Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Spirit of "Aam Aadmi"

I have been meaning to ponder on "Aam Aadmi" for the past 2 weeks after reading about landslide victory of Indian's ruling party - Nationalist Congress Party ("NCP") - in the world's largest democracy, having 714 million registered voters out of 1.148 Billion population, during its 15th GE.

"Aam Aadmi Ke Badhte Khadam" - loosely translated into "Common man marches ahead and every step he takes makes India stronger" has been NCP's mantra for the GE that it even produced several sharp, high-voltage 1-minute-long films showcase the Congress's 'commitment' to the common man and seek endorsement for the party from the voters. Check my favourite one here.

So, I went through going-to-be-10-year-old NCP website - pretty impressive and professional i'd say since i never come across one in our Ibupertiwi. Even more interesting to see how they describe their Prime Minister - "Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, India's fourteenth Prime Minister, is a highly acclaimed economist, administrator, thinker and scholar". Personally, i like the "thinker" part of it, which most of our politicians are lacking.

Then, i read upon their 2009 GE manifesto here, which outlines: -

1. What it stands for

(a) A democratic secular society wedded to equality and social justice as well committed to preserve the unity and integrity of the country, looking up at democracy as a holistic outcome of secularism in practice, ensuring equal rights, politically, economically and socially to each and everyone in the country.

(b) Secularism means fraternity amongst followers of different faiths, respecting each others’ faith and cooperation and coexistence among them without any prejudice.

(c) By equity and social justice to ensure equal opportunity for all in all spheres of life, especially for education and skill development with special affirmative action for the deprived sections of the society.

(d) To ensure the unity and integrity of India by strengthening our federal set up through decentralized functioning of the government and the rule of law without any prejudice to any religion, caste, creed, community, region, sex or status.

(e) The slogan is "Good governance and a stable government, development oriented, transparent and corruption-free".

2. Concept of Development

(a) Overall development of the life of the common man including the weaker sections of the society in as much as it provides a better life for them, better housing facilities, better food, better clothing, facilities for giving better education for their children, and better health facilities, that depend on more earnings or remuneration. So the economic development should provide for more employment opportunities and more employment generation schemes and projects.

(b) Making farming profitable by ways of minimum support price, liberalisation of market, farmer-friendly financing packages, waiver of accumulated of debts (resulted from successive natural causes like droughts and floods), amongst others.

(c) Implementation of The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme ("NREGS"), which guarantees 100 days’ work a year for those who register their names for work under the scheme.

It's a long manifesto but what makes it so appealing, that drove millions of common people to ballot boxes, proud to show off the indelible ink on their finger, is that, for once, there is one party that speaks for them. Indeed, Mr Abraham Lincoln quoted that "the ballot is stronger than the bullet".

As much as we call for free press and transparency in this Ibu Pertiwi, NCP had decided to "shield their campaign from prying eyes - even the press (read : "NO trespassers at this battleground")", as cited here. Their strategy worked to their benefit and of course, they don't have to deal with the likes of our Sai-fool guy and mentally-confused and distorted MSM as part of character assassination.

I could be biased in giving you my opinion but this is what Wall Street Journal described the NCP's victory on 17 May 2009: -

"A government with a convincing majority, unshackled from communist political allies of the past, was viewed as crucial at a time when officials are expected to explore fresh approaches to spurring India's economy, reforming its archaic labor laws and perhaps opening it further to global capital flows".

Even the Government of Mr. Barack Obama has quoted Mira Kamdar in its report as follows: -

“You are watching the enfranchisement into the political process of whole blocks of a population whose specific interests and needs really never found expression in that process before in any kind of direct way,” Kamdar said. New parties are coming up and old parties that used to be powerful are losing influence".

p.s. Sounds familiar to our dino-age B(e)N(d)...

Somehow, i cannot avoid but to think, it all started with my Mr. Barack Obama's presidential campaign, now every right-thinking political party would jump on this bandwagon of compassion, humanity, equality and justice for all. Yes, they better be unlike some parties in our Ibu Pertiwi, which continue to remain in the maze of confusion and make-believe of their own doing.

Thank God for the similar spirit, in my humble opinion, being applied during Penanti by-elction campaign, as shared here by Mr. G. Krishnan in his blogpost "Roosting Time". It was a brilliant move by PKR to side step what's hot in the MSM (who bothers anyway?) but to focus on what they can do to help the common people, like us, especially during this trying time.

It's a heartfelt relief for an ever-emotional yours truly because i always believe what the Ambassador of Love, Pearl Bailey says about hungry people - "Hungry people cannot be good at learning or producing anything, except perhaps violence".

I'm glad to see that politics is no longer about mind games, strategies and self-preservation (oh, pleaseee..i'd rather make my own 'jeruk'?) by stone-aged politicians and their likes. Let's bring back the sanctity of democracy to our Ibu Pertiwi, just like how it should be, according to Mr. Abraham Lincoln - "Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people".

May "Aam Aadmi" spirit lives on our heartland.

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