An Open letter to AAP from an AAP supporter

When Aam Aadmi Party was launched it gave hope to many people especially youngsters like me. We never thought an honest man can do any good in politics. In fact we were so cynical that we actually had started believing that candle light marches and street protests were the only way the government listens to us. The people’s representatives are too elite nowadays to listen to us.  I first saw Mr Kejriwal during the Youth for Equality protests and when he and other people like Yogendra Yadav, Kumar Vishwaas jumped into the political arena I was overjoyed. I thought yes AAP will change the political landscape, not so much in terms of work done but by making politics as a whole cleaner, by questioning the set systems and practices which had fallen prey to rampant corruption and nepotism. Before Kejriwal and AAP, the choice for us was just choosing a ‘lesser evil’, but now we genuinely had a clean option.

I along with thousands of people started dreaming of a political utopia and like thousands of others I also started donating for the party. I wanted desperately for AAP to succeed , to set an example. The elections first in Delhi and then the Lok sabha election taught us some invaluable lessons:

1. That the people are smart enough to make a choice

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2. Delhi elections gave us a endorsement, but

3. We were still an unknown commmodity in governance’.

As you can see I have started referring to AAP as “We”. That is how much I felt connected to the idea of AAP. I used to argue with my parents  desperately trying to make them vote for AAP. My Dad, who is an ex-Air Force Officer, simply told me such utopia’s are fictitious and don’t exist. The system is so bad that it changes people who try to change it. I was taken aback because this was coming from a armed forces man. He liked the whole movement but didn’t want to vote for “Us”. He said WE are not prepared, we are immature and what not. Then he added one more thing ‘Power corrupts all’. I argued on that point ‘Yes power does corrupt but it takes time. And AAP is no other political party but is a party made up of people like us. Surely you haven’t taught us that badly that we will be seduced by power so easily’. Again he added a sentence which rankled ‘Son, Power makes even brothers fight’. I wasn’t willing to take all the cynicism lying down and another round of discussions ensued. He said ‘ We participated in the JP movement with the same hopes. Look where did it take us? ‘ I wasn’t still convinced and told him”We” are different and “We”will change history.

“We” did change history and that too in a dramatic fashion by getting a overwhelming majority in the Delhi elections. And it took less than a month for the history to unravel. “We” started fighting and washing our dirty linen in public. What started off with ‘ clash of vision’ has become a full blown war with the opposite sides indulging in public mud-slingin. My belief in bringing change started wavering after the infighting started  but I still thought ‘Hell if someone reads my emails to my wife and best friends they will feel that I am in a war’. But the mud slinging kept on growing and my hopes of regaining belief started wavering.

And last week I got hit by the proverbial last nail in the coffin of my belief. A video surfaced where Arvind Kejriwal, the supreme leader of AAP is actually talking about getting support from a party due to which “We” had to quit the first time around. The video had parts about splitting Congress and taking external support from them. I know all the supporters will jump  and say that the tapes are doctored and it was said in a different context and maybe even all was just said but nothing was done .

I believe in all the justifications but I believed “We” were different. That “We” wouldn’t  ever talk about these things because these were the things “We” were out to change. “We” said we will not even do what the traditional political parties have done. But we have gone back on that promise. And I am now going back on mine. Sayonara AAP you broke my belief in politics and congrats Dad you were right as always and next time I will listen to your advise.

-Arindam Halder

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