I have been of late pretty particular about posting one post every week, if I could get enough time and enough emotions pushing me towards it. There are some weeks like this one which had multiple thoughts nudging against each other. There were some truly political thoughts, political events which were quite disturbing and distressing. Communal riots in a part of country and a reaction by the government of the state, lacking any conviction. This is the same government which had sacked an IAS officer merely for following Supreme Court guidelines (the latest input on the same is that the lady in question has been re-instated, ostensibly on rendering apology to the CM) on account of creating communal tension thereby. The space left vacant by the legit government of the day was duly occupied by forces which made the environment conducive for communal disharmony. Debates spread over the media and cacophonous monologues, totally immune of the human loss spread across social media.
The government of the day which does not take nation beyond arithmetic equation saw in awe as the major opposition launched its PM candidate and erstwhile Army Chief who attends a rally with him finds himself at the receiving end of not only political name-calling, but it did not stop at that that. A serious allegation of trying to run a coup against a state government with One Crore Rupees, which not only insults the intelligence of citizen, it also insults the greed of politicians. He was further, through a leaked report blamed for setting up an special intelligence unit, and while the news anchors shouted vociferously calling it General VK Singh's unit, no one bothered to explain either the fact that what was the object of alleged coup and who authorized the setting up of the unit. Apart from the timing of the leakage of the report, further intriguing was the fact that the report was leaked in the same Newspaper which earlier cited routine troop movement as an alleged attempted coup. They had later retracted/ not pursued the story, however the government which is custodian of the army which was thus vilified stood bystander.
The General has not been vilified only by the Government which had obvious discomfort with his joining force with the opposition but also by the young, media-savvy new entrant to the national polity, the anti-corruption crusaders who once shared platform with the general. This is sad and indicative of things to come. I wrote something leaning on the side of the General, and defense forces at large and was immediately pushed back. This was a total surprise that the same dispensation which argued against lack of space for public debate, immediate speaking the language of Ex-President of United States- you are either with us or against us. It is beyond disappointing, it takes away the dream of the citizens. People who stood by AAP, mostly were logical people and they were prone to question everyone, including AAP. To expect people to surrender the right to any debate or question any AAP member, simply on the premise of a promise of removing corruption is disappointing.
India, it seems is going through turmoil and nothing could be treated as sacred. AAP supporters on Social media argued regarding Army (later, it was told that the gentleman in question wasn't official spokesperson of AAP, thus terming him Digvijay Singh of AAP of sorts) that there was no holy cows, ignoring that by the same logic, even AAP isn't a holy cow, irrespective of however lofty an ideal they pursue. There are inherent issues in the political designs of AAP
1. It largely appears to be single agenda party. Nation faces multitude of problems, corruption is one of them. It is basic problem, so the party claims, but then the vicious circle is too circular to offer a straight lined explanation. For instance, one may argue, Education could be even more basic a problem since it would be difficult for the corrupt to fleece the educated. The party either doesn't have a view on the other issues or isn't talking much of them.
2. The secular premise of the party is too idealistic. It requires any person supporting AAP or opposing corruption to surrender his religious belief more so, if you are the follower of a majority faith. I still remember AAP, strongly refuting any support of RSS to its anti-corruption movement, going to the extent of telling RSS to stay off. Just as Shantibhushan with his Kashmir view has a right to crusade against corruption, so does any RSS supporter. Why should a party which is primarily aimed at removing corruption oppose a particular faith? Isn't it a cause common to all citizens of the country? Does it impact their political differentiation vis-a-vis the principle opposition?
Anyway, the debate isn't about AAP and its political prospects. It is more about the way this government has treated the Ex-Army chief. Maybe, it is the way we treat our soldiers. We do not differentiate between the bureaucrats of Min. of Defense and the soldiers on the ground and make noises which seem wise and intellectual, but is bereft of both wisdom and sensitivity.
I wrote this blog on Saturday but held back on account of anticipated backlash. It is hard for people to believe that one might have position about the army and faith in spite of being a mugwump.