Kejriwal in Big Apple
AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal was in New York City on a whirlwind one-day trip and held meetings with many supporter groups to energize them for the upcoming Delhi election.
Arvind Kejriwal's visit started with a visit to the Richmond Hill Gurudwara where he offered prayers and met with Sikh community leaders. He also spoke to Sikhs about the efforts taken by the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, including appointing a Special Investigation Team on 1984 Sikh riots, to bring the culprits to justice. He spoke of the need for honest governance in India and the crowd responded with chants of "bole so nihaal".
Then came the meet-and-greet session with AAP volunteers and supporters in USA. A strong crowd of more than 300 people gathered in a hall in the Sheraton Hotel. Even with the short notice regarding Kejriwal's visit, hundreds of volunteers poured in to meet him, with many travelling several hundred miles by car and others taking last-minute flights.
Group of volunteers from Canada drove over 1,000 kilometers to meet with their hero, as they put it. Dr. Bhan Garg and Anurag, who were part of the team which drove from Toronto, said: "We have been inviting Kejriwal-ji to visit for long time and now that he is in the vicinity, we were not going to miss it for the world."
Similarly, many supporters drove from neighbouring cities in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia and DC while others flew as far as from Bay Area, LA, Chicago and Atlanta.
The enthusiastic crowd cheered every word of his speech, shook hands and took pictures with him. Everyone pledged full support when Kejriwal sought their support for the upcoming Delhi elections including each one getting 10 of their friends to donate to the party.
Akshay Kumar Anugu, post-doctoral researcher and AAP volunteer who was part of the organizing team of Kejriwal's visit said, "I am overwhelmed by the response of AAP supporters. We barely had four days to plan and pull off the event, yet we got several hundred people coming from all over US & Canada. If we had a few more weeks, I am sure we would have had thousands more."
The main attraction of the evening was Kejriwal's talk at the prestigious Columbia University. The audience included many International and Public Affairs students of Indian and other nationalities, who were curious to hear first-hand the experience of the latest political success story from India.
Kejriwal was introduced by Professor Alfred Stepan, who called the Aam Aadmi Party a very interesting political case study. Kejriwal started his speech with a tribute to Dr Ambedkar who studied at Columbia; he spoke for 40 minutes on the need and challenges of clean politics and highlighted the party's recent 'Delhi Dialogue' initiative which focuses on drafting good public policies for Delhi. He announced that Education and Health are the top policy priorities of the party.
This was followed by 40 minutes of a passionate Q & A session with students. Questions included his 49-day government's perceived success and failures.
The day ended with Arvind Kejriwal meeting with a small group of friends and supporters organized by some of his IIT Kharagpur classmates. He flew out of New York at 10 am capping his barely 24-hour visit to 'The Big Apple'. more
bjp is also doing good job
let there be aap govt at delhi. it will be good combination
pls take up issue of shifting focus of our schools from literacy to real education as literacy is happening in our schools but real education is missing. long term solution is working with the programs of real education which will give solution all our problems
i am ready to play me role more
Subrata Guha more