The right reasons to hate AAP

Not that I ever believed it, but boy did Mr Kejriwal break the ‘Change-is-here’ dream in style! Before we discuss the very predictable and short-lived tenure of the people’s CM, let us first rewind to 2009, days when naïve young people like me were overwhelmed by the idea and the response of the ‘Jan-Lokpal’ bill and dreamed starry-eyed about the ‘revolution-that-has-begun’.
The Anna movement which was also an extremely cleverly marketed façade, captured people’s attention overnight. But we could argue it’s dramatic overtures were a tad bit justified, because it is too hard to hold the attention of an average Indian without a pinch of melodrama. But inspite of its overt emo content, Jan-Lokpal was a sane, progressive idea. A cause that needed attention. A cause that mattered. I was probably the biggest admirer of the Anna movement not because of the promises and hopes it held, but because I was too impressed that a small group of activists had cleverly managed to get an ignorant, sentimental nation to pressurize the government to pay heed to an issue that mattered. The genetically inherent melodramatic nation that we are, swaying public opinion is a child’s play. And the fact that, here were these group of clever intellectuals who knew exactly how to exploit the sentimental ‘aam aadmi’ and channelize his emotions into forcing the nation to take notice of real issues, almost made political romantics like me swoon. It was almost like ‘The Renaissance’!
But the ridiculously impractical solutions that Mr Kejriwal proposed to problems in Delhi were absurd to the point of being offensive and made it clear that Arvind Kerjiwal and team were merely brilliant show-masters. People merely good at portraying an idea not conceiving it. People may hate AAP probably because Arvind Kejriwal failed to live upto his promises. But I hate AAP because for me it was an organization which made sense, a people’s party in true sense, an idea people were enthusiastic about. For the first time people felt like being part of a change. More importantly AAP was a party which made the reluctant, foreign-obsessed average Indian who shunned politics stop and consider the possibility of a change. AAP was a party which could have had it all! But Mr Kerjiwal’s theatrics and the shortlived chaos centered tenure in Delhi not only bluntly shattered people’s dreams but also took away the one thing that this country needed the most- Hope. I hate Mr Kejriwal not because of the promises he could not fulfill but because he proved those age-old cynics right ‘Iss country ka kuch nahi ho sakta!’
In a country with deteriorating political culture every minute and a society which has accepted it, hope was a rarity. But when Mr Kejriwal resigned as the chief minister of Delhi he finished that too. But what pains more is that Mr Kejriwal’s theatrics not only reduced the ‘aam aadmi’ and some of it’s genuinely good members to a laughing stock but it also made the inherently pessimistic general public more skeptical about expecting leadership out of a non-politician. So in short Mr Kejriwal reminded us that we nothing but a mere helpless voter bank and voting is simply choosing the lesser of the corrupt candidate!
So hate AAP not because it was a party that failed, hate it because it was a party that never tried in the first place. Hate it because it permanently undermined the credibility of honest, genuine politicians. Hate it because it reduced a political revolution into a mere fatuous media circus. More importantly hate it because it was a political organization that could have had it all… but instead chose to throw it away!

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AAP and the Emperor’s clothes Syndrome

The tremendous (and very well deserved) success of AAP in the Delhi elections this time, came as no surprise given the resentment and anger among the common citizens of India. In a country where 1000 crore scams make the news every second week, the Aam Aadmi Party and its genuine efforts towards transparency is definitely a breath of fresh air.

But what puzzles me is, how nobody in the country has taken the time to question the practicality of the solutions put forth by the Aam Aadmi Party. Agreed, Arvind Kejriwal and team have come up with highly ingenious and genuinely democratic ideas to tackle common political issues (proposals like, Delhi will be divided into different wards and the citizens of each ward will decide and regulate the matainence of each ward Or the people will decide the price of petrol and other daily commodities etc) but one can’t help but think if AAP is being too disillusioned.

For example, let us for a moment assume that AAP has it’s way and the common citizens are allowed to fix petrol (say) prices. But then why would a common citizen pay if he has to decide the price and not take it for free? Can we then hope the economy to thrive? Okay, maybe we can argue the common citizen is not a fool to demand petrol for free and what AAP means is common citizens will be a contributing if not a deciding factor in fixing prices. But then decisions of development and economy require expertise and debate and cannot be driven by mere public sentiment.

A nation of hypocrites that we are, most supporters of AAP, you’ll be surprised to find, are merely following AAP because being a part of “change” and “revolution” is the new cool. Just like the subjects of the emperor in the popular fable “The Emperor’s Clothes”** who merely ignore the obvious to seem part of the crowd. While some may scoff away the criticism and ridicule even the  thought of questioning AAP’s functionality, let us not forget mere ‘good intentions’ cannot be enough to govern a country.

In the end, the point being, even although AAP symbolizes transparency and honesty let us not get over-whelmed and also focus on whether they be trusted with development and progress.

“We thought we had the answers, but it was the questions we had which were wrong” – Bono

** The Emperor’s Clothes is a popular fable in which a emperor is conned by two men who sell him an invisible cloth and claim that it can only be seen by ‘intelligent’ people. Afraid of being called dumb everyone pretends to “see” it until a young boy points out the obvious.