AAP and the death of hope

The so-called “office of profit” case is in the news again, now that EC has ruled and sent its recommendation to the President. But this article is not just about that. The ramifications of the case, the definition of the phrase “office of profit”, the what-about-ery used to justify it has been amply covered by the mainstream media.

This is about the death of hope.

Does anyone even care to remember the DNA of the initial seeds sown by Anna Hazare which led to AAP? Do we recall they were not launching yet another party? Do we recall how starry eyed bankers, corporate executives, middle class Indians fed up with the corruption jumped in to the arena, not to become MLAs or MPs & get into offices of profit, but to seek change, make a new India? They even donated sums, which even by their net worth standards were not small?

These are the people that often travel abroad or even live there, and see how Indians fare when they work in a system that nurtures talent, not rent seeking or corrupt? One that is well known for incompetence, luddite policies and slothful bureaucracy. Which is precisely what the self serving ecosystem built by corrupt dynasties was. It was holding back India, denying her its well deserved position and they knew it.

They were like doctors, medicine ready in hand watching their patient die a slow death. They broke their invisible shackles, the inertia of lethargy, indifference and typical Hindu “that’s fate” attitude, and said in unison “let’s do it!”.

Do we remember Facebook groups, blogs and other social media platforms sprung up like mushrooms all over the world, from Singapore to London? Hardly any were funded or choreographed centrally. Almost all were started by genuine, patriotic young Indians who finally saw hope.

They even viciously trolled Modi & BJP (both of whom they respected by and large). This writer even had pro Modi friends, from Gujarat(!),  that turned pro-AAP with the passion that will put Seventh day Adventist and other radical evangelists to shame.

All because they felt another product that is even better has come into the market. A product that is an end to all worries, a magic bullet.

It is that hope that is dead.

But it didn’t die a sudden death. In India as well as elsewhere, we consider such deaths “blessed” even something to hope and pray for.

But it died a slow and horrible death, each event and non-event plunging a dagger at a different spot in the body and soul of the passionate “AAPtards” causing more bleeding and more pain.

Let us list some of those daggers

The total lack of interest in LokPal bill or prosecuting Sheila Dixit who he promised to put in jail was the first blow.

The elaborate drama of resignation, street dharna, sleeping on the platform, threats to stop Republic Day celebrations etc made many wince but they felt that was OK, just tactics that he had to use.

It was amply clear right from day 1 Kejriwal wanted nothing short of the PM chair and wanted it not for his ideals but for himself. His bizarre decision to take on Modi in Varanasi instead of working for it sincerely and step by step in a mature way was the first

The sacking and Stalinist purge of not just Prashanth Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav but many others, in fact almost the entire founding group  including its so-called ombudsman simply because they were not willing to be subservient to the increasingly wild personal ambitions of Kejriwal was one big dagger. Remember, these people were not purged for lack of ideals or commitment to the original cause.

The naked embrace of Wahhabi fanatics, jihadi mullahs that called for the death of Tasleema Nasreen in the name of competitive “secularism” was a dagger too.

The constant vicious personal attacks on Modi, the 100% focus on the PM chair and the open message Kejriwal was sending out that he was uninterested in “distraction” – governance of Delhi, until and unless he gets to be PM was a HUGE blow.

We could go on and on. The sidelining of Kumar Vishvas, once again not because of his lack of commitment to the core cause but for not being another Asutosh ready to lick Kejriwal’s boots comes to mind.

All of these turned off the original backers, the committed, passionate “believers” who were dropping off like leaves from a tree in autumn.

And now we have this “office of profit” case.

It is a no-brainer that the entire scheme or scam if you were to be more vicious, was meant to reward. Had he at least justified it saying “Yes, we did it, so we don’t have to extract bribes” that would have at least been manly and wise. But his resort to typical politicians’ tactics of blaming the EC, arguing over whether its indeed an office of profit etc., clearly show Kejriwal is no different from any other.

So the hope is dead and can be buried or cremated. Perhaps our corrupt yellow media has realised it, having lost hopes of finding an alternate source of envelopes and power. They have now gone back to asli-janeudhari Pandit Rahul Gandhi as their sole hope!

Damage even bigger

Because our minds can’t exist in vacuum. If hope is dead, something has to take its place. And that something is cynicism. Yes. Today any good Samaritan that jumps into the political arena to “cleanse the system” & solve India’s myriad problems that have simple solutions, he or she will be seen as a liar, charlatan, fraud and self serving megalomaniac.

That indeed is Kejriwal’s contribution to India’s body politics. Even dynasties like Gowdas, Karunanidhi, Mulayam, YSR, Indira Gandhi & others have not managed this “achievement”.  That too in two or three short years.


Where is Kejriwal?

We are talking about this “Yugpurush” that came in a white horse, the all conquering hero ready to purge India of all its warts and diseases and turn it into another Japan in a few years.

Yugpurush Version 1.0

Three strikes, you are out is an American phrase. But looks as if Kejriwal needed only two slaps to disappear completely.

If you recall, after hijacking the IAC movement and leveraging it to achieve the good show in Delhi assembly shortly before the 2014 elections, he was openly dreaming of becoming Prime Minister, winning 100+ seats, jailing Sheila Dikshit, contesting in Varanasi, going there by 2nd class train with lot of drama (returning quietly by plane & flying to Dubai on biz class) and so on.  In this he was aided by the corrupt Lutyens yellow media who saw new sources of envelopes opening up. Hail the new Yugpurush!

The May 2014 verdict gave the first big slap. AAP turned out to be a good source of “deposits” for the election commission.

Then he enacted a huge drama of apology and penance which Delhi voters foolishly believed and gave him a record mandate.

But the first slap was quickly forgotten and he was back in form. Like the sewage that flows constantly in the Cooum river in Chennai, his potty mouth was putting out non-stop insults, tweets, snide remarks, reckless attacks, brazen lies, sensational allegations backed with zero facts, tabloid style half truths and crude propaganda directed this time not at Dikshit (who is very much free with not even one case registered) but Narendra Modi!

Yugpurush Version 2.0 has arrived!

This time too, the yellow media was still behind him. But doubts had started creeping in.

In the meantime, he lost most of his original team disgusted by his naked ambition, megalomania, greed, personality cult, arrogance, intolerance to dissent, cultivation of crude sycophants like Asutosh and Somnath Bharti, hypocrisy, seedy fund raising methods as well as equally inept governance.  The prominent “list of donors” published in AAP website and advertised loudly as proof of his politics with difference was quietly taken down for “maintenance” where it has remained ever since! Allegations of seat “sale” in Punjab and elsewhere surfaced. In other words “same difference”

Leaving governance in Delhi to his lackeys and sycophants, not burdening himself with any portfolio (much like Rahul Gandhi) Kejriwal roamed India chasing a bigger target – the chair of PM. Any and every incident was exploited to the hilt with a quick visit to ground zero. Be it in Hyderabad for Rohit Vemula or nearby states. Even foreign policy was not spared.

Huge amount of money from Delhi state coffers was spent building a national image for the Yugpurush, putting out ads in far away states. Perhaps no other Chief minister spent so much personal time on agendas and issues outside his state ignoring the backyard. Not even the equally anarchist Mamata Banerjee.

As if this anarchist politics was not enough, it was supplemented with bizarre luddite attacks on voting machines, strange for a party that supposedly has Indian youth and educated middle class as its “core constituency”.  He was no different from Laloo & Tejaswi!

The usual Congress tricks of flirting with jihadism, Wahabbi fanaticism in the name of secular politics was tried too. Even Khalistani terrorists were courted openly.

Throughout all this, Narendra Modi wisely kept quiet, not even bothering to reply to his daily taunts and insults. Like the proverbial dog barking at the moon, Kejriwal carried on, unmoved. And the public was getting tired.

The second slap!

Punjab and Goa results, along with Delhi civic polls, delivered yet another HUGE slap. So confident was Kejriwal with his own narratives amplified by the echo chamber of sycophants and corrupt media liars, self congratulatory posters were put up in Goa “thanking” people for voting AAP to power!

Results, to put it mildly, were somewhat different! Once again, AAP funded Indian elections with lost deposits!

That seems to have done the trick!

Now he has gone completely underground, keeping unusually quiet and not commenting on all and sundry matters. More importantly, he is not attacking Modi on daily basis.

So there is a new version out in the market.

Will Version 3.0 work?

Problem is, the launch of this version in the market coincides with Lutyens media and the left “intellectual” ecosystem deciding to place its bets on newly re-packaged and re-launched 100% janeudhari Pandit Rahul Gandhi (Version 4 or 5) as its hopes for 2019! This is only to be expected because most of them are upper caste/class elite whose hearts bleed and lips mouth homilies to the “sub-altern” in between sips of Chianti and single Malt in some five start hotel or Lit-Fest.

Evidently it seems the Congress capacity to support these charlatans, let them leech on state resources and lead comfortable farmhouse lifestyles, supplemented with donations from evangelist West to fund wine bottles & scholarships is far higher than AAPs.

So now Kejriwal faces not one but two rivals! He can’t use the corruption weapon against Modi nor the “icon of youth, secular” marketing tricks on Rahul.

And it does look as if the door to 2019 is closing tightly shut. Given Rahul is about the same age and presumably in better health, compared to the diabetic Kejriwal who often disappears to Bangalore for “vipasana treatment”, one cannot even be sure of 2024 and beyond even if Modi were to lose 2019.

There ends the sad story of Yugpurush Arvind Kejriwal. Unless he has some tricks up his sleeve or our beloved Pandit v5 turns out to be yet another damp squib and Modi screws up even worse. That’s a lot of ifs!








Kejriwal Varanasi drama

A great actor simply makes you forget he is acting. A great comedian makes you laugh even as he stays calm, even serious. A great secret agent or spy is inconspicuous. Once your mask has slipped, game is essentially over.

Arvind Kejriwal, unfortunately has made drama and theatrics so brazen and overused, he is now seen as a stuntman and fake even if he is saying something serious.

Hence his dip in the Ganges river and the usual drama over ink pots and eggshells (which amazingly he alone seems to attract) has not gotten as much media attention as he must have hoped.  The arrest of IM jihadi chief spoiled the show somewhat. The absence of large crowds must have also mattered.

It should be obvious to anyone that he went to Varanasi on Tuesday his mind already made up to contest, for better or worse. So all this talk of ‘referendum’ was nonsense but his honeymoon with media looking for anti-Modi sound bytes ensured all that was forgotten.

We don’t care to predict if he will make a difference to the Modi campaign juggernaut. It is obvious he doesn’t care, all he wants is his continued presence in the TV screens and prime time news. Short of dancing naked in the streets, he is perfectly willing to do anything to get that. Who knows, he may even try that.

Is the baby still in bath water?

But the more serious question is, what does it mean to the campaign against corruption which is supposed to be the main focus of Kejriwal as well as his “Aam Aadmi” party?

His frequent flip-flops, hypocritical criticism of others even as he demanded and continues to enjoy perks like bungalows and chartered plane trip, business class flights by Yogendra Yadav, rabidly racist assault on african immigrants by his sidekick Somnath (who has an interesting track record and past, to put it mildly), have all contributed to the decline of AAP in middle class perception in recent weeks. Just as Pakistan needs constant bomb blasts and nuclear threats to stay in news, AAP seems to need constant flow of nautankis to stay relevant. Not surprisingly, many respectable founders and senior members have given up on the whole idea and quit.

There is a genuine risk that he is not just damaging his own prospects, but the sustainability and relevance of the entire anti-corruption platform by his words, actions and pathetic track record. In fact, the damage may have already been done.

His choice to fight against Modi, whatever his other faults arguably the least corrupt of the leaders in today’s politics, not just sucks up his personal time, which can be better spent campaigning elsewhere, trivialises the anti-corruption plank. It also marks yet another U turn of his policy not to field any existing Delhi assembly member in Loksabha polls. Looks like he exempted himself from any policy or law.

May be it provides him a convenient excuse to stay clear of Delhi, where he may be called to explain his running away from delivering on his lofty promises.

It is sad, but anyone coming out with a anti-corruption agenda will now be seen through the prism of examples set by Kejriwal and seen as a quack and non-serious. Real reform of the system has to wait. For the arrival of another messiah who will have a much steeper hill to climb.