The Aam Aadmi Party is an exciting experiment in democracy. We are noticing such movements rise in different countries across the world. Anti-establishment parties are coming to the fore in countries like Italy, Indonesia and even Egypt. Parties like these challenge the existing forms of power and rule which have followed a conventional ruling pattern over the years.
AAP has brought in a whole group of middle-class people, from IT and other professions, some who have left proper and well-paying jobs and people from all walks of life. This is a big wave to get so many people coming together for a cause, on a common platform for a cause that is far bigger. There are all kinds of people in our party. There is a thought that unites everybody. People have left behind various other pressing issues to be part of a change in India. People have come from different parts of India and the world with a single message – to bring in change.
The aam aadmi is in today, the khaas aadmi is no more khaas and it is a bad word to call someone khaas.
And people are back to wanting to do something to bring about a change. For years, political parties were very rigid in what they wanted to put across to the people. Not much of this had to do with the feeling of being an Indian and wanting to do something for the country as a whole and not in fragments. Most political parties have agendas which are on some tangential line of thought – like protecting a particular community or group.
So the aam admi for us is a big group and not possibly defined by the way the word aam admi have been used over the years. That may be the perception since AAP does not follow an established mode of power sharing. It is not just an anti-corruption force but one that sees power differently. We are not following an existing pattern put forth by the political parties which have been around for years.
For me the aam admi is anybody who is vulnerable. No one is fully vulnerable and no one is not vulnerable at all. Vulnerable not in the sense of how we use the word. For instance a young lady, who has a car, doing well in life, has a good job and family. She needs to go to a place at night so she takes her car but the parking lot is far from the place she actually wants to go. She feels vulnerable at that point.
You go to a police station for work but you find yourself so helpless and vulnerable and that is because you are the aam admi. And am not talking about aam admi in the economic sense. You might be a rich person in Srinagar and the army knocks on your door at night – you are vulnerable. So our aam admi is just about anybody who finds himself vulnerable in situations he or she is not supposed to feel so.
The problem is everyone looks at any kind of classification only economically. I tell you every classification in this world is through the eyes of the beholder. And if the classification is not in the manner in which it is traditionally done then it is confusing. We have all kinds who have joined AAP. There are intellectuals, IT people, journalists, retired people, and lawyers so our aam admi is not a middle class as it is portrayed – he is every kind of person who is being wronged because of the systems in place.
Yes, if you look at how the classification has always been seen, while one party has always identified with the lowest of the economic strata, the other party is on the other end. And we have that large middle segment which includes all types of people with different incomes and communities.
Take Dalits for instance. In Delhi when we held power, two of the six ministers were Dalits – which has never happened in the history of Delhi. We don’t go out of our way to show our closeness with Dalits but yes Dalits are very much part of our agenda. The Muslims yes, we are getting there. For instance Mewat, where I am going to be campaigning tomorrow is primarily Muslim.