What is AAPs Arvind Kejriwal doing now

"Today Delhi, tomorrow the whole country"

He came to his swearing-in ceremony like a common man. Without a car convoy, sirens and escort. Instead, he modestly rode the Metro, demonstratively breaking with India's notorious VIP culture. On Saturday, political novice Arvind Kejriwal was sworn in as the new head of government of the city-state of Delhi - and tens of thousands celebrated him almost like a savior. "Today Delhi, tomorrow the whole country," shouted the crowd, which even the police conservatively estimated at 100,000 people.

Kejriwal replaces "Aunt" Sheila Dikshit (75) from the Congress Party, who had been shown the red card by voters after 15 years. This could be dismissed as a mere change of power in Delhi, but it is far more than that: Kejriwal's rise is tantamount to a silent revolution which, should it catch on and expand, could shake India's old power structure and sweep away the corrupt elites.

It is no coincidence that the symbol of Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the common man's party, is a broomstick. The 44-year-old with the white cap and unfashionable sweaters is driven by a mission: to clean up the corruption that holds the country in a stranglehold.

Even when he took office, it was unprecedented. On the very first day, he transferred nine officers. He has given up a posh city villa to which he is entitled and wants to stay in his modest apartment. "Our country is being sold out," he complains. "We have to clean up the system." As a former tax officer, he knows what he's talking about. In 2006 he voluntarily resigned from the civil service to become an activist.

The AAP emerged from the anti-corruption protests of the "folk hero" Anna Hazare (76), who mobilized tens of thousands with his 2011 hunger strike. Kejriwal later fell out with Hazare and founded the AAP in October 2012. For a long time nobody gave the Newcomer Party any serious chances.

But the established parties had apparently completely underestimated the displeasure of voters. In the elections in Delhi at the beginning of December, the AAP astounded with a spectacular debut success. From a standing start, it became the second strongest force with 28 out of 70 seats - just behind the Hindu party BJP. The Congress party melted down to eight seats.

After the BJP refused to lead a minority government, the AAP agreed. Kejriwal is taking a high risk with this. Not only do the hopes of millions of Delhi voters rest on it. All of India is looking forward to the experiment in the city-state. Federal elections are due in May 2014. (Christine Möllhoff from New Delhi, DER STANDARD, December 30, 2013)