Thursday, December 19, 2013

Why There Is So Much Cynicism Toward AAP ?





I realise fully that at this moment I am as futile as Howard Roark. This is my Stoddard Temple—my first and my last.
Dominique Francon in Fountain Head 



I am not a political person . Till date I have never exercised my vote. My stand on politics is very similar to my stand on religion . Informed, appreciative but agnostic. Agnostic because I couldn’t relate to any of the option available to me .Both religion and politics were good concepts but they have been mutilated beyond recognition .I come to hate the entire system in which this skirmish is played out .

But fortunately something interesting was happening in Indian politics for past few months . The Rise of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Its Head Mr.Arvind Kejriwal . Its interesting observing the reaction and response of political parties . They dismissed them . They dismissed them with a self righteous arrogance . Than they changed their tone after election.


The same set of people who used to call them everything from Chaar Aadmi Party to Chillar Party before election. After the election they invited them to form the govt .


The same guys who referred to Arvind kejiriwal as everything from hopelessly romantic to stupidly naive to someone with ulterior evil agenda . Were holding him morally responsible for not forming govt and having a hung assembly .

The same set of corrupt jokers who robed Delhi for decades were worried about the burden of re election on Tax payer .One congress leader had even called them DOG . Now congress is the one wagging their tail to AAP.


Honestly never before I have seen a bigger show of hypocrisy in broad day light . This is like eating the crow even by political standard . This is EPIC and will be part of history books illustrating how bunch of spineless weasels react to a worthy adversary .

But this post is not about these weasels . they are probably doing what they know best . At some level their tactics are understandable .


More interesting thing to observe in this drama is the reaction of common people . The same people who would be ruled ( and may be exploited ) by elected govt. I see a surprisingly high level of cynicism amongst them. They are holding AAP to a level of scrutiny which is bordering paranoia . This AAP bashing reached its crescendo couple of days back when AAP called for a referendum.Asking people to share their opinion on govt formation .This was un precedented in Indian politics. A step toward a participatory democracy which bought public involvement in democratic decision making to new level. For the first time public voice was a factor outside of election. In a rational , sane world this should have been welcomed by the people . The same people who stand to become ultimate beneficiary of this trend. But sadly and surprisingly a big section of people are uncomfortable with this and they are holding AAP responsible for asking them for their input . Whats more astonishing is that its not the case that AAP is introducing this direct referendum idea now. They talked about it before also .See this video at 1 hour mark . Aarvind talked about direct democracy and referendum long before he won election . Still people are cynical . Still People don’t trust him .

It begs the question WHY ?

A Childhood Story :



Surprisingly as I was observing these events I couldn’t help remembering an incident from my childhood . Back in the day my grandfather used to give me a lot of religious story books . In one of those book their was a story by name of Gajendra Moksha . Its a story of an old elephant who, when He was about to be killed by a crocodile called out god for help and god intervened and rescued him from the Jaws of crocodile.

There was another story of A king named Harishchandra. Harishchandra had two unique qualities. The first being, he kept his word and never went back on what he uttered as a promise. The other being, he never uttered a lie in his life.These twin qualities were tested heavily in his life by various circumstances . All these test were crafted and orchastrated by our gods to test Harishchandra .

Now here is an interesting aspect of these two stories which most of us fail to notice. When bad guy( crocodile ) was going after the good guy ( elephant) Good guy had to specifically call the God to help . God never intervened on his own . But when God noticed that a Good guy ( Harishchandra ) is going around doing good work . It was too much of a pain for god to stay out of it and let him do his work. On the contrary our God went out of his way to create circumstances where Harishchandra was put to test . From snatching his kingdom , to making him homeless to killing his son . God orchestrated all those scenarios where his resolve to do good work and live an honest life was put to test . In plain english Harishchandra was harassed by god for doing exactly the right Thing . Nobody invited god . God acted suo moto .

Think of it.

When bad guy harasses the good guy , good guy need to call god for help god do not come on his own but when Good guy do good thing god jumps in uninvited to test him to death, harasses and make life hell for the good guy . Its pretty evident that our god is also very cynical. In fact one can make a case that in doing so god is incentivizing his followers to be bad guys or( worse) to be passive guy who do no good or no bad . Just don’t take any stand .

I shared this observation with my grandfather once , His answer was “you can’t understand GOD’s way by applying logic . You can only understand it by having faith .God knows whats best and he will take care of you”. I am sure my grandfather is not the only one to think like that. We are a society indoctrinated by this idea . Its often said that god created man in his own image .Now man has perfected the ways of god . Congratulations! We have become god like in our approach. We want good guys to exist only in books as a theoretical construct . Every time we see a good guy inreal life we go after them with vengeance .AAP and Kejirwal are just an anomaly trying foolishly to fight the forces of god . They will go away . We will trivialise them and drive them out to the point of irrelevance . Who the hell they think they are ? Harishchandra ?



Deep in our heart we want them to fail. We want our heroes to be corrupt so that we can feel good about ourselves . So that we reconcile our own miserable , spineless existence . So that we can live with ourselves and look at our own face in the mirror every morning . For If Kejriwal and AAP are allowed to exist.We will be faced with this question everyday ? Why ,Where and for what did we betrayed our own inner kejriwal ? This is not an easy question to live with .


Parting Thoughts :

In The Fountainhead , Howard Roark builds Stoddard Temple :A Temple of Human Spirit. Where he want to show people what human spirit is capable of achieving and how pure it can be . It annoys enough people and their idea of God and Human that they get a court order and get the temple bulldozed. Let me say it in no uncertain terms . AAP is the Stoddard Temple of contemporary India and we are trying our best to destroy it. We need to save it not for Kejriwal but for ourselves . For our inner kejriwal which we betrayed at some point long long back.

As the story progress in Fountainhead , The protagonist goes on to be subjected to a lot of hardship and betrayal but eventually gets his due recognition and rightful place in world. I don’t know what will become of AAP and Kejriwal . But I hope for our own good that we realise what he stands for and do it before its too late . I doubt if my appeal will make any difference to the indoctrinated ears of my fellow people. I realise fully that at this moment I am as futile as Howard Roark. This is my Stoddard Temple—my first and my last.

25 comments:

Ankit Maheshwari said...

Brilliant Prashant. You have captured the picture very well.

Vinod Kumar said...

A nice article...the amount of cynicism against AAP that I can see from the comments in different forums is unbelievable. ..

Manoj Awasthi said...

Thanks for writing this Prashant.

It's good to see you picking up pen although equally sad that it had to be due to such stupidity being on display in Indian polity.

I have been totally flabbergasted by whatever is happening amongst public in relation to AAP acceptance. These are times when you start feeling that Justice Katju should not have apologized for his remark that 90% of population in this country is stupid.

I think you hit the cord right by relating to a general psyche of scrutinizing Arvind Kejriwal or AAP for everything (very recently on kind of fee Arvind pays for his children).

Mme. TechThrush said...

Excellent analysis. Also liked the way you referenced childhood Indian mythological stories to draw parallels to the indian psyche.

I have another story to draw a parallel to - its our Indian crab mentality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_mentality

If we cannot listen to our inner Kejiwal - we won't allow Kejriwal to be Kejriwal either.

Mme. TechThrush said...

Excellent analysis. Also liked the way you referenced childhood Indian mythological stories to draw parallels to the indian psyche.

I have another story to draw a parallel to - its our Indian crab mentality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_mentality

If we cannot listen to our inner Kejiwal - we won't allow Kejriwal to be Kejriwal either.

Anonymous said...

Good piece of writing.

Shishir Gupta said...

Excellent post dude! I made peace with my inner Kejriwal by ignoring all this cynicism and concentrate on making efforts to avoid this small fire from getting extinguished. Looking at the election results, I realized I'm in good company. Like yours :-)

Anonymous said...

You are not only agnostic about politics, but your opinion about the current scenario is wrong as well. You have based your opinion about the reaction to referendum and cynicism on what you have seen in the media, go to the streets and you will see the real picture.

Bandhu Banerjee said...

Simply outstanding expression of thoughts. I can see my feelings penned down with great analogy. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

And the funny thing is - there is so much talk about his inexperience and never ..as in never anyone has ever been interested in the qualifications of the CM candidate..Noone knows what was the political experience or qualifications of sheela dixit or harshwardhan or laloo prasad yadav or Sushil Kumar shinde or yeddy or anybody else ...And even Anna hazare and kiran bedi not standing with him ...this is surreal

Rohan said...

You have never tracked politics and have never voted and then you crib why Aam Aadmi Party is being criticized?

Please open wikipedia and search for VP Singh and check what he did. You will understand that being just clean and free from corruption does not solve much problems

Ribhus Narayna said...

I, for one, do not want AAP to fail. But it hurts he to see AAP squander all the goodwill they have, to make a genuine change which will make India a better place to live.

The problem with AAP is their policies. Why should I vote for them, if they have the same policies which existing parties have. We have seen the bad effects of populism in socialism, but still persist with them.

Socialism is dying a natural death world over. But sadly, AAP has gone on the this path.

SN said...

Whether AAP has good motives or will it succumb to bad moves, only time will tell. However the rest of the comment is for the clarification of the stories.

The Gajendra moksha story is due to two stories pertaining to the previous births of elephant and crocodile. Its there in the wiki page you have linked to. One should not come to surfacial conclusions by taking a story out-of-context and without looking at the entire picture. Whether these stories are true or not is a matter of faith. But there is a cause-and-effect flow in them which can't be ignored.

As for Harishchandra, you know he is gold. Perhaps people had to know whether it was 22 carat or 24 carat. In hindsight we feel he should not have been tested so much. But for such a name to become popular among even kids, the protagonist has to overcome severe hardships. If such hardships weren't presented to him, would we be talking about him or would he have remained some unknown king in the stories? Perhaps he was shown as an example of ideal-life for others to follow.

Anonymous said...

Very well conveyed, Prashanth. Let this not be your last, please. Keep going, you're doing great in conveying the crux. We need a critical mass to make AAP last long and be successful. The country sorely needs it. We've had enough of this decadent rot.

JAISHIL said...

Firstly he is not our own Kejriwal.
So many Indians do not relate to populist approach.
So many Indians dont believe muslims appeasement equates secular mindset.
So many Indians dont believe naxalism as an ideology is a fault of Government alone.
And so many Indians do not believe Kashmir is not inherent part of India.

Yes many people will vote for these things. But that will never ever make it right. People in their short term selfish interest will like free stuff it will oppose when taxes or debt will rise. Its convenient to ignore the ills of a human mind and that is exactly what AAP has managed to play their cards on.

Anonymous said...

To be straight, I am BJP follower and will continue to be one. The scrutiny of AAP is because he asked for it. If he was so consistent in his thoughts he should have not formed the govt come wat may...but again as he is not consistent he picked the most corrupt parties support to form the govt. Again no one need freebees, if you can provide uninterrupted power and water people will be happy....Nothing comes for free someone else will have to pay for all the freebees....

Mohan said...

But what I don't appreciate is that you say you are "Agnostic because I couldn’t relate to any of the option available to me". As with most other practical things in life (distinct from not-so-daily-life aspects like religion), we need to choose the optimal way forward. Rarely will we spot a choice that is perfect in all aspects. In today's India, I feel we should choose the most optimal of the spread available to us and help India edge forward in the right direction. What do you say?

Call me Vijay said...

The analogies drawn with the Gajendra and Harishchandra are flawed. SN earlier indicated the flaw with the Gajendra story as being taken out of context. And in Harishchandra's, the cynical tests were setup not by god but by the sage Vishvamitra. So except for a western analogy the argument of the whole article dosent hold water. I am sorry but your grand parents seem to have mistaken about some details.

What worries me is we the young have not cultivated the patience to do some basic research and gather credible information before forming our opinions.

The author might want to revisit all the info available about AAP, their background and their policies before asking people not to be cynical about them.

Anonymous said...

Harischandra story is week unless he is tested against all odds. his case becomes stronger under all the duress. god doesn't test harischandra - it is his guru vishwamitra who wants to show harischandra's greatness to the world.

Anonymous said...

Really awesome article. I liked ur take in humans wanting to blame others to feel good about themselves. I though get a feeling of futility rake in the article. I would rather hope for you to be more hopeful. After all , so many did choose kejriwal and he did become cm......

as for the detractors , aren't they always there. There is one more aspect of human nature, that it is not clearly on the side of good or bad all the time, .... , say a murderer might be a devoted son or a father. The beauty is that as a collective, humans have a bias towards good. In majority, people want good to succeed. Otherwise, the world would have come to a nought already

Anonymous said...

I do not understand why people are doing so much praise of AAP. Let them prove what they promised to people and then everybody should give their opinion. May be they have started with free water and electrictity but plesae remember that the process which AAP followed to arrange these, we will understand their implication only after a year. I have big doubt if they can continue with these facilities after 1 year or Delhi people will end up paying more tax to avail these facilities.

Prashant has questioned why people question so much on AAP's each and every moment. Why not? They will be under scrutiny because they have come to the power only because they have given very big promises. But I surprised that just within 5 days of coming to power in Delhi, they have decided to participate in LS poll also. The party which claim that they did not have any political ambition is planning to go national also. My only suggestion to Mr. AK is that first prove yourself to Delhi and then dream for national election. I can only see greed of power to AAP leaders now. They have tasted the sweetness of power and now they want to go national without proving their point in a single state.

My next worry is that most of the leaders in AAP are inexperienced and the do not have any collective opinion on national issues but they want to participate on national election. What a joke. Mr. AK used to say before election that he has lots of proofs against Sheila Dixit's corruption and now he is saying Mr. Harshavardhan to show him the prooofs against Dixit and then he will take action. I mean is it a responsible comment of a party leader? Recently AAJTAK has done some sting operation on few corrupt officials of Delhi where APP did not hve any clue. Based on that AK has suspended these officials. Yesterday AK told the reporters to do more more sting operation like that so that he can catch all the corrupt officials. That means Delhi govt wont do anything and thy will just catch the corrupt officials based on the sting operations of News Channels? News channels doesnt have any other work? How can somebody make such irresponsible comments and we educated people just accept him our massiah in such short span of time? Did he ask the raw footage from AAJTAK before suspending these officials? But before Delhi election when few of AAP party leaders caught on camera of taking illegal donation, they faught for raw footage and based on that they themselves gave clean chit to their leaders. Do we think about these lines before giving our opinion.

In just 10 days Delhi minister Rakhi Birla has come under scrutiny because of her lies against the child who my mistake threw ball on her car and then seek for apology, Prshant Bhushan's irresponsible comment which our blogger given clean chit but Mr. AK himself did not agree with Bhushan's comment, Delhi law minister's irresponsible behavior with Law secretary and so on.

AAP wants to particiapte in LS poll in more than 300 seats and I am sure they will win good number of seats looking at their current popularity. But did anybody analyzed what will be the ill effect of that? They wont be ready to support any party because they feel all parties are corrupt. They wont win that many seats either to start their own govt. So either they will be on independent side creating more chance to a hung assembly or they will end up supporting congress again. They will just be a spoiler to make their big political ambition. Do we really need a hung assembly or do we again want UPA to come in power? My only issue is that they are getting too much publicity hardly doing anything till now. Please hold back their emotion before supporting them blindly because the bubble can blast anytime.

Anonymous said...

I do not understand why people are doing so much praise of AAP. Let them prove what they promised to people and then everybody should give their opinion. May be they have started with free water and electrictity but plesae remember that the process which AAP followed to arrange these, we will understand their implication only after a year. I have big doubt if they can continue with these facilities after 1 year or Delhi people will end up paying more tax to avail these facilities.

Prashant has questioned why people question so much on AAP's each and every moment. Why not? They will be under scrutiny because they have come to the power only because they have given very big promises. But I surprised that just within 5 days of coming to power in Delhi, they have decided to participate in LS poll also. The party which claim that they did not have any political ambition is planning to go national also. My only suggestion to Mr. AK is that first prove yourself to Delhi and then dream for national election. I can only see greed of power to AAP leaders now. They have tasted the sweetness of power and now they want to go national without proving their point in a single state.

My next worry is that most of the leaders in AAP are inexperienced and the do not have any collective opinion on national issues but they want to participate on national election. What a joke. Mr. AK used to say before election that he has lots of proofs against Sheila Dixit's corruption and now he is saying Mr. Harshavardhan to show him the prooofs against Dixit and then he will take action. I mean is it a responsible comment of a party leader? Recently AAJTAK has done some sting operation on few corrupt officials of Delhi where APP did not hve any clue. Based on that AK has suspended these officials. Yesterday AK told the reporters to do more more sting operation like that so that he can catch all the corrupt officials. That means Delhi govt wont do anything and thy will just catch the corrupt officials based on the sting operations of News Channels? News channels doesnt have any other work? How can somebody make such irresponsible comments and we educated people just accept him our massiah in such short span of time? Did he ask the raw footage from AAJTAK before suspending these officials? But before Delhi election when few of AAP party leaders caught on camera of taking illegal donation, they faught for raw footage and based on that they themselves gave clean chit to their leaders. Do we think about these lines before giving our opinion.

In just 10 days Delhi minister Rakhi Birla has come under scrutiny because of her lies against the child who my mistake threw ball on her car and then seek for apology, Prshant Bhushan's irresponsible comment which our blogger given clean chit but Mr. AK himself did not agree with Bhushan's comment, Delhi law minister's irresponsible behavior with Law secretary and so on.

AAP wants to particiapte in LS poll in more than 300 seats and I am sure they will win good number of seats looking at their current popularity. But did anybody analyzed what will be the ill effect of that? They wont be ready to support any party because they feel all parties are corrupt. They wont win that many seats either to start their own govt. So either they will be on independent side creating more chance to a hung assembly or they will end up supporting congress again. They will just be a spoiler to make their big political ambition. Do we really need a hung assembly or do we again want UPA to come in power? My only issue is that they are getting too much publicity hardly doing anything till now. Please hold back their emotion before supporting them blindly because the bubble can blast anytime.

Shesha Chaturvedi said...

I have never missed a chance to vote even though like you I have no political view. Until this Anna Hazare moment I had hard time understanding Indian politics.
I vote because I find one party bad and other worse- better I exercise my vote in favour of bad one and ensure less damage to the nation. If I crib about the system, I feel bad for less opportunities to those who need them most, I feel the burden to understand politics and use my rights. Its just my inner voice that pushes me hard enough to make a choice rather than closing my eyes on them. We are sailing in the same boat but our coping techniques are quite different. Isnt't it?
Rest AAP still has the scope to prove itself worthwhile or futile effort- it is still very new! I can't pass the judgement this soon. Though I have been in favour of BJP too but I dislike a few things in it too- I don't wish to point them here! I adore Modi and find him strong enough to take up the responsibility of the nation! I expect him to be far better than MMS(hate him) or AK(He is no where).
I enjoyed your post anyhow. To each his own! :)

Neha Verma said...

Pandit Umesh Sharma is a Member of Aam Aadmi Party and He is standing in election of MP at West Delhi. He is a social worker in his area and do more worke for neede people.
Umesh Sharma

GV said...

You have nailed it Prashant :)