Up until 2012 I was just a normal student, indifferent to the political affairs and not really concerned about the wrongdoings in the society. However, a large crowd did not share my apathy, and there were huge anti-corruption protests going on in India at the time. But up until this time, I really didn’t care.
In November 2012 something really historic happened. A faction of people who were participating in these protests against the government decided to form a political party of their own called the Aam Aadmi Party, literally, Common Man’s Party, which consisted of common people, doctors, engineers, teachers and most important of them, prominent and not-so-prominent grassroots activists. The idea behind the formation of this new political party was to enter the system and fight corruption from within. It sounded appealing and I decided to vote for them if they contested the Delhi state elections (it was and still is an extremely small political party to contest and win the entire nation).
But in 2013 my life took a major turn. Somehow I got interested in joining this new political group and working for them. Since it was and is a crowd-funded political entity and does not take donations from billionaires in the country, they did not pay me anything and demanded complete passion and dedication from me. I was ready. I quit my job and went on a journey of financial insecurities and sleepless nights.
In 2014 there were elections in our country, and our party suffered a huge loss. India was won by a right-winged, conservative party called the BJP and Narendra Modi became our Prime Minister (I did not vote for him. I would never vote for him. He is a corporate slave). But we kept on campaigning. It was just the beginning.
In 2015 there were elections in Delhi, and we won by an absolute majority.
By then I had completely absorbed myself in politics, and was following every bit of national and international politics, world revolutions and grassroots movements with a new fervour. Towards the mid of 2015, three events of international significance happened.
- Justin Trudeau became the Prime Minister of Canada
- Jeremy Corbyn rose to become the leader of the Labour Party in the UK
- Bernie Sanders was gaining popularity in the USA
These three events are connected by a common thread of leftism and an ideology that puts people before establishment. Coming from a third world country that is now being ruled by a right-winged government, I, needless to say, was happy that the world is changing for good and for the better. All three of these leaders are anti-war, pro-people and pro-minorities.
I saw a grassroots movement by the people, of the people and for the people forming in the USA and as I read about Bernie Sanders, I learned that he voted against the Iraq war and listed the reasons why. This was a refreshing change from the earlier Presidents who were bloodthirsty to say the least. Now, even Tony Blair admits that Iraq war led to the rise of ISIS, which has now ravaged Syria, while we are debating whether to allow refugees in our country or not. I read about Bernie’s stance against NAFTA that has done nothing but exploit cheap labor in other countries, and his stance against TPP, which is even more dangerous than NAFTA. I read a lot. And most importantly, I read about how his and Corbyn’s rise has given and will continue to give a much-needed boost to the Left in India.
This was reason enough for me to pack my bags and come over to the States and help fuel the Bern. I talked to the South Carolina organisers and found out that they needed volunteers. So I poured in most of my savings into this trip, and here I am, in the United States, to volunteer for Bernie Sanders! And it is not for the USA or for India, but for the entire world. The world needs Sanders and the American population should keep this mind before they set out to vote.
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