Arvind Kejriwal was quite a phenomenon. In spite of being a late adopter (a hopeless romantic that I am, I was waiting for a Mac among politicians, but agreed to settle for an Ubuntu), I slowly allowed myself to drift and get carried along the gentle AAP-tide. The crest wasn’t too tall and the trough was quite deep.
After being one of the most promising and refreshing of political movements that India saw (with comparisons to the Arab Spring and such), the party’s adolescence couldn’t have been more unsettling than the way in which they are handling “governance”, the proclaimed anarchic traits of the Delhi chief minister and the rowdyish moralising of their crew, who are out to apply their moral judgements in street-level judgements.
Couldn’t hold myself back from penning a quick mail to Team AAP, when they sent their Thank you mail for enrolling in their party. Some just and some jest too…
Dear Team AAP,Thank you for notifying me about my membership and asking me to update details.After my initial enthusiastic decision to enrol and subsequently experiencing a sense of accomplishment at making a new beginning on political engagement with AAP, I watched with utter disbelief the panning out of Arvind Kejriwal’s childish pranks and your Delhi Minister’s rowdy prattle.Please count me out from any further volunteering. The motley Anna pales in comparison to you. Anna was merely like a misdirected child with some unnecessary piety and shrill chatter. But you are like a Dennis the Menace crossed with Calvin, except that the terrible parts of both crossed instead of their comic part that comes through in the newspaper strips.That said, I shall not (yet) withdraw my membership and will keenly watch the anarchy (or hopefully the lack of it) unfold.Reagrds, and best wishes,PrashanthPS: Don’t share this mail with SOmnath Bharthi, now that I gave you my address while registering. I am frightened that he might come outside my house with Delhi Police and demand my arrest or such.On 06-Feb-2014, at 7:21 am, Aam Aadmi Party <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Dear Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas,
You are a pillar of strength for AAP. It is your support that has brought us all so far.
These are historic times and now we have an opportunity to contribute in eradicating corruption and entrust ourselves with a just and equitable society.
This can be done by contributing your time with AAP as volunteer, and become actively involved in the fight for overall systemic change.
Your membership number is <cut> and the phone number you gave while registering is [MOBILE]. Login and update your details at <cut>
One small step of yours would ultimately mean a Giant leap for our Nation.
Very sorry to read this, Prashanth. I can’t help feeling that your reaction to the dharna and Somnath Bharti is rather like an adoptive parent who is suddenly embarrassed and ashamed of the adopted child’s brash behaviour. This expectation that AAP should always be perfect is a little unrealistic, don’t you think? What is important is their intention behind their actions. They are a new party in a really tough job, with powerful people out to destroy them. They should be allowed to make some mistakes without losing the faith that has been reposed in them by people like us. They are people too, after all. These mistakes are nothing compared to the crimes that have been perpetrated by the big parties, which don’t seem to elicit even 10% of the kind of hysteria that we have seen in the last couple of weeks. It would be useful to remember that none of the people in AAP are making any money off the party, including Arvind Kejriwal, completely unlike the big parties. Please go through these links http://hillpost.in/2014/02/the-demonisation-of-kejriwal-has-the-media-got-it-all-wrong/97877/ and http://ibnlive.in.com/news/khirki-extension-3-ugandan-women-file-complaint-over-sex-trafficking/449799-3.html
Thanks Uma for your response and for the links, especially “The demonisation of Kejriwal”. I can read your consternation at my attitude towards AAP. But that is the reality. It is not “merely” about making mistakes, but rather their attitude towards these decisions, their lack of insight, their refusal to reflect upon their action etc. etc. All this said, I am only sharing my own anger and frustration. I have not given up on them (yet)….so, let’s hope these few mistakes.
And secondly, I am also disappointed at their way of political engagement. I get it that Kejriwal is a newbie among the current political lot, but it is not true that he does not know “politics”. He has been in the revenue services, the Anna agitation…all of these were deeply political processes, even if they were not political party related. So, I do not accept that the standards with which I evaluate politicians should be reduced/modified because of this ostensible league of extraordinary gentlemen. I do not think the AAP model of a moral high ground will win them too many allies. Like it or not, the aam aadmi’s morality is not so pristine, neither is mine.
I don’t know what your standards are by which you evaluate politicians, but I can’t imagine that there can be anyone who matches them, if AK doesn’t. And I don’t know what attitude you are talking about. I am sorry that you are angry with the AAP. Please watch this program in which Yogendra Yadav addresses all the complaints that people have against the AAP.
Thank you Uma. I shall watch it this weekend.