Opinion / OP Rana

Underestimate not the power of the people

By Op Rana (China Daily) Updated: 2015-02-14 07:48

Once the AAP resigned, mainstream media tore into it, criticizing almost everything it had done while in power. Three months later the BJP won the parliamentary elections with a landslide majority and Modi was sworn in as the prime minister. The AAP's performance in the parliamentary polls was dismal. And media outlets were too eager to write its premature obituary instead of trying to find out the painstaking work its workers had been doing despite not being in power to help the poor and needy in Delhi.

It is this resolve to serve the people and the humility of learning from its mistakes that have catapulted the AAP to the heights of electoral glory. In the just concluded Delhi Assembly polls, the APP won all but three of the 70 seats, creating some sort of an electoral record.

The party is led by the nondescript, muffler-wrapped former tax inspector Arvind Kejriwal, who on Feb 14 will be sworn in as the chief minister of Delhi for the second time in just over two years. The clean image of Kejriwal and his colleagues, who come from diverse backgrounds - lawyers, journalists, musicians, artists and poets - has endeared them to the people of Delhi, who seeing them for who they are have trusted them with their votes. As for India's ruling party, the BJP, it has paid the price for taking the people for granted, afflicted as it is with hubris on winning the parliamentary election last year.

The people of Delhi have sent out a clear message to politicians not only in India, but also the rest of the world: Do not underestimate the power of the people. Politicians can ignore it only at their own peril.

The author is a senior editor with China Daily.

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