First, it was an unexpected high. Then it was an unexpected low.
The unexpected high was for everyone, including the direct beneficiary. In fact, it came as a pleasant surprise for those who wished to see it happen but had not expected it to happen this way given the circumstances then.
The unexpected low was expected by everyone, (but) except the direct beneficiary, who could not read it or did not want to read it then and had a self-made spectacular fall – from grace, from the position of standing – that came to him because of the growing public frustration and disenchantment with the mainstream political lot.
That is the story of the newest political debutant on the mainstream political scene of India – the Aam Aadmi Party – and of Arvind Kejriwal – and of those who began their political journey with it – and of those who joined it later on, especially after the unexpected high of December 2013 – and those who left it or felt disenchanted enough to walk out of the half-baked activism and politics concoction – after the ‘expected’ unexpected low of May 2014.
Six months – from December 2013 to May (16) 2014 – sum up the what AAP has been so far and what it needs to do – to resurrect – or to decline even further to go to the final political oblivion.
As of now, it has absolute negatives in its score card –
- Running away from governing Delhi after making sky-high promises –
- Expanding across the country that it made it so thin leaving it invisible with no network and no connectivity –
- Contesting the Lok Sabha polls on 432 seats when it’s Delhi assembly election performance was not its doing – only 19 could save their faces somewhat by saving their deposits –
- Compromising the ethics and polluting the organizational culture that were promised to be the pillars of the ‘AAP politics with a difference’ –
- Blindly following the personality cult and misusing or wasting names like Medha Patkar, Captain Gopinath and many others –
- And succumbing to the high-handedness of Arvind Kejriwal and his select group –
And so, it was bound to happen.
The case of Arvind Kejriwal and AAP is much like the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s decision to award the Peace Nobel to Barack Obama for the ‘hopes and aspirations’ that he raised with winning the US Presidential election after a heart-winning campaign.
The electorate of Delhi awarded the new political outfit with an unexpected 28 seats in the House of 70 making it the second largest party while not giving clear majority to any party and thus opening the door to the possibilities that later on allowed AAP to form the government. Besides AAP’s door-to-door campaign, the voters had in mind the anti-corruption movement of 2011 led by Anna Hazare. Arvind Kejriwal was its central strategist. Public was frustrated with the regime in office and saw the possibility of change in Arvind Kejriwal led outfit and awarded him hoping he would deliver. The hopes were legitimate and the aspirations were high.
While we cannot compare the Delhi’s sociopolitical situation with the global geopolitical equations that the Nobel Committee had in mind while sealing Obama’s name, the grounds were similar – thoughts aspiring for change.
While Obama’s post Peace Nobel performance has been debatable, he has gone on to win the second Presidential terms and remains one of the most acceptable global leaders.
And Arvind Kejriwal and AAP still look in the state of inertia. They are still not reading the rule book clearly to work on organization and its political ethics. They see a chance to win back the Delhi assembly elections and that is legitimate. But the way they are trying to do it makes the intent and the strategy behind it questionable. They are again making it person-centric and Arvind Kejriwal is concentrating all the resources available to further his political career (like he did in the Lok Sabha polls that he contested from Varanasi against Narendra Modi) when there are practical needs to look in other directions as well.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/