Anna & AAP: Ego, rigidity put a great promise in jeopardy

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Winning an election is not the ultimate word in a democracy but making the end count is. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which produced a magic in the recently held Delhi assembly elections, is perhaps still not aware about this unwritten law and allowed a clear verdict to go waste by choosing a moral but impractical route.

But there is even a bigger tragedy in the AAP's story and it is its open spat with Anna Hazare, which was aired by the media throughout the day on Friday. Hazare, who is currently fasting at Ralegan Siddhi to force the government to clear the Jan Lokpal in this parliamentary session, told an AAP leader to leave the fasting venue after the latter had an argument with former army chief V K Singh. The AAP reportedly asked the leader, Gopal Rai, to return. Singh even questioned the funding of the AAP.

These two developments predict a disaster for a movement which was promising so much once. First, there was a division and now, an growing battle of the egos. It seems that the apolitical movement which was looking strong to rattle the tainted political class, will fall apart soon and gift the advantage to the opportunist forces.

The division of a movement which was genuine but still in its young days was the first major setback for the anti-corruption crusaders. Those in the ranks of the crusaders, willing and unwilling to join politics, could have still reached a compromise and led the movement forward intact. But as soon as it was split, the intensity was bound to get diluted.

Yet, the AAP did a great job in getting 28 seats in the Delhi polls, which meant that the movement could have gone forward by reconciling the dissatisfied voices and cherish the winning moments together. But the unbreakable rigidity stood in the way. While Anna Hazare remained somewhat cynical despite the AAP's success, the latter refused to join hands with the BJP to form a government in Delhi.

The crack within and the stubborn show outside will not do any good to the forces that had once made India dream about a change. The disunity and immaturity will encourage the opportunist political class to use the movement to its own advantage, putting an end to a big dream.

Do the quarreling Hazares and the AAP leaders understand this?

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