The Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) win on Tuesday did not just elect a new party in Delhi but also made a strong statement which might be the start of a new kind of politics in the country.
“This is Sunita,” said AAP’s CM designate Arvind Kejriwal, as he introduced his wife to thousands of supporters gathered to congratulate him at the party office in Patel Nagar.
In a touching gesture, he then proceeded to hug her.
“She is my wife Sunita and she never comes forward because she works with the government. She is scared that government might take action against her. But today I forcefully brought her here. The government won’t take action against her now,” he said.
Kejriwal also thanked his wife on Twitter, his last tweet for the day. “Thank u Sunita for always being there,” (sic) he wrote.
Rohan D’Souza, associate professor at the department of history at Shiv Nadar University, said that this was not a casual gesture but a well thought out and politically astute move.
He said that this moment will be written in history as the start of a new kind of political culture in Delhi.
“This seemed like an extremely thought out move by Kejriwal to state that unlike the trend that has been followed till now, politics is not about strong men but about partnerships and families. This has shattered the long tradition of ignoring women from the political space,” said D’Souza.
Many experts also compared the moment with the political scenario in the West, where politicians are judged not just on the basis of their campaigns but also as their role as family men.
In addition to this, experts also felt that this revealed the sensitive side of the leader as against the aggressive and imposing side which the public is so used to seeing at his rallies and jansabhas.
“I think with this move he scored a goal even before forming the government. On one hand where leaders like Sakshi Maharaj are insulting the position of women by ordering them to have more children, we have a politician who owes his success to his wife and family. This is a statement which asserts that the politics that we were surrounded by for so long, was too hyper and masculine for the new India,” he said.