Sundernagri, a locality in East Delhi is in news these days. The resettlement colony sees a host of visitors each day with social activists and common people making a beeline to enquire about health of Aam Aadmi party leader Arvind Kerjiwal who has been on fast since the last 13 days against hike in power tariffs.
Uma Devi, a homemaker who has come to see the fasting leader from Yamunagar colony perhaps reflects the ambitions of a common man from the government. She says that she had come to see the fasting leader as he was fighting for the cause of common people like her.
Meanwhile, doctors have expressed their fears that all might not be well with the fasting leader. As per Atul Gupta, a doctor attending to Arvind, the leader has become extremely weak and has lost over 6.5 Kg since he took to the fast.
Media however has reacted cautiously to the initiative taken by Arvind Kerjiwal. Not much coverage is being done of his fast. However, Aaam Aadmi party has taken things in its stride and claims that it has received signed letters from over 10 lakh people who have refused to pay the inflated electricity and water bills.
Arvind has chosen the venue with much care. He is well known in the locality as it was here only that he set up his NGO by the name of Parivartan in 2002. The fast is seen in political circles as an attempt by the party to create space for itself ahead of the assembly polls in New Delhi.
AAP member and political activist reflect the intention of the party in a better way. In an interview given to CNN-IBN he pointed out that this civil disobedience movement has both short and long term objectives. He pointed out that the short term objective was to turn this issue into a public campaign so as to pressurize the companies to take back the excess charges that they have imposed on the common masses. The long term objective would be to remove any fears and doubts from the mind of people in Delhi that they do not matter in issues relating to policy making which are being made for them only.
However, much work needs to be done on ground as the party has minimal presence in other parts of the country. It is surviving to find its political space in New Delhi and Arvind has embarked on the fast with this motive. How good will his fast do to the interests of the common man is yet to be seen.
Issues that have implications for the common man can usually turn into a mass movement and at times people with malicious intentions enter this system with ease. The biggest challenge before AAP as of now is to see to it that their campaign is not marred with controversy and they are able to bring some respite to the common man. If only they succeed in this mission will they be a true survivor in the political arena.