Earlier this week, we observed AAP’s first anniversary by reflecting upon this fantastic journey that has taken many of us from the Indian community of Oaktree Road, Iselin NJ to the homes of voters in Delhi. This Summer we walked through Franklin, Iselin, Edison, New Brunswick, Rutgers University townships as part of a Swaraj Yatra to bring attention to the marginalization of the common man (the Aaam Aadmi) in India’s political process and the need to build governance through real power sharing . All that we had was an AAP cap and the message of honest and responsible governance. Not surprisingly, the Gandhian cap drew a lot of attention and led to many discussions with Indian Americans and other communities. In the last couple of weeks in Delhi, we have been meeting people in door to door election campaigns and getting first-hand look at how people survive in the harsh world of social injustice and government neglect. We know that though things may be desperate for millions who live in Delhi’s slums, people have expressed great hope in the model of governance proposed by AAP. People know that they will have real power to build their community and bring dignity to their lives. Local governance under AAP will vest power in the people to control the funds allocated to their ward and mohalla . Resident Welfare Associations will decide what projects get funded and authorize payment to contractors upon satisfactory work completion. This will allow people to build the required public infrastructure and public services for their ward, mohalla, or residential street .
AAP’s message has been one of political transformation that has drawn people together with the common goal of reclaiming our country with honest and responsible governance. In Delhi, I have met volunteers from all parts of India including Balaghat MP, Ambala, Kurushetra (Haryana), Tivandrum. India’s youth has responded with great enthusiasm and energy. We started with the issue of widespread corruption and the need to address the problem with Lokpal Bill. Our immediate and long-term goal, though, is to build India’s public infrastructure and public services so that millions for the first time can step into the modern world and experience dignity and purpose in their lives.
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