Success without the pain of achievement is disguise.
Arvind Kejriwal and his supporters have become very intolerant of criticism because they got success cheap. His supporters have become more intolerant. For them, if you disagree with Kejriwal, you belong to an enemy camp. And no discussion is possible. In their imagination, “Kejriwal is India. India is Kejriwal”.
About a week ago, I found myself included in a WhatsApp group calling itself a founding members’ group (FM Think Tank). I had resigned from the Aam Aadmi Party about a year ago and, hence, was surprised to be included in the group. I was told by some people that, since my resignation was not accepted, I continued to be a founding member; hence my name.
I thought it was good in the sense that it would give me an opportunity to share views with them. Although I had resigned, I stayed in touch with Kejriwal and other leaders of the party — such as Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh and Gopal Rai. Also, I was aware of the fact that a lot many founding members of the AAP were unhappy with Kejriwal’s style of functioning. They personally contacted me and wanted to get opportunity to come on Television to air their views (I am the News Editor of NewsX television channel).
All that notwithstanding, within a week, the administrator removed me from the group. And my fault was that I had questioned their ‘holier than thou’ attitude and was going to ask a few questions on how much they knew about Narendra Modi’s governance after they started abusing Modi without any provocation. If I had continued in this group, I would have told them that India could not trust people like them who were not even ready to debate issues.
This is how the interaction went:
Added to the group on 18 December
The very first day I sent a message asking AAP secretary Pankaj Gupta to tell me about my status. But no reply came.
Then, while commenting on the Vinod Kumar Binny episode on 24 December, I said, “This indicated that the AAP had failed to evolve institutional mechanism to resolve such issues.”
Some members spoke about relying on e-governance etc. Then there was a discussion on Modi wherein the participants heaped abuses on Modi.
Someone said: “Modi isn’t committed to government reforms. Hence, Modi Government will be the final wave of destruction… Defence industry… railways… etc will be acquired by crooks and thugs…”
Then someone else said, “Modi is the devil (in) democracy: But no harm studying him. Hitler ran an efficient administration forsaking human rights, and moral values hit its nadir. But Germany was ahead of time. That brought pride to Germany. Let’s dissect Modi.” (This happened on 26 December).
The same day I wrote: “Are we getting trapped in criticising Modi as a fashion? Has anyone visited Gujarat or studied governance there?”
The administrator wrote back, “No! Modi is not committed to reform rotten (sic) systems of governance…Economic reforms without governments’ reforms will create (a) mafia state…”
Then I wrote, “You have rejected governance in Gujarat, so I assume you have read about or known (the State). Now I will ask you some questions.”
Someone wrote, “This isn’t (a) Modi forum. Hence, please don’t propagate which is not propagatable (sic).”
I replied, “If you do not wish to debate, it is fine. But the AAP constitution allows open discussions. Criticising someone without knowledge will not further AAP.”
I was removed from the group immediately.
The issue is how the aam aadmi can depend on such armchair revolutionaries for delivering governance when they scoot at the first sight of a debate? What I wanted to tell them was that the much talked about citizen charter had already been implemented in Gujarat — in every department. I wanted to ask them if they knew that e-governance in Gujarat had been internationally recognised and also attested by the Congress led UPA government.
Are they trying to reinvent the wheel? Or, would they befool people to believe that they are the creators? These people do not know anything other than Jan Lokpal after appropriating it from Anna. The saddest part is, Kejriwal is surrounded by such armchair revolutionaries who looked all right when I was in the JNU, but the same rhetoric now looks like an instrument to fool the people. They want delivery sans ideology.
At least be democratic. You can’t shut a debate because it does not suit you. We are Argumentative Indians.