12 Wednesday
February 2020
The people of Delhi.

In the wake of the Delhi assembly results, the stupendous victory of AAP, and the summary rejection of hate and vitriol, I’m impressed with the voters of Delhi. To have the wisdom to figure out what is best for them despite the campaign of fear would not have been easy.And needless to say, I’m absolutely delighted.

I’ve campaigned in Delhi for the past four weeks, interacting with folks in various assemblies and from varied economic strata…. Sharing a few conversations that stuck in my head.
In Karol Bagh Market, we met a lot of people who were delighted with the work done by AAP. One man told me, itney saal se main line mein khada hota tha paani ke liye….ab 5 saal se merey ghar mein pipe se paani aa raha hai.

It was such a profound statement for me. In the nation capital region in the heart of India, there are lakhs of people who had not seen water in their taps. Shame on every party that worked in Delhi for the past so many decades, if you could not provide water to your people, how could you call yourself a government??? AAP gave piped water to hundreds of colonies ending the tanker mafia.

I remember while canvassing in 2015 I had seen an unbelievable queue of 2000 plus buckets and matkas waiting for tanker water in Sanjay camp Okhla and I’m grateful that AAP government addressed this basic need and made these citizens of Delhi feel like human beings.

To everyone who’s calling this a freebie, kindly imagine life without water in your home taps for even 6 hours, let alone few decades. Water is a basic human right.

The second conversation I would like to mention was a shop owner in Central Market Lajpat Nagar. I was distributing pamphlets asking people to vote for AAP, when he said, Nahin, hum Hindu Hain. I walked away saying Hindu toh hum bhi hain…. He said Nahin, hum sachey Hindu hain!

Obviously he was a BJP supporter, but what amazed me was religious polarisation has got so ingrained in people’s minds that they are now using religion as an argument against their own co-religionists! What he was suggesting was not that he was a Hindu, but that he hated every other religion and also hated Hindus who were tolerant towards other religions.

This kind of Us vs Them, Hindu vs Muslim, sachey Hindu vs liberal Hindu is classic polarisation created by media and social media propaganda. Falsehoods repeated again and again create a world where anger, hate and enmity are the only feelings driving people. This thought process is divisive and dangerous for a country that has prided itself in unity, secularism and peace from the time of its creation.

I met a few women in South extension Market who said we will vote for AAP because they are doing work. You don’t need to canvass here.

This was a class of women who don’t care about freebies, the savings in the monthly electricity bill are less than the cost of their girl’s lunch out. But they were women who were aware of what was happening and had clearly made up their mind irrespective of what other people told them to do. Kudos ladies, like one supporter told me yesterday, the women of Delhi have summarily defeated the politics of hate.

Met many people in the metro who told me how they were getting zero electricity bills. People mentioned free bus rides as a means of empowering women in the public space. Students said their schools had transformed. People from Deoli and Sangam Vihar said their MLAs had made pucca roads and gates in their colonies. Traders said itni mandi aa gayi hai, pareshaan ho gaye hain. People said don’t worry iss baar 70/70 dengey AAP ko. Faces, conversations, smiles….. such a surreal experience connecting with fellow human beings from all walks of life.

Not one person told me their MLA was corrupt.Not one person told me their MLA was a goonda. And that folks is the transformation India genuinely needed. As Arvind Kejriwal likes to say, hum rajneeti karney nahin badalney aaye hain.

I’m grateful to the people of Delhi for perceiving this difference and for converting thoughts into votes. It’s not everyday that one city provides hope to the rest of the country. You have chosen well. And I’m sure AAP will not let you down.

Jai Hind.
Dr.Sarika Verma
ENT surgeon Gurgaon
AAP volunteer.