Irfan Iqbal Gheta 23 Jan 2014
A AP photo of protests in New Delhi
AP photo of protests in New Delhi
The latest dharna -the theatre of absurds involving the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP)’s Arvind Kejriwal seems to have soured the popular mood in AAP’s favour championed by the mainstream media. Now the media that never grew tired of singing praises of the AAP and Arvind Kejriwal has finally realised that the AAP is a bunch of middle-aged renegades’ hell bent upon hijacking the system to stay in the limelight.
The latest salvo has come from none other than the bestselling novelist Chetan Bhagat who has a huge youth fan following. In an NDTV panel discussion, Chetan Bhagat has slammed the AAP’s methodology saying that sometime when you fall in love too fast, it is followed by heartbreak. Having said this, he went on to confess in the same breath that the antics employed by the AAP have really let him down. To shield a corrupt Law Minister reeling under the charges of corruption, the AAP has gone too far by sitting on a dharna on Republic Day eve bringing the National Capital to a standstill.
Chetan Bhagat is known for his political views and his respect and liking towards the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. A few days ago, he created a stir by tweeting a picture along with Arvind Kejriwal and a tiffin box. He wanted to convey to his followers that he was hungry so he had had lunch with the Delhi Chief Minister. This picture had sent media into a tizzy with speculations that he was contemplating to join the AAP and Arvind Kejriwal’s prospects in the upcoming Lok Sabha election and through this, the party was going to receive a further boost with the latest high profile entrant into its fold.
But AAP’s disenchantment has given way to seething anger and Chetan Bhagat has realised the hollowness of the tall claims made by the party. This is why his outburst on national television makes all the sense. BJP’s Arun Jaitley had predicted the present scenario in the beginning but nobody had taken him seriously. Little under a month in governance, the nation witnessed little or no work by the AAP. Instead, what it has witnessed are controversies, grandstanding, announcements of who has joined the AAP, allegations of car attack later proved to be false, lack of ideological mooring, creation of potentially dangerous situation for internal security and actions rubbing salt on the wounds, midnight raid in a Ugandan woman’s house and subsequent drama of dharna to shield the erring Law Minister Somnath Bharti.
The AAP’s self-destructive mode has embarrassed the country in the international media too with the news of ill-treatment Ugandan women going viral. Anything that happens in our national capital is bound to create headlines worldwide.
The AAP has taken the people’s mandate for a jolly ride by showing no regards for the democratic methods of solving issues. Therefore, the anti-incumbency wave is fast gathering up against the AAP with voices like Chetan Bhagat making their stand clear in no uncertain terms.
Even the mainstream media has realised that the round-the-clock presence of the TV cameras before the AAP leaders has only grown their hunger for free publicity. Instead of focusing on governance, they are wasting time in devising ways to get more publicity.
This is a downright harmful precedent that any political party, new or old can set. In the days to come, more verbal valleys will come in AAP’s way and soon it will realise that even the fetish for televised grandstanding has two sides. For people can see what you are almost immediately and dismiss you as a footloose mob gone out of control to create mayhem. The political obituary of the AAP will definitely contain this line, “those who live by free publicity also die by it.”