SWAN SONG OF Aam Admi Party.-By Shantonu Sen
The umpteenth obituary of the Aam Admi Party is being written . This time in the van of writers is Arnab Goswami of Times Now . He has never forgotten or forgiven this fledgling party for ignoring it and not sending its spokesperson to its prime ttime debates when informed to do so. The first obituary was written when Anna Hazare and Kiran Bedi decided to drop the party. The next was when AAP junked the Delhi Government after 49 days only. The third was when it drew a blank in Delhi in the Parliamentary elections . Later Shazia. Yogendra Yadav and Kumar Vishwas comments on the party and Shazia Ilmi leaving the party, separately and together provided almost a regular flow of announcement of its imminent death. Now the nonagenarian Shanti Bhushan’s description of Arvind Kejriwal as ” great leader . a great campaigner who . in my pinion lacks organizational skills” is projected as a final death knell. Is it finis for AAP or is this conclusion slightly exaggerated?
Like Manmohan Singh is an accidental Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal is also an accidental Party chief.. India Against Corruption was a movement and would have remained one . The Party, then without name came about, initially, with a reluctant Anna’s blessings after the movement faltered. It is then this party’s birth took place and Arvind Kejriwal emerged as its Chief Convener . If Sonia Gandhi had not stepped aside Manmohan Singh would not have been the Prime Minister. If Anna Hazare had not backed out after initially giving the go ahead there would have been no Arvind Kejriwal as the sole face of Aam Admi Party.. Both appointments defy logic and both hold/held their positions despite hiccups.
. Manmohan Singh can look back with some pride at the first eight years of his stewardship of the country . So can Arvind . He stayed on after Anna Hazare’s rebuff and steered AAP to rule Delhi with himself as Chief Minister. Both he and Manmohan Singh created history.
When Manmohan Singh started sliding in his last two years he allowed himself a free fall. Manmohan Singh could , on his record, attempt at being the Leader of the Congress Party. His age , his shyness following years of a motherless childhood , lonely teens and a sense of loyalty to the Nehru-Gandhi family did not allow him to think of it. Arvin Kejriwal , on the other hand shrugged off Anna’s volte face and piloted the party on to a growth curve. He too had a fall following his quitting as Government and then being wiped out in the General Election, in Delhi. The sobriquet “ Unskilled Organizer” from the aged mentor .of the Party for Arvind Kejriwal is not undeserved. The Aam Admi Party till today has roots only in Delhi. It can thanks Arwind Kejriwal’s organizational skills. Its plight in the Punjab in the recently concluded bye-elections vindicates the patriarch. But is it time for this Party’s obituary to be written?
Some Parties , the great ones are the result of movements . They cannot disappear. Leaders may come and go. The Indian National Congress before India got independence was a movement. It continued as movement and a Party simultaneously after independence for quite some time. Perhaps, now its not so in the eyes of many. The Communist Parties are also the result of the movement of the proletariat, the people . India Against Corruption became a throbbing movement. It created the Aam Admi Party.
Arvind Kejriwal is still the eternal challenger.. He emulates Don Quixote, an idealist out to right incorrigible wrongs,. Many, see him tilting at the windmills but he comes out a winner as he and his idealist group did in Delhi elections. He earned accolades in Varanasi despite the electoral defeat. The Apex Court simply cannot, much as it might like dismiss his gauntlet demanding a verdict on the Constitutionality of the Lt. Governor ‘s order dismissing his Cabinet’s recommendation for a mid- term elections The BJP is just not sure of election results in Delhi despite sweeping the Parliamentary seats. But Arvind Kejriwal cannot expect to repeat his exploits all by himself. Like the wily Laloo and the war horse Nitish did in Bihar he must reach out to existing parties born out of movements of the people. Time to suspend disbelief and seize time. All obituary writers of AAP may then have to hold back their pens .