Tuesday, February 18, 2014

And so the Delhi experiment, one that started on a cold winter's day in December, has ended 49 days later. Arvind Kejriwal has resigned as the Chief Minister and is now back to being just another 'Aam Aadmi', albeit one who is now preparing his party for the national elections. 

The AAP came to power on a wave of hope and optimism, and much of that has now given way to confusion and despair. Questions remain on what it all means, and whether the AAP is really a viable option as a national party. Others see Delhi as just the first act in a larger political game. Only time will tell. 

In the meantime, however, a couple of folks have weighed in with their opinions. I have been following Captain Gopinath's blog-posts for some time now, and they have always come across as interesting and insightful; particularly when appearing to be at odds with Kejriwal and the AAP, a party he is a member of. His latest post is perhaps, in my opinion, his most articulate yet. It attempts to explain some of the circumstances surrounding the government's early demise, offers a glimpse of what lies ahead, and even takes in a quote by Wordsworth along the way. I would recommend you read the full post here

Meanwhile, someone else whose posts I have been following, and whose name I have invoked before, is Mani Shankar Aiyar. In his latest post, probably published within minutes of Kejriwal vacating his chair, he has listed about 20 bullet points- each one mocking the AAP's tenure in power. In fact, you get the sense that this obituary- of-sorts was drafted well before the death occurred; such is the perverse glee that emanates from it. It is an astonishing piece of writing; its triumphant, I-told-you-so note deeply disturbing. For reasons completely different from the previous link, I recommend reading the full post here

If these pontifications are intended to come off as brave and defiant in the face of near-certain electoral defeat, I personally don't think it is working. Instead, they are making him look either arrogant, ignorant or in denial, and sometimes all three at the same time. He is starting to remind me of the Iraqi minister who appeared on tv interviews at the start of the Iraq war in 2003, proudly proclaiming that Bhagdad is secure, even as the tanks were slowly rolling up behind him. I am now increasingly convinced that Ronan Keating was thinking of Mr. Aiyar when he sang- you say it best, when you say nothing at all. 

If I was to be so bold as to offer this seasoned politician some advice, it would be this: Please, Mr. Aiyar, please just stop. Please stop listing problems and start listing solutions. And if you are going to reflect, reflect on the state of our great nation rather than the shortcomings of other individuals and political parties. Reflect on the more than 50 years your own party has been in power, and reflect on the reasons why Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party have come into being. Then, maybe, just maybe, we will listen to what you have to say.

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