In his blockbuster novel – Chanakya’s Chant, Ashwin Sanghi quotes “Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently”. However, it took 15 years. But it seemed that the 13.3 million electoral population of Delhi had made their minds for a change; not only the change of a face but the change in the way the system works.
The new face on whom the people of Delhi bestowed their trust, was the face of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption crusade. He was the ray of hope for people fed up with corrupt system, false political promises and negarious agendas. This man picked up a broom as the weapon of his choice to clean the dusts of corruption. He coupled it with a muffler, an oversized shirt and Gandhi topi, this Aam Aadmi was Aam as they get.
And Kejriwal was not only symbolism, he was substance too, when he picked up the broom to clean Delhi, he already had the following laurels in his kitty:
• 2004: Ashoka Fellow, Civic Engagement
• 2005: Satyendra K. Dubey Memorial Award, IIT Kanpur for his campaign for bringing transparency in Governance
• 2006: Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership
• 2006: CNN-IBN Indian of the Year in Public Service
• 2009: Distinguished Alumnus Award, IIT Kharagpur for Eminent Leadership
• 2009: Awarded a grant and fellowship by the Association for India’s Development
• 2010: Policy Change Agent of the Year, Economic Times Awards along with Aruna Roy
• 2011: NDTV Indian of the Year along with Anna Hazare
• 2013: CNN-IBN Indian of the Year 2013-Politics
• 2013: Foreign Policy magazine top 100 global thinkers, November 2013
• 2014: featured in Time’s 2014 Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world
He was a geek, an IIT graduate, a former IRS officer, he gave up his career for championing social causes. When Arvind Kejriwal came up with the idea of the ‘Aam Aadmi Party’, people started seeing him as the real life Shivaji Rao Gaekwad (Anil Kapoor) of the Bollywood flick Nayak. The Nayak in late 2013 formed his maiden government with Congress’s unconditional support to Aam Aadmi Party.
However, some people claim the new leadership was about to convert Delhi into London but the government lasted only for 49 days and Arvind Kejriwal resigned from his post citing his government’s inability to table the Jan Lokpal Bill in Delhi Assembly for discussion due to stiff opposition from other political parties in the house, as the reason. He then went on to contest Lok Sabha Elections from BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Damodardas Modi. He lost gloriously!
Though the nation rejected him before Modi, he made his way back in sixth Legislative Assembly of Delhi in February 2015 with complete and unusual majority stationing a stretched-out list of promises and personally apologising from every voter for his previous 49-day fiasco.
But soon started the politics of blame game, accusations, and self-righteousness followed by dumber by every passing day statements. The count of his debacles and fiascos since the time he came to power, perhaps, would be longer than the list of promises which propelled him to power. The people of Delhi were again betrayed and ditched and they realised that the ‘aam’ they looked on with utter eagerness and passion was actually so sour that neither it could be swallowed nor spat until the next elections.
Now there are allegations everyday. Arvind Kejriwal is allegedly involved in a so called tanker scam. He allegedly received kickbacks of Rs. 2 Crores from Satyendra Jain, Delhi Health Minister and now Kapil Mishra, Kejriwal’s former accomplice has opened a box full of worms. If his revelations are to be trusted, AAP is fuelled by illicit money. So much for the party that went out to eradicate corruption.
Now, the million-dollar question is: after Kejriwal’s inglorious fall, would people be able to trust a new party?
Well, we have a popular proverb in Hindi: ‘doodh ka jala chhaanch bhi phook phook kar peeta hai’, meaning – once hurt, doubly cautious.
Given the account of Kejriwal’s qualifications and accolades, and taking a cue from the wild and unaccountable administration Aam Aadmi Party has offered, it would indeed be difficult for people to trust a new party, no matter how promising the faces are and how much weight their names bear.
This is the biggest harm that Kejriwal has done to the nation. He has shattered the hope and trust of people, young voters in particular. They’ll never be able to trust a new political outfit easily.
Although Delhites have already registered their displeasure with Aam Aadmi Party reducing them to dust in MCD elections and the voters of Punjab and Goa also showcased renouncement of their trust in the Aam Aadmi Party, the doors for new political organizations who may really wish to make a positive change have been effectively closed.
In other words, the Aam Aadmi Party has crumbled under its own weight, it crushed the political aspirations of young promising leaders who are not affiliated to any existing political party.