Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim
Camera: Shah Umar
A human peacock, a platoon of young muffler-men and a 103-year-old supporter of the Aam Aadmi Party – these were one among the many sights at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan on Sunday, 16 February, where Aam Aadmi Party National Convener Arvind Kejriwal took oath as Chief Minister, for the third consecutive time.
Standing well within sight of mediapersons at gate number four of Ramlila Maidan was Uday Veer, who worked on his peacock outfit for a week. Veer, an ardent supporter of AAP for seven years now, wore a ochre kurta with broomsticks attached to his shoulders. At the tip of each broomstick was a picture of Arvind Kejriwal.
“It was my wish to dress as a peacock to Arvind Kejriwal’s swearing-in ceremony. My outfit comprises 1,000 sticks and 2,000 pictures. I want AAP to form a government in UP as well,” said Veer.
Competing with Veer was seven-year-old Yuvraj, who had come to Ramlila Maidan with his father all the way from Dwarka. Yuvraj, who was dressed as Junior Kejriwal by his mother said he did so because “Kejriwal is going to be sworn in as Chief Minister.”
His father, Ram Prakash, said, “After a long time in Indian politics, Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP has brought back honesty into politics.” This, he said, is important for the new generation, who must know that honest politicians exist and demand the same in future.
Mahendar, who had come with a band of folk musicians, said the only reason for his presence was the good work done by Kejriwal in the last five years. “He’s the best leader in the country and has won for the third time. All other parties are nothing but pretenders,” he said.
Lining up for security check at one of the many the entry points, a teacher said he had come to honour Kejriwal, whose government has brought about change in education.
“There’s a massive change in school infrastructure. Not just education, a doctor who would earlier come at noon now comes at 10 am.”A teacher at a Delhi government school
Another supporter, who works in a private company, said that Kejriwal is probably the first Chief Minister in India to have attracted such a large crowd at his swearing in without any formal invitation sent to them. In the next five years, he feels that AAP government must continue its welfare policies in education and health.
His only wish? “I want AAP to contest both in Punjab and at the national level,” he said.
Among those prominently featured on both sides of the podium were the ‘Nirmatas’ or builders of Delhi – a group of 50 citizens across health, education and sanitation who’ve been felicitated by AAP for helping it bring about world-class development in Delhi.
Among them was 17-year-old Vijay, who secured admission to IIT-Delhi after receiving free coaching from the government’s Jai Bhim Mukhya-mantri Pratibha Vikas Yojna. Under the scheme for students, Vikas received four-month coaching and secured an AIR rank of 918.
When asked about what he would have done without the government’s help, “I would still have got into an IIT. But my rank wouldn’t have been this good and I’m thankful to the government.”
The Quint also spoke to AAP leaders Raghav Chadha, Sanjay Singh and Somnath Bharti and this is what they had to say.
Among the many supporters and politicians was also one-year-old Avyaan, whose ‘Muffler Man’ avatar had gone viral on social media, after AAP’s landslide victory on 11 February.
On Sunday, after having taken selfies with many fans and even with politicians, the one-year-old looked rather tired. Here’s a picture of him being surrounded by selfie-seekers.