Monday, December 30, 2013


AAP ke aankhon mein
kuch mehke hue se raaz hain
AAP se bhi khoobsurat
AAP ke andaz hain

So said the bard, though not of Kejriwal’s heady concoction that has laid siege to Delhi.

Of course a lot has been said of Kejriwal and his idol Anna Hazare and their eventual split, their clean image, Kejriwal’s bold step to stand for elections, and actually win. Of how congress has been humbled and how the broom can sweep the country clean (of corruption). 

Optimism is probably the opium of the masses, or of the youth. And pessimism is the ground of the incurably skeptic. Granted, in that case, am a skeptic. Am skeptical of AAP. In my view, very soon, AAP will become, in every which way, a competitor of Congress and BJP or any other political party. Kejriwal (if he continues) will be rubbing shoulders with a Mulayam, Lalu, Jayalalithaa and Jagan. If he is luckier, he will give more shivers to Modi, Rahul/Sonia, Chidambaram or a Pawar. But one thing is for sure – he (or AAP) will do all this – not by being a saint among the sinners, but by being ONLY marginally a better sinner than the rest. Yes, AAP will now transform into a full-fledged political party, with all bells and whistles accompanying it. Or it will disappear. 

How else can it be? A political party functions as a political party – not as a bunch of well-meaning rebels who can fast unto death for a cause.

A political party has politicians in it – people who hanker for power – people who need to hanker for power – people who play the power games, people who have people depending on them to play the games, and win. A gallery to play to, a vote bank to retain, an all intoxicating drug of power to sustain, to breathe, to live. Once AAP tastes blood, either the purists will leave or will get transformed from “rebels with a cause” to normal, power hungry politicians.
Scams will come and scams will be hidden. Like always, scams will start small – a gas pump agency for a long standing  friend, a foreign junket for a deserving scholar, purchase orders to a known reputed dealer..and soon, the whole jimbang of uncles and cousins and supporting industrialists of all colors and passports will be on the AAP speed dial.

And Anna Hazare will continue to fast. Maybe Kejriwal as well.

Tigers are carnivorous by nature. Feasting on grass is just not natural for tigers. AAP is a political party. Thriving on honesty and integrity is just not natural for political parties. It simply defeats the very purpose of being in politics. Politics is a zero sum game – either AAP has power or someone else has it. There is no democratic sharing of power, ever. Power is binary. He who holds it is 1. The rest have a grand 0. There is no fuzzy logic about power.

There is no doubting AAP’s desire to deliver clean governance, efficiency or progress. However, should they focus on governance alone, they will struggle to retain power. And once they realise that they are losing the grip on power, they will either reprioritize (thus, quickly learning the art of real politik) – or they will die a natural death reserved for all honest,  hard-working, na├»ve politicians.