Prashant Bhushan’s open letter is out and on the news. You can read it from various sources. While I have my opinions about how that chasm between activism and politics can be crossed, I also understand not everyone has the same view opinion as mine… there is a tug of war that happens within a person once they are in that Chasm.. It is a very personal fight and the decision cannot be termed right or wrong as it will always look different depending on where you look at it from but there are some common factors
I have felt that most people who have believed in the idea of AAP did so with a strong conviction that things should change in the way politics is done and that corruption should be fought against, within the system as much as outside the system.
First there was this chasm between “to fight” and “not to fight”. Many people got to the streets to fight but some stayed back home and may be decided just to stop cooperating with corruption but not fight yet. Even political parties became divided in supporting the anti corruption movement. The apolitical nature of the movement is what troubled some political parties more.
Then there was this chasm between “fight inside the system” and fight outside the system” Some decided to enter the system while some opposed that and decided to stay back. And then some people who had opposed fighting inside the system decided to enter the system but did so not with their former brethren but the opposition and could not articulate the decision convincingly enough and lost (the Kiran Bedi debacle)
Once inside the system the chasm most people had to face was that between ideological activism and politics. I am sure everyone in AAP who came from the Activism background would have been caught in this chasm. And people handle it differently because the chasm is not the same for everyone. Arvind is in his chasm while Prashant is in his and so are many of those people who are caught in this transition. The fact is how people respond and react and decide.
Arvind’s first term as CM, he was blamed for being an activist and now he is being blamed for being a politician. I am thinking Arvind handled his Chasm in a different way back then than how he is handling now. And that handling changes in the way some things are done. I am not endorsing everything but trying to explain the way I understand it.
Prashant’s open letter reinforces that the fight is always against corruption and many things that typical political parties considered their core fuel to grow and if you see evidence of that in AAP at any level people should question. Now I can’t say what Prashant would do later in time… support AAP, start a new party, join opposition , go back to activism etc…. but what ever he does the relevance of his open letter will stay because it is about chasms and how people cross it.
Though I do feel a bit bad when I read it and see this happening and would have hoped it would not be like this I know and acknowledge the change that has been set to motion by the movement and AAP both inside and outside the system. Prashant, Arvind and all other AAP folks have installed a change that have made its reflections in many quarters of Indian politics, even in the tents of the oppositions whether they like it or not. The true thing is politics in India has changed atleast a bit from how it was before AAP
So Thank You Prashant for the open letter, Chasms are hard, it surely can define people but I don’t think it makes someone bad based on their decisions