OPINION
BUT AAP WON'T GET IT. TUM TO THEHRE SHEHARI
What is the problem with AAP?
- AMANDEEP SANDHU
What is the problem with AAP?



A WISE ONE once told me: give every phenomena time and it shall reveal its true colours. In spite of following AAP's bid to power in the Punjab elections, in spite of all the critiques of AAP and its fickle nature of the revolution, I never spoke on it because there are things I dd not understand. Now they stand revealed.

AAP remains an urban middle-class effort whose greatest worry is its own status quo - sustenance and longevity. This is also its greatest bugbear.

The nation is witness to the PM's slight to Kejriwal over the Metro Magenta Line inauguration. It was gross, arrogant and in absolutely bad taste. Even without AAP having to cry hoarse, it gave the party an opportunity to play humble, slighted by power. A David to the centre and major political party's Goliath. The very reason AAP won twice in Delhi, second time at 67/70 - unprecedented anywhere. Delhi folks and the nation also know of all the other slights AAP has faced in its tenure, most arising from the fact that Delhi is not a full-fledged state and the BJP muscling down the people's representation.
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AAP claims to seek revolution but ends up being a petty book-keeper and puts a material price on people's emotions.
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Yet, what does AAP do? It does what it understands to be its greatest issue: ask for donations over our anger. Puts a price on the people's emotions, our sense of right and wrong. It acts like a street corner juggler seeking petty monies for its monkey tricks.

This is its undoing. AAP did that in Punjab, it did that with Diaspora Punjabis, it did this earlier in Delhi, and is still doing it. AAP never learns. AAP claims to seek revolution but ends up being a petty book-keeper and puts a material price on people's emotions.

I understand AAP's anxiety. If it loses Delhi, it will be wiped out by 2020. But dear AAP, many bigger than you have been wiped out in history. Also, many smaller than you keep the idea of change, of equity, of democracy alive especially in rural India. But AAP won't get it. Tum to thehre shehari - urban India middle class revolutionaries. AAP does not get it that this nation is not sustained by its cities but by its villages where money is not everything. It was so in 1947 and it is so even now.

The issue with money is that it perpetuates the middle class - throw cash and get the service. In this case revolution.
 
That is not how people's movements work. People's movement is how AAP continues to try and market itself. People's movement is how many of us still approach AAP - it was/is our movement. People's movement needs spirit, the ability for the long haul and even the recognition and acknowledgement that it can perish and become something else. People's movement is a river, it does not determine its destiny. It knows its stance, not future history. 

But AAP is so self-righteous, so anxious, and is in such a hurry! That is because, it is now a political party. It has a shelf life and to survive it needs to stay alive. AAP is a reservior, if the water dips below critical limit, it becomes irrelevant. It needs to make a mark in history, it needs to puts a monetary price to itself. 

That is why, as a political party, AAP should no longer complain that people or the opposition has put a price to it. AAP asked for it.
 
Amandeep Sandhu is working on a book on Panjab.
 

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