case with other parties. It is encouraging to notice the humility and simplicity in AAP and its earnest desire to listen to common man. AAP has given away the arrogance of grandiose ceremonies and its members are behaving and travelling like ordinary citizens. These signs augur well and hopefully will spread to all corners of the country. AAP, spreading its wings outside Delhi, should give priority to rural development in order to check migration of local populace to live in filth and squalor of cities. One hopes our villages will progress with food processing, cottage industries, good roads and connectivity through sturdy bridges, afforestation etc. This dream will demand uninterrupted power and therefore, funding for electrochemical research for solar energy, wind energy conversion etc. will be required both from government and private sector as is the case in developed western nations.

Salman Sultan, Azamgarh

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-28 February 2014 on page no. 2

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