Monday, March 31, 2014

So, you are disappointed, heh?

haan haan, baba. I get it. You are disappointed with the Aam Aadmi Party.  Rather, you are disappointed again.  What is your concern this time?

Kejriwal/AAP Delhi govt resigned after 49 days and failed to deliver on its promises.

Kejriwal is back to shaming everyone else, this time the paid media.

Kejriwal is hungry for news coverage and wants to be seen as Bhagat Singh of this century.

AAP is giving tickets to celebrity/celebrities.

AAP is growing too fast.  What are they thinking contesting so many seats?

What is all this drama that Kejriwal is fighting in Varanasi against Modi?

I do share some of your disappointments. But I am glad that you are disappointed. Infact I am delighted. Your disappointments prove two things to me - (a) You had/have expectations out of this party. There would be no disappointments without expectations. So atleast AAP did something good there. (b) You care about AAP. You are not a cynic. You have not given up. You want it to be a party that you idealize. Just like behind a joke there lies a tragedy, behind every disappointment, there lies hope.  You see hope here.

But tell me one thing - Is your disappointment with AAP big enough that you will vote for BJP or Congress or any other regional party? Is it enough to ignore the disproportionate number of candidates with serious criminal cases against them fielded by other political parties? And can you get over the lack of local work done by the current representative to vote for him/her again?  If your answer is yes, and you truly believe that BJP/Congress is a better alternative, then my dear friend, lets agree to disagree and leave it at that.

In my case, yes, i am also disappointed too. In some cases, i am disappointed when AAP has failed to take the moral high ground when i expected them to (like the Somnath Bharti case where IMHO they should have issued an unconditional apology in case anybody's sentiments were hurt) and in other cases when indeed they have taken the moral high ground  and i was not expecting that (like resigning on principles after 49 days).  But when i count all my disappointments, they are significantly small when compared to the things that AAP has done right. The right things sometimes just blow me off, like i feel proud, i cry that it is happening in my lifetime, in front of me, amidst all the hopelessness that i am was filled with. Let me share some of these -

- Candidates for Lok Sabha:  I am so proud of AAP for giving these people a chance to be elected as people's representatives -
Soni Sori from Bastar. If you do not know her story, just google it.  For someone who has faced so much in her life, i am just glad for her. If i have to pick just one seat for AAP, i would wish it for Soni Sori.
Ashish Khetan from New Delhi. I have read about Ashish's work on Tehelka and i know how good of a journalist he is.
H S Phoolka - The advocate who fought hard for justice for 1984 riot victims.
Tiliya Devi from Jharkhand - A nobel peace prize nominee.
Bhagwant Maan from Sangrur - Just watch this video

And there are many more like Medha Patkar, Nina Nayak from my LS constituency, Prof Anand Kumar, Kanchan Chaudhary -  the first women DGP, and not to mention AK taking on Modi knowing in full realistic consciousness that he will loose this race but atleast he will talk about issues in the process.

- Paid media. Media is biased. A lot of is paid. We all know it and yet we all accept it. Why? Just as "This is politics" is an answer to all things bad in politics, "This is how it is" is the only answer that used to be until AK questioned it.  If things are broken, lets fix it rather than just accept it.  We follow it all the time in our work life, why not in real life.

-Clean money. I would have voted AAP for this reason alone. Transparent, clean fundraising. On top of that -  no paid volunteers.

I agree with AK that it is a miracle that AAP exists. Our difference comes when he uses this to explain the existence of God and i am not ready to do that, yet.  So as you see my disappointments with AAP are nothing when compared to my appreciation for this small party.  And I write this only by looking at AAP. The moment i get into a comparative mode and i compare AAP with BJP (or even Congress), there is no choice. Mere thought of BJP or Congress led govt. fills me up with despair, the same hopelessness that i am trying to fight.

I have an idea of India. I have a vision of the kind of country i want to live in and the kind of person i want to grow old into. The only political party that helps me get there is AAP.


Sailesh said...

I think the disappointment, atleast for me is not about what AAP is doing now, but what AAP is going to look like in a few years based on what they are doing now.

Most parties arent born corrupt and ineffective. They become that way over time due to poor leadership, the electoral system, poorly educated and apathetic citizenry and the demographics.

Perhaps some of us are too young to know this, but both the congress and the BJP once did field luminaries and were thought of as the party that provided thought leadership.

And so the disappointment is in that while there are still some positive signs, some of the actions of the AAP have made them look like they are going to become another BJP or a congress in the near future.

arvind batra said...

@Sailesh, Thanks for the comment.
AK did a hangout yesterday and one of the questions asked was what will he do post elections.

He responded that party has expanded too fast and some of the corrupt people have come inside. He said that they will spend time in having an internal Lokpal and making sure the party structure remains true to its intent.

I think it is wrong to lament about something in future while being in present. I agree with your point that other political parties at its inception were indeed good. We should learn from their mistakes and not repeat them.

The question here is not what AAP will do but the question is what I will do. We need to stop outsourcing this task to somebody else and instead start contributing towards it in any small way possible.

Sailesh said...

Its not a lament about the future but caution. Having gone through the experience of growing up with political parties that promised much and did little, how can one not be cautious and look carefully for the signs that this party is not one more of those.

The very fact that AK said there are corrupt folks already inside the party to me worries me. Every indian should have an opportunity to be a part of AAP, but those that the party chooses as representatives should be really well above reproach and should be carefully scrutinized.

The argument of "Ab election me jeetne do, baad me safayie karenge" is what every typical party so far has promised.

I am not advocating being apathetic and as you put it outsourcing responsibility to others, but caution that those you think are aligned to your vision are truly so.