Saturday, February 07, 2015

WhatsAAP with you?

Imam Bukhari's support perfectly summarises the inherent identity crisis of the AAP universe. It brings to the fore the key question I raised last year - what exactly does Aam Admi Party stand for?

Every constituency of AAP supporters views the party from its own prism of convenience and  interprets the ideology as per its requirement.

The muslim right wing is now seeing the party as its current alternative to BJP. What they don't understand is Kejriwal is not an appeaser. Even if he wants to, he can never get into the give-and-take politics because that's his only differentiation. If he resorts to give-and-take, there won't be any difference between Kejriwal and Lalu Yadav.

The left wing activists see him as one of their own - a vehicle for revolution. But he already abandoned that path when he split with Hazare and took the plunge into politics, famously declaring that to bring real change he needs to go from andolan to prashasan.

The middle class armchair revolutionary sees him as an anti corruption crusader. The armchair guy somehow convinced himself that with AAP in power, everything will be exactly the same - the same economic opportunity, social mobility, his sedan and the iPhone and the glitzy hipster life - EXACTLY the same, except the corruption is now magically gone! I think the flaw in that prism is the most stark of all.

Lastly, the Aam Admi, who is the real claimant to the party sees it as a simpler solution to his problems. No money? Instead of breaking your head to figure out how to earn more income, just vote for the guy who'll subsidise your power and water bills. Yes, the low ticket corruption - the real give-and-take he is used to - will be gone.

He thinks he will now get to take, but need not give. But he will realise that it comes with a huge price. If you demand honesty from others, the least you can do is to become honest yourself.  Let's start with the law that says 'no spitting'; then 'no-hawking without licence'; and then, no tampering with the weights; no ticket-less travel; no cutting through the queues; no priority in school admissions through corporator recommendations; no tax evasion; no loudspeakers at your son's wedding; no driving on the wrong side of the road; no helmet-less travel; no stopping beyond the stop line.

Yeah, no breaking the law at all! That's because you elected to deprive the system of its life blood. The system will stop working if its ill-gotten income isn't substituted with increased salary. And who will pay for the higher salaries to the police and the babus? Yes, you - the Aam Admi who got away with all the little cheeky rule-breaking that the system never really cared about. The system will start penalising you for all those transgressions. Like I said, if you demand honesty from the system, the system will want the same from you. Do you have it in you to face the music?

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