A defeat deals a body blow to arrogance and makes the mind ready to reflect. So, the timing is appropriate. I am addressing you as your former friend and colleague who believes that AAP can still be salvaged and become the party for alternative politics. I am reaching out to you because my agony is not just mine; but of lakhs of volunteers, donors and supporters. We have known each other since 2003, when I was part of Annaji fast-to-death in Mumbai for the RTI etc. You have been my hero first, friend next and politician later. Let me address the hero first.
I remember how you convinced me to get out of my spiritual pursuit and lead the IAC movement in Maharashtra when we met in Nov 2011 in a conference hosted by Bhagwanji Raiyani in SP Jain Institute, Mumbai. In spite of my reluctance, you announced my name. I respected you too much to decline. I remember in mid 2012, when we both were travelling in an auto in Aarey Colony that you told me to quit my job so that I could give full time to the Anna andolan. In spite of my precarious financial situation, I quit my job. I remember we used to discuss idealism in politics till late in the night whenever you stayed with us. My daughter, who was part of those discussions, got inspired to become an IRS like you. So, not just me, my entire family believed in your ideals.
I remember that you sent Manish Sisodia to study the experiment that we, in Mumbai, were working on for a citizen consensus candidate for Juhu in 2009. We both were working on creating a model where political candidates could be elected without using money, muscle or divisive agenda i.e. without use of caste, communal, criminal or corrupt practices. That was exactly what AAP attempted in the 2013 and 2015 Delhi elections, successfully.
I remember how we used to speak for hours about how the personality or high command driven politics of India was destroying the nation– be it Cong or the BJP or the Thackerays or the Laloo, Mayavati and Mulayam. You hated that, then! When I announced from the stage that you will remove the tubes if you were force fed during your Jantar Mantar fast, there were tears in my eyes along with many others in the audience.
When I came to meet you in Delhi during your fast for electricity your health and determination completely shook me up. You refused to compromise. You would rather break than bend. Millions like me admired you and were willing to even give up their lives for you. You were our hero. Where is that Arvind?