An Insignificant Man is a socio-political documentary on the formation and rise of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) during the 2012-2013 elections. The documentary captured day to day footages of Arvind Kejriwal as he eventually becomes the Chief minister of Delhi. Fighting against much bigger established political parties, the documentary shows the spectacular rise of the underdog.

We see that Kejriwal initially has no interest to form a political party, he is merely part of the anti-corruption movement that seeks to hold the government accountable. He starts by being on the side-lines, criticising the government for failing to do their duty. But the challenge comes when he himself becomes part of the political system and the one who has to take decisions in order to bring about the type of changes he had campaigned for earlier.

The documentary showed the enormous difficulties in manifesting an ideal vision into a pragmatic reality. It is one thing to stand on the side lines and criticise the ruling government, it is quite another to actually take up the responsibility and still maintain the ideals for which one stood for. We see Kejriwal struggling through all the challenges, whether it’s the possibility of delivering on the promises or dealing with a group of people who are less idealistic than him. His story is one of tough navigation between the ideal and the practical.

Interestingly the symbol of the Temple in the Old Testament is a tangible symbol of Heaven and Earth meeting together. In essence, it is bridging of the ideal and the practical world of possibilities. It was deeply symbolic for Israel because it was the perfect amalgamation of the two worlds and they were called to manifest that vision in everything they did. We see each generation of priests, kings, prophets and the nation as a whole struggling to get that harmony in balance.

Kejriwal and the party as a whole has by no means been able to perfectly manifest the ideal vision into their party politics. We have seen a fair share of their ups and downs. But though far from ideal, it is hard to deny that they have constantly strived for it day after day and their actions seems to be paying off.

In the documentary Kejriwal states that when one stands for Truth and strives sacrificially towards it, there would always be greater forces of benevolence that comes to aid the endeavour. The fact that AAP was able to be successful in Punjab, a state whose history and politics are very different than that of Delhi might be a testament to that statement.

In a democracy, all our actions collectively move towards shaping the government. We sometimes reduce politics merely to elections, power, parties, parliament, etc. But every time we manifest a vision of the ideal into the issues of the real world we are inevitably engaging in politics.



Jacob Cheriyan

Life Focus Society

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