It’s election season in India. The entire nation is engulfed in the winds of the upcoming Loksabha elections, which will ultimately decide the Prime Minister of the country. But these elections are proving to be peculiar for myriad reasons.
For starters, there is an uprising of a phenomenon called Aam Aadmi Party. For a party which had no existence just a year prior to the Delhi election, forming a government in the nation’s capital after thumping three time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, is nothing short of spectacular. All credit goes to the dogmatic IRS officer, Arvind Kejriwal. No one would have visualized the earthquake that this ex-Anna Hazare supporter has brought. His portrayal of an anti-corruption messiah, a person who commands abolition of corruption dictatorially, has invigorated a new zeal among the Indian youth. A hope of a corruption free India. If only that were remotely possible.
I was quite surprised at the win of pure idealism in today’s heinous society. And the win of AAP brought me back the memories of another headstrong Indian, who scripted the independence of the country 66 years back. Does idealism really possess so much power as to topple the governance of a mammoth country? Is the slogan Satyamev Jayate (Only truth triumphs) really relevant? Are Yudhisthir’s notions of swa-dharma (duty towards your own conscience) really not so idiotic as I thought them to be? And a flurry of such philosophical questions lingered in my mind.
But I was fortunate that I picked up a related book, The difficulty of being good, my first book on philosophy, at about the same time. And a lot of my questions were answered. The clouds of precariousness were first removed when I fathomed the transition of Yudhisthir, from an idealist to a pragmatist, shifting his loyalties from one meaning of dharma to another. Despondent by thirteen years of exile, the ideal hero, Yudhisthir gives up his fealty towards his conscience and adopts a more realist outlook towards the circumstances. It is this evolution that enabled the Pandavas to embrace a slew of unfair means to win the war. And this, brings us back to AAP.
Arvind Kejriwal will be sworn as the Chief Minister of Delhi, owing to AAP’s coalition with the Congress. Yes, the same Congress that he vehemently reprimanded. And I see this as a first step in the transition of the AAP, a modern day embodiment of Yudhisthir. Is it a betrayal to the people of Delhi who voted only for AAP’s anti-corruption agenda and wanted no more of Congress’ antics? Of course, YES. How can now AAP justify its claims of being totally free from corruption when it is joining hands with the most corrupted political party of the nation? It doesn’t need to. Because it is not amoral. Its’ intentions are crystal clear and there is no doubt about their moral authenticity. AAP can simply discard all such accusations by Bhartiya Janata Party and continue with its dream run.
But this win doesn’t hide the fact that it is being too idealistic. More than half of its election claims are just embellishments. Apart from its frequent usage of hyperbole, there are also serious doubts about their administrative capabilities. While this is a see-saw that can swing both ways, pragmatism leads me to believe in their debility more than their competency. And there are also the devils in distress, sitting at the Centre, waiting for a chance to go out all guns blazing on these newbies. And many more adversaries to come.
And these demons won’t be silenced by their idealistic maneuvers. Nor by their docile claims and fanciful dreams. It will have to turn from idealism to pragmatism and more. It will have to endure further on the journey of evolution that it has already embarked upon. It will have to follow Yudhisthir’s course of action.
And in this journey, it may get drifted apart to become amoral, shatter its own ideals and wrong its own believers. And this will be the day the Congress will strike back. And the entire edifice of AAP, built on the roots of anti-corruption will come crumbling down. But then again, I am a cynical pragmatist.
To be continued…
P.S. This blog is fictitious and only encapsulates the thoughts of the author.