I first met Arvind Kejriwal on September 21, 2014 at Aditya Sadan, Ashoka Road as an intern under one of those programmes engineered by his group of intellectuals to reconnect with youth and students after his infamous resignation and Lok Sabha debacle. To the team of volunteers and interns fully dedicated to the cause of making New Delhi Assembly Constituency an ideal one and hence an example for others to follow, he gave a short speech, interacted and made sure to talk to the group from all wards discussing every problem and their solution. Gopal Mohan, the in-charge of his constituency, said “You are Arvind Kejriwal, you are the MLA of New Delhi. You will analyse, understand and solve the problems in your ward”. That day my views on Swaraj changed from a mere theoretical subject to come-on-this-man-can-do-it, give-him-a-chance. I had seen a few ex-CMs waving from a helicopter, but here this man was sitting amongst us.
In a few months he silenced all critics, proved all psephologists wrong, vanquished his opponents and rose like a phoenix. In his maiden speech as CM at Ramleela Maidan, he said some of our leaders wanted to expand the party on national level. But we would quell our ahankaar, the ahankaar that destroyed BJP and Congress. Delhi had all praises for its CM. Little did anyone know that was a beginning of unending dirty politics between Kejriwal’s coterie of ruthless pragmatists and a group of idealists led by Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan.
We hoped that Kejriwal would come back from Bangalore and resolve the matter in a jiffy. But, he only aggravated it. When he asked the National Council to choose between him and them, his intention was clear-- My way or highway. I couldn’t understand why the council was summoned when he had already made a decision. He didn’t want an internal enquiry of his notorious stings by party’s Lokpal, just because the opposition would demand his resignation as CM. Where was his activism for idealism and honesty? Even if he was sure of a dirty conspiracy , Swaraj in its worst form would have given the founders a chance to speak their mind. If the top voices of the party could be muzzled with a muffler, volunteers would now live in fear.
I don’t know whether the other side is right or wrong. Nor do I care. All I know is “the Hope”, “the Honest” Arvind Kejriwal is no more doodh ka dhula. He is ready for political realignment and kicking asses. He is a politician now. After a year or so, Yadav-Bhushan may go into oblivion. He may continue to be a politician, but the hope of clean politics has been punctured.
Would all this happen if AAP was sitting on the other side of the aisle? The poison of power has induced a delusion of grandeur. Meanwhile, idealists should try to be a little pragmatic, take Haryana as a challenge and set an example there.