49 day drama … An opportunity lost

When the Jantar Mantar Anna fasts were held, the mood was nearly like the independence movement – everyone excited about exposing corruption in high places. Arvind Kejriwal burst onto the national platform as the master strategist, organizer and activist. Then Congress threw the gauntlet much like Shakuni using Yudhistra’s weakness for the game of dice … Why not come into the political fold and become a party, fight elections and bring change from the inside – easy to point fingers as an activist. Arvind fell into the trap and formed AAP. Nothing much lost then too … They made several blunders but the people of Delhi were indulgent because here was an ordinary honest man trying to change a corrupt system. They gave their votes, just shy of the needed majority and then Congress played their next trick – support from the outside. BJP stood on the sidelines waiting for AAP to fumble, happy that their focus will now be to govern Delhi and they would not have the energy to fight the Lok Sabha elections.

Understand that the smartest player in this political game is Congress … With Arvind and all other players being manipulated and used to further their cause. I don’t know if Arvind has a deal going with them, but what is really sad is the fact that people like you and me, the ordinary citizen’s one golden chance was frittered away. Just imagine, if Arvind had made the transition to being a Chief Minister rather than remaining an activist … We would have had a shot at really forming an alternative to the Congress and BJP. We, the Aam Aadmi, would have felt empowered and something really different could have been established.

Somehow I felt Arvind was coerced into forming the government and a reluctant politician and administrator is no good. If Arvind’s heart doesn’t lie in governing what stopped him from letting someone in AAP to become the CM ? We all are taught that the sign of maturity is when we behave according to the circumstances, not lie and cheat, but speak and behave according to the prevailing conditions. It’s an important skill even if you intend to do good, which is what Arvind wanted to do. In leadership, you adopt the style that fits the situation.

I am reminded of Nelson Mandela’s interview with an Indian reporter. This reporter had met him when he was just out of prison and then Mandela said, all governments should support the ANC movement and help in their fight against apartheid. The same man when asked if India should continue supporting Aung San Suu Kyi and her movement against the Junta in Myanmar, he responded saying, “It’s for the people of Burma to do what is right for them”. This second interview was years later when he was President of South Africa. When the reporter reminded him about his earlier comment about support needed for ANC, Mandela smiled and said “as a statesman, I have to say appropriate things and behave differently”. Read about the transition that he made from a revolutionary to a statesman here Mandela a rare success.

What is Arvind attempting now ? To stop Narendra Modi and BJP from coming to power ? Well, if Delhi’s situation is repeated in the Lok Sabha polls here are the alternatives – Jayalalitha, Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mamata Banerjee …. Imagine any one of these folks as the PM. Jayalalitha and Mayawati have corruption charges a mile long plus they both are unpredictable at the best of times, Mulayam is a goon and many other unspeakable things, Mamata has a heart of gold but is Arvind’s sister in refusing to transition to a stateswoman from an activist. Is this what Arvind wants ? Or does he want anarchy and the policy paralysis to continue for many more years, crucial years where India will lose out.

The 49 days that AAP spent in office almost seemed as though, everyone was working extra hard on getting thrown out of office rather than settling in and making an effort to bring change. Arvind Kejriwal needs to understand that he broke the biggest promise any political party makes – of governing well if they are voted into power. However unpalatable it was, however difficult it was, AAP should have stuck around and made a difference as people asked them to. If you don’t have the gumption to stay and fight inside the system, just stick with activism and stay outside. Don’t confuse the voter and waste more time and money. AAP had the opportunity to say “no, thanks” to Congress and stay out, it seems you just wanted to use it to further your national aspirations.

Make up your mind Arvind or let someone else in AAP come forward and be the political face of the party. Drama doesn’t behove you and you frittered away the one genuine opportunity that the Aam Aadmi had and ensured that as always the Aam Aadmi is the loser :(:(

5 thoughts on “49 day drama … An opportunity lost”

  1. Very true and well written. On a lighter note, it does not behove you to use two ‘o’s for behove !


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