The Best Re­venge

Re­turn of the Aam Aadmi Party to Delhi was a good change in In­dian pol­i­tics. There are many lessons to be learnt from this phe­nom­e­non.

Southasia - - CONTENTS - By Shahzad Chaudhry

The Ke­jri­wal fac­tor has shaken In­dian pol­i­tics to the core.

The ‘aam aadmi’ (com­mon man) has been a cen­tral player in his­tory for eons; ev­ery new evo­lu­tion or revo­lu­tion is based around his needs, de­sires or im­pulse. That, in short, en­cap­su­lates the cen­tral­ity of the com­mon man. At times, he is used too by ex­ter­nal el­e­ments ex­ploit­ing his res­i­dent force to up­turn or­ders, but such im­posed re­vi­sion of or­ders nor­mally do not live long. Peo­ple’s rev­o­lu­tions are the mod­ern cur­rency; see how the Arab Spring has been fa­bled and yet it seems to have gone sour rather too early. The time is too re­stric­tive to for­mu­late a last­ing judg­ment on the Spring ex­per­i­ment, but the larger un­der­stand­ing de­spite the young age of this phe­nom­e­non is that it has been ex­actly that, an ex­per­i­ment, with its own trig­ger agents, ma­te­ri­als and pro­cesses.

In com­par­i­son to what hap­pened in the French Revo­lu­tion, or the Ira­nian revo­lu­tion with some ide­o­log­i­cal guid­ance, or for that mat­ter the pop­u­larly pro­pounded Peo­ple’s Revo­lu­tion in the Philip­pines may have left a slightly longer im­pact on his­tory. The French Revo­lu­tion of all such ex­pe­ri­ences, how­ever, was the real game-changer, ush­er­ing in the mod­ern con­cept of the na­tion-state and how democ­racy has be­come a uni­ver­sal cry since. On oth­ers, the fi­nal judg­ments are yet to be made; where the events were rather shal­low or ex­ter­nally mo­ti­vated, the im­pact too has been rather nar­row and shal­low.

Back to the Arvind Ke­jri­wal phe­nom­e­non, then. He won Delhi af­ter hav­ing been rub­bished by one and all, and af­ter his ig­nominy of hav­ing al­most run away from his ear­lier ex­pe­ri­ence of Delhi’s chief min­is­ter­ship of 49 days. De­spite such bag­gage in his man­ners and per­for­mance, he man­aged to sweep Naren­dra Modi, BJP and the

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