In keeping with their chapter’s motto and on the quest to quench their thirst for learning, EO New Delhi invited the respected social activist and politician, Arvind Kejriwal to share his transformational experiences.
Mr. Shamit Khemka, President EO New Delhi introduced the new board members and set a new theme ‘Live, Laugh and Learn’ for the new EO year.
Vikram Hada, the Day Chair took the event further by introducing Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, who heads the Aam Aadmi Party and has been instrumental in many social campaigns in our country. He pointed out that Mr. Kejriwal and EO believe in a common philosophy; “Boldly Go!”
Mr. Kejriwal appeared to be down to earth and preferred to speak in his mother tongue, saying that when speaking in Hindi, he speaks from his heart. He went on to address the various issues that affect the common man in India and shared the proposed solutions with which his party intends to solve them.
Mr. Kejriwal spoke in detail about how corruption is plaguing the economy and how higher inflation has made basic amenities beyond the reach of the common man. He also emphasized on other major challenges such as women’s safety, poor infrastructure; electricity shortages, water supply and quality education. He explained that a political platform like AAP is needed to solve these problems. Only keeping fasts won’t change the system. “Hum anshan karke mar jaye to bhi inko fark nahi padega”, said Kejriwal.
He said, “Janta ki demand bahut choti choti hoti hai” and promised to fulfill them. One key point of his speech was his focus on empowering people and enabling them to decide the utilization of public funds.
Further Mr. Kejriwal said the AAP’s candidates are honest, have a character and have no criminal charges against them. “Humare me sau kamiya ho sakti hai par humari niyat saaf hai”.
Commenting on the recent Congress claim ‘Yahan vikas dikhta hai’ he said “Vikas sirf ringroad pe dikhta hai” just off ring road people are living in appalling conditions “Kya flyover hi desh hota hai? Desh hota hai insaano se”
After his engaging speech EO New Delhi members were inquisitive to ask him lots of questions. Here is an excerpt of the Q&A session that followed:
EO New Delhi Member: What is your ideology?
Kejriwal: We’re not wedded to any ideology. We want corruption free India and will follow any ideology that supports it. “Ideology se roti nahi milti, pet nahi bharta”
EO New Delhi Member: What is your opinion on Narendra Modi’s growth model and Modi mania?
Kejriwal: He is talking about the Centre and we are talking about Delhi. There is much exaggeration… For Centre vote Modi or Rahul Gandhi, for Delhi vote Arvind Kejriwal or Viraj Goel (BJP).
EO New Delhi Member: Party candidates must have intent, ability and understanding of area. Your 26-year-old candidates may have intent and ability but do they have that much understanding of area?
Kejriwal: Yes, because they have been fighting for social causes for the past 16 years.
EO New Delhi Member: Things are not that easy to change. The whole system is corrupt. Will you prefer waiting for 5 years or paying 5% bribe?
Kejriwal: It’s not easy at all. We’re tortured, humiliated and even face life threats but we are ready to sacrifice our life for a corruption free India. Hong Kong was much more corrupted in 1970 than India is today. Then they formed ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) and 5 years down the line things changed.
EO New Delhi Member: Do you think society is educated enough so that people can take every decision?
Kejriwal: People will take care of general issues like roads and electricity. But they will not take care of banking, insurance and government policies.
EO New Delhi Member: Why did you split with Anna Hazare?
Kejriwal: Our methods are different. He believes in working from outside the system. We went on fasts and dharnas but that didn’t work. Forming a political party was the next logical step. We have to be part of the system if we want to change it.
EO New Delhi Member: What will you choose Pro people or Pro economy?
Kejriwal: Pro people is pro economy.
EO New Delhi Member: For example, what about land under slum settlements which could be used for government purposes. But that would mean displacing many people…
Kejriwal: Slum dwellers are required in the city as they subsidize our lives by working as drivers and maids. They can’t be thrown out. Things should be planned and they should be relocated to lead better lives.
EO New Delhi Member: Did you take any action against corruption when you were an income tax officer?
Kejriwal: Yes I did.
EO New Delhi Member: Despite the fact that people and NRIs in Punjab supported Manpreet Badal, he failed. What if you fail too?
Kejriwal: If I fail someone else should rise to fight. “Sau baar girenge, sau baar haarenge par fir bhi ladenge. BSP aur Congress ke bharose to main ye desh nahi chod sakta”
EO New Delhi Member: If you win, will you be as accessible to EO New Delhi as you are today?
Kejriwal: We want decentralization. People will need no politicians to run things. So I will have much more time for EO.
On this light note the event ended with laughs, learning, food and wine. While Arvind Kejriwal is all set to be the next big sensation of India, EO New Delhi has successfully launched another EO year. There is a strong hope that India will change.
EO New Delhi wishes the best of luck to Arvind Kejriwal for the upcoming elections.