Verdict of hope: Can Kejriwal help Delhi reclaim its lost glory?

  • Vishakha Saxena, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 12, 2015 17:55 IST

For anyone who voted for Arvind Kejriwal one year ago, and was ridiculed for it when he quit after 49 days of taking oath, Tuesday couldn't have ended in a more beautiful way.

It was a day of celebration, laughter and raised hopes. People took to streets and metro stations with AAP's trademarks -- white hats and brooms. The fireworks went on well into the night.

Delhi had treated the man like a messiah in 2014. He may have shattered its faith, but humility is a medicine second to none.

"Here is a chief minister who's car stops at the red light. You can shake his hand. You can make spoof videos featuring him. He has a sense of humour and can laugh at himself. The youth is not used to seeing MLAs and CMs like this," says young filmmaker Debashish Kumar.

The Aam Aadmi Party has managed to keep Delhi hooked.

The party's 'politics of humility' is thought to have played an important role in driving the win home. A valid point considering AAP has carefully maintained its image of 'simplicity'.

Case in point, when AAP celebrated its election victory, one could see flying flowers, Kejriwal hugging his daughter and wife and touching his father's feet. We saw hundreds of volunteers cheering and waving their brooms, dancing on green carpets with small dabs of pink dry colour on their cheeks.

A 'common' celebration, with family. Sans big posters, printed shirts and grandiose portions of mithais and laddoos.

As Arundhati Roy, a content strategist, puts it, "Kejriwal has thoroughly won the hearts of the city."

But that's not all.

AAP's comparatively young leaders represent a different genre of politics -- minus foul bickering and crass statements.

More importantly, they represent a fresher, more progressive mind-set -- a changed mind-set that Delhi needs quite badly at this point.

The city's frustration with corruption and lawlessness is increasingly making ugly impressions. And maybe AAP can breathe some fresh air into 'dil walon ki dilli'.

If the party keeps its promises, without carrying out midnight raids, Delhi stands a chance of reclaiming its glory.

Kejriwal's job will not be an easy one. It's been a year of chaos and water, electricity, women's safety, LGBTQ rights, corruption, full statehood -- there are too many issues on Delhi's mind.

"The party itself has to adapt to a more progressive non-RWA kind of mindset. Honesty and anti corruption is fine but a more progressive and broad minded vision is needed," says Pathikrit Sanyal who voted for the AAP both in 2013 and this year.

Empathy, laws, awareness, etc. the Capital has many demands. There's expectation of immense maturity from a very young party.

But, AAP can remember that Delhi was a city of warmth, love and loyalty. All of which AAP stands to gain.

Delhi can grow up with AAP over the next five years, regaining its dreaminess, beauty and liveliness. Or so one can hope.

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