Dear Sagarika Ghose,Before I start, I would like to make it pretty clear that I do feel that AAP is the change I seek and also I am no fan of your journalistic skills. I follow you on twitter and saw a tweet from you on my timeline where you tweeted a link of your article on Hindustan Times. Your tweet suggested that article is about how AAP is teaching a different kind of politics to politicians of India. To be candid, I was about to retweet your tweet as I never expected you to praise AAP. Somehow I convinced myself that I should first read the article and then retweet it.
I started reading your article and then I found that it was deliberately ‘balancing’ article, where you were trying to praise AAP about few things and then criticize about something utterly unusual.
I found the criticism quite amusing as well as disturbing (since you’re quite an experienced journalist). I have tried to list them out below:
You wrote -- So far the AAP has an angry, anarchist, urban Naxalite image.Anger. Anger is when someone loses his/her calm and shouts at others or behaves in non-violent manner. I fail to understand when did you see AAP or its representatives losing their calm in public or TV debates unlike Mani Shankar Aiyar (calling AAP people Dogs or MPs Animals), Mamata Banerjee or many more? An angry man mostly ends up being violent but AAP has record of being non-violent throughout their public journey of more than 3 years. Even the young girl who got slapped by Police did not indulge in any scuffle. On the other note, did media called Jagdish Tytler angry man when he incited Congress Mob which ended up beating a lady inspector in Orissa? Probably not.
Anarchist. I feel that you called them anarchist because he requested people not to pay electricity bills or because he connected electricity connections of people who were unable to pay their electricity bills. Anarchist is someone who wishes to destroy existing government and laws. Ma’am there was a time when Rahul baba visited Bhatta Parsaul while section 144 was imposed there. He too broke the law but did you call him an ANARCHIST? No! That would be quite moving act much like his Jaipur speech, No? What do you think about Indira Gandhi. She suspended democracy. Was she an Anarchist? I hope you already know but I would like to reiterate what Anarchy means “a situation in which there is no organization and control, especially in society because there is no effective government”. Relate it to our Prime Minister and current government and you may understand what Anarchy is.
Urban Naxalite. Before I say anything could you please enlighten me what is the difference between urban or rural Naxalites? Your answer may help CRPF prepare better for their confrontation with urban/rural Naxalites. Anyway this is what Naxalite means:
“Naxal, Naxalite or Naksalvadi are generic terms used to refer to various militant Communist groups operating in different parts of India under different organizational envelopes”
Communist. I follow you on twitter and you have many times accused AAP of communist mind-set. When they did expose on Ambani, Adani or DLF you tweeted that Arvind Kejriwal is against industrialization/privatization. They want everything under government control. Ma’am, You, I and millions of people in this country criticizes politicians and politics of this country left, right and center, day in and day out but does that mean we want to suspend democracy? Recently CNN-IBN did an expose on Corruption in Medical Collages; therefore shall I conclude that CNN-IBN is against medical colleges in this country?
You wrote -- Think of the AAP and you think of unruly folk on the streets staging dharnas.Unruly. Protesting in non-violent ways, taking forward causes (as you said in your article) of common people are unruly?
You wrote -- Democracy is constantly in the throes of elections, with a myriad forms of redressal available, with law courts and public interest litigations.I always hear that if something is wrong, go to courts. There was a study done by Senior Judge of Supreme Court which said that an average case of corruption takes around of 26 years to reach its logical conclusion. Is it one of the “myriad” option you just pointed? You may like to have a reality check. Ask how many people would like to go to court on an issue and how many would like to settle outside courts? That will give you a clear picture about how many people feel that courts of this country are at their disposal.
You wrote -- Instead the AAP would have been better advised to look for solutions, find ways in which cheaper electricity can be made available from distributor companies, encourage more competition. In short, press for more reforms in the electricity sector.Press for more Reforms. You want common man to press for reforms at the time when government itself is unable to press for reforms of their interests? I do not know if I shall laugh or cry at it. Do you really want common man to find out ways in which cheap electricity could be made? I hope media will not ask us to find out oil or natural gas resources, if people stage protest against high fuel prices. What I found interesting is that at one point you accuse him of spreading anarchy by flouting laws and at the same time you want him to take over the work of DERC (a government body). I am quite sure that media would have damned them if they had tried it. On another note, did you ever showed the report of former DERC chief who was about to pass an order to reduce electricity prices by 23%? Ma’am you can do a show on it and I assure you on my behalf that I will never call you anti-democracy as I feel that media has every right to question elected MLAs/MPs.
You wrote -- Kejriwal’s persona is still too angry and too subversive to perhaps attract the middle class and many feel that the AAP’s tactics are one step removed from goondaism.Goondaism. Did they hurl rifle at any toll-gate staff? Did they beat anyone in their rally? Did they throw mike at each other as it had happened in Parliament/Assemblies? Did any goon reveal in enquiry that he gifted them jewellery worth 20 Million? Did they beat people because they belong to specific region/religion?
May be for media all this has become civilized as they cover it 24×7 but I always believed that people trying to change system through non-violent ways, by adopting principles of Mahatma Gandhi would be called civilized in this great nation but alas, I was wrong.
You wrote -- By no means clear that the AAP is as yet a bankable political alternative.There is a popular proverb in Hindi “दूध का जला, छाछ को भी फूँक फूँक के पीता है।” People of this country has been betrayed by almost all political parties, so it would definitely not be easy for us to bank upon AAP, but I would ask you a question. Is there any political party, you can bank upon? Any?
Before I end, I would like to say that handful people are fighting against 65 years of mismanagement and corruption. We always wanted educated and courageous people to clean the system, here they are. We certainly do not need to praise them if they are not enough worthy but criticism should be fair. It should in fact help the subject to introspect and improve. Sorry to say but I could not find any criticism in your article which could compel them to introspect. When you are fighting against a corrupt system, there will be confrontation which will turn murky, but that is the only way forward. As someone has rightly said:
“Things are always tend to get worse, before they get better. Night is Darkest, just before the Dawn.”
With Best Regards,