Until a little while ago, I had not bothered to read the manifesto of the Aam Aadmi Party. I am not a resident of Delhi and I had figured that it would make no difference whether I read it or not.
But something changed last evening. All these days I had been under the impression that the party had been promising 700 litres of free water to every resident of Delhi. The media kept screaming about the stupidity of this promise and how this was a classic example of their incompetence, their ineptitude and so on.
All of this changed for me last night too, on the Karan Thapar show. A very articulate, self assured Atishi Marlena of AAP put things into perspective. She clarified that households consuming less than 700 litres get the water for free, the rest have to pay for water and those that consume more then 1000 litres have to pay a premium. But in what has become par for the course when one’s mind is already made up, Karan Thapar played deaf, repeating what he had been told by his editorial staff that AAP had promised 700 litres of water to every household. I was enraged.
Which is how I decided to go back to the basics and read the manifesto. The manifesto itself is in Hindi and the party website provides what it calls the gist of the manifesto, crux is the word they use, in English. It says: “Households using up to 700 litres of water (per day) would be given free water.” crystal clear, i should think. I am not referring to the water which we still need to test after it is served up. But the promise could not have been clearer.
So what is Karan Thapar’s problem? To be fair to him he was much more patient with AAP than many of his fellow travellers. Yet the fact remains that many of those who depend on the media are getting badly shortchanged. facts are not presented, except after twisting them to support a conclusion. That is tragic, to say the least.
AAP deserves a break. The next time you see a channel trashing them, a newspaper criticising them for a promise they are supposed to have made, please, please get a fact check done. For the first time in my living memory, have some people made us believe that change is possible. Let us not bury that under a avalanche of lies fed to us day in and day out by a bigoted, self seeking, self serving media controlled by vested interests.
I want to leave you with but one thought. Honestly, the folks in the Aam Aadmi Party are not the greenhorns they are portrayed to be, nor are they irresponsible by any stretch of imagination.
I had planned to launch this section of my blog on the day AAP takes over in Delhi but after what I saw yesterday and have been seeing over the last few days, I simply did not want to postpone it.