The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is unraveling itself into shambles and the extrication is disturbingly similar to Animal Farm. The epic story beautifully written by George Orwell brilliantly unveils the farce behind populist, socialist and communist political movements. Seeing the entire drama unfold I am reminded of a quote by Abraham Lincoln “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” The saying aptly describes Kejriwal’s sudden megalomania and it seems that the Delhi Chief Minister has a lot in common with the power hungry Napoleon, the pig.
Characterisation of Napoleon in Animal Farm epitomises the personalities of almost all dictators ranging from Stalin to Saddam. Each of them were products of popular anti establishment movements against existing governments. They all during their early days enthusiastically catered to the popular public sentiment which ultimately swept them to power. But once at the helm, they set about purging opponents and consolidating their own hold through a range of nefarious activities.
A comparable tragedy which is truly Machiavellian in nature is currently being played out for all to see in India. Kejriwal and his personal henchmen are presently eradicating all opposition to their control over the party and its affairs. The speech given by the AAP chief during the national executive meeting is strikingly alike the one given by Saddam Hussein when he became President of the Baath Party in Iraq. Kejriwal like Saddam gave an ultimatum to the party members which when literally translated meant that “It’s his way or the highway.” The only handicap with Mr Kejriwal was that unlike Saddam in Iraq and Napoleon in animal farm he could not accomplish the disappearance of Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, traitors to his cause, because of his misfortune of acquiring power in a fairly conscious democracy.
The moral high stand with which AAP presented itself to the public was the party’s most attractive feature. It generated mass hysteria which ultimately catapulted the outfit to a position of unassailable power. I can’t help but compare it to the identical ethical position displayed by the pigs to galvanise animal support in favour of their rule at the farm. In George Orwell’s story the inspiration is provided by an elderly pig called Old Major who dies after setting in motion the wheels of an idealistic movement, the ultimate goal being emancipation of the downtrodden animals. In AAP’s case Old Major is replaced by Anna Hazare who after providing the initial brainwave to the party has now been shoved into oblivion by Kejriwal and his faction.
If one is to predict the trend that will be followed based on the remarkable similarities between the AAP story and Animal Farm, it is not long before we see the monumental failure which Kejriwal and his party will represent. The failure, mind you, will not be political and surely it would be foolish to even say so immediately after they have created electoral history. However the letdown amongst the public and the disillusionment it will cause to millions of Indians who truly believed that honest politics was the way out for the nation is something for which the party may never be able to apologise.
It is not as if other political outfits do not indulge in dirty politics. There are murkier engagements in which leaders of other factions indulge in. Nevertheless, the leaders of the other political sections have never claimed their principled pedestal to be higher than Caesar’s wife. The hypocrisy of AAP leaders is slowly unfolding, they too it seems are mere mortals who can easily be preyed upon by money and power. The path on which the party is treading and the speed at which it is accelerating, it won’t be utterly shocking if the party turns out to be worse than the existing parties it abuses and vilifies.