Dare We Hope?

Change is in the air.

Like a feel good movie script playing out before our eyes, our nation has been witnessing the impossible feat of a motley bunch of politically naive, well-intentioned, ‘ordinary’ people, overturning all poll predictions and winning enough seats in the Delhi assembly elections to oust the long (15 years!) reigning chief minister!

Young and earnest, these giant slayers, calling themselves the Aam Aadmi Party (Common Man Party, whose acronym cleverly translates to ‘You’ or rather a respectful ‘Thou’), are set to literally sweep corruption out of our system with their emblem, the broom. And to bring power back to the people.

And even a cynic like myself committed to a null vote, cannot help being caught up in the euphoria of that possibility. Despite the recurring image of a muffler swathed prime minister waving a broom. Despite the thought of having to put up with more of Mr. Kejriwal’s inspiring, but tone-deaf crooning. Despite the plethora of skeptics and naysayers.

That the grand old parties have been blindsided is evident in the scurrying to reset national poll strategies, in their visible discomfiture during debates and interviews, and even the panicked shredding of papers in some government offices!

Is equality and justice and a corruption free polity at all possible in India? Perhaps not. It would be foolish to imagine the AAP’s job ahead will be anything less than Herculean. There are bound to be mistakes. Plenty of them. But really, what is the worst that can happen that hasn’t already?

For now I am happy with good intentions. That has been scarce since a few years after independence. The rest will surely follow. If we all want it to badly enough. 

I leave you with this gallery of Aam Admi(s) from Calcutta, all shot on our walks with Manjit of Calcutta Photo Tours. More about that later.

Wishing you all a new year full of hope and promise. And happy travels.

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PS: Apologies for closing comments on my previous post. While I felt compelled to write that tribute, I had reasons to not want to accept condolences on behalf of the family. But your thoughts and prayers came through in your likes and messages. Thank you very much. I feel privileged to be part of this community.