Conversation In Conscience: One Mail That Pained Me So Deeply; One Mail I Wish I Did Not Have To Write!
Author Raja Krishnamoorthy / Kitty - Mar 25, 2014
This mail is not a mail from an individual. It is from my conscience. Not to another individual. It is also addressed to your conscience.
Hence it is a conversation of conscience. With itself. Because we are, at the conscience level, JUST ONE!
Subject: FW: the invitation from AAP tamil Nadu
To: “AAP David Barun Kumar” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: “arvind kejrival” <email@example.com>
Date: Saturday, 22 March, 2014, 10:40 AM
My dear David Barun Kumar
I have given a deep consideration to your invitation to be part of AAP to significantly boost its’ image and prospects in Tamil-nadu, especially in the context of this election. I have, painstakingly gone into a journey inwards and looked at your offer of standing for the Chennai south Lok sabha seat. It has been a very, very difficult and challenging exercise.
It was daunting and painful because of the paradox it created for me personally. Here is Raja, who has been relentlessly campaigning – especially in the last 3 years, in every forum that he has addressed to the common man- to become action oriented and act pro-actively, so as to bring in change. And yet when there is an opportunity for decisive political action thru a general election, in “fighting the election as an AAP candidate” Raja is tentative!
The reason is my respect for Arvind Kejrival and my inability to comprehend him in the current scenario.
I have loved Arvind. I have felt proud during the 2011/12 IAC days that we belong to the same fraternity. I have felt honored when he shook hands with me in IIT in June 2011, and warmly appreciated my powerful call for “waking up” to the common man. I hold him in high esteem.
That’s why precisely I was always keen to be a friend, colleague, thought influencer for Arvind, even before he launched AAP (2011, as he launched AAP (2012) and when he emerged victorious in Delhi assembly elections (2013). That’s is precisely the reason why I have relentlessly tried to reach him and influence his mind on appropriate leadership styles and building the right political culture so many times. These attempts, you will appreciate, were far, far ahead of the “great Delhi Assembly elections impact” which has been the lucrative “incentive” for many (especially the so called educated & intellectuals) to suddenly become SO loving towards India and run towards AAP J. I have repeatedly, consistently, very caringly tried, with all sincerity, to reach him and be a partner in evolving a positive, principle centered new political –social transformation agenda.
Those attempts have not been effective. I do not think I reached his ears or mind. I feel he has been too busy/caught up / preoccupied. That’s perfectly ok and understandable.
What is not understandable is his emerging or starting to look like any other political leader in his approach, stances and behavior!
I have some concerns about a few things about Arvind, the AAP leader. I have disappointment that he has almost become the very politician that he has been campaigning against for all these years: 1. Using “the mandate of the public” excuse as an OGL- open general license for justifying UN principled moves and actions 2. Drawing attention and influencing minds by Marketing/ selling / negativity and hate 3. Being Hasty, and without depth -shallow actions & re-actions. Let me elaborate point by point.
- Using “ the mandate of the public” excuse as an OGL- open general license for justifying un principled moves and actions:
Right thru the IAC campaign from 2010 till 2013, the corrupt political system aka – lead by the congress party- flaunted a simple OGL (open general license) on the face of the agitators of the standing of Anna Hazare and Arvind kejrival. The license was “The public have elected us, they have given us the mandate…who are you to ask questions?”
This ploy was a terrific “chappal” available to thrash any conscious, thinking, socially sensitive and principle centered citizen of this country- to silence him for asking any legitimate question related to ethics, morality, public probity or (demand) appropriate leadership behavior in the domains of politics and governance.
Do you know why this is OGL is immoral and unethical David?
This is not a QUALITY of good leadership but convenient escape hatch of uncouth leadership.
A good leader, a TRANSFORMATIONAL leader influences the public for the right principles and practices; he sows the seeds of necessary and compelling changes that the common man must adopt, however painful the change may be; He stands by the common man during that painful change process and holds his hand saying “ I know it is painful, but stay on. SUCH ESSENTIAL PAIN PRECEDES NEW POSSIBLITIES”. He teaches, coaches and shelters the common man, the AAM AADMI, to become the very change he is wishing to see in the system.
Then happens TRANSFORMATION!
If Arvind had understood this deeply, he would not have used this OGL to justify the coalition /collusion with the congress party for forming the government in Delhi– the party which is the very symbol, epitome and the cause for the moral and political corruption of this country, in my view. He just became a convenient user of this OGL, justified this completely ADHARMIC and opportunistic behavior with the claim “this is what the public is asking me to do” and went ahead with the politically corrupt act: Sleeping with the very enemy that you fought all this time, the congress party.
I am so pained; I cannot justify or accept this act.
In being a transformational leader you do not choose to become an opportunistic errand boy of the mythical & convenient “common man”. You, in fact, need to become the tough but caring, “rooted to the right principles” REAL LEADER. Such real leaders do not settle for short-term gains in place of long-term values & principles. WE can learn this powerful lesson from the most ordinary municipality ward level communist leader, almost anywhere in this country. I love them for just that. For being principle centered.
But Arvind failed me completely in this regard. Let me go to the second point.
- Drawing attention and influencing minds by Marketing/ selling / negativity and hate:
This is a cliché but let me state it. The Britishers left India as rules but left a trick/ idea/strategy / a powerful lesson for our uncouth politicians to perpetuate their selfish interests: Divide people; cause unnecessary suspicion and doubts; promote and market hatred; ensure there is always a boundary of doubt & distance between sections of people.
Of late AAP seems to have embarked on this strategy.
Choose an icon of richness and wealth, Choose Mukesh Ambani. (Just for records I am not an Ambani fan, never consulted for them, never had great opinion on their corporate culture)Beat the hell out of him, mindlessly day in and day out. Just make noise. Keep abusing. Call names.
Very smart; Very strategic!
And you become a hero to many of the 70% of the Indian population- the below middle class and poorer section of the country.
Simple: Human, social-psychology: Hate spreads faster and more intensely than love. Negativity is lapped by the public much, much faster than positivity. It may take 20 years or more to successfully implant a social transformational value in the mind of AAM AADMI of Bharath, India, successfully. But it will take just 2 minutes to instigate a Nirbhaya rape, 2 hours to burn the Godhra coach or just 2 days for Gujarat riots to burn down the social equanimity. Or about 2 months to put up a “theatrical, and hysterical” temporary govt. in Delhi!
Believe me David; all these human beings have within them the seeds of being good human beings. They are not born rapists, born arsonists, born rioters, born manipulators.
It is just that surprising as it may be, the human mind sucks in negativity much faster than positivity; gets attracted by, aroused by negative calls than positive calls much faster.
Is this what has been opted, now, by the AAP leadership?
Choose to bash Narendra Modi day in and day out. Make any allegation against BJP and tom tom it from rooftop. Accuse, abuse the Media. Shout as “anti- AAM aadmi” anyone who questions the party or its’ approach or action. Just scream, shout, abuse, accuse?
Is this the same ARVIND my role model on the same platform of IIT in 2011? Painfully I have to say, Not at all.
Why have you, Arvind, become the marketer of negativity?
Let me go to point no.3.
3. Act Hasty, without depth and shallow actions & re-actions:
Be it the formation of govt. at Delhi, be it the opinions on release of the convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination, be it supporting the blatantly illegal action of the trigger happy ministers, be it the “Media ka Sabh ko Jail me daaalege” sabre rattlng or the “Kichdi AAP set up chlegaa” attitude in Tamil Nadu AAP matters”- there is a lack of depth or hasty rushing into action by AAP leaders and party. Sorry to say this but it looks like you only need to watch the AAP leaders once in few days and you will have a new release: A new hasty, un-thought thru statement or action. I am not even going any further.
So this is my dilemma David. What do I do with these? I am at a crossroad.
That is why speaking to Arvind was very essential for me. Not just now, but for the last many, many months.
What do we bring to the public, AAM AADMI? For the future of INDIA, The great BHARATH MAHAAN? POSITIVELY.
I wanted to clarify the policies we need to talk about for transformation. Not just the “preventive policies” but development & facilitative policies. In governance, in Industry, in Agriculture, In water resources integration, In open market threats- opportunities, In Judiciary efficacy, In public health, In internal security, In foreign relationships, In global alliances.
Not just screaming of “ye chor hai, who chor hai, sab chor hai”. Not just accusing, and abusing but Architecting, Designing a positive pathway for a new India.
Not just protesting and Dharnaving. But putting together a framework. A thought leadership team. A vision document. A road map for renaissance of this great country.
Of course that calls for patience. Balance. Humilty. Deep care. Maturity: to know that in this mission of social transformation, the JOURNEY itself IS THE GOAL NOT THE DESTINATION PER-SE. And therefore the need, care, grace and sensitivity to cultivate – CULTIVATE- the right attitude in the common man’s psyche to be compellingly positive…and not choose the “quick- fix” political short cut of the manipulative: war cry of negative.
Leadership has to be positive. There is no choice.
My words here could sound provoking, preachy, even sarcastic some times, and demanding clarity. I am entitled to this, as I have truly loved Arvind’s ideology. His commitment. His self-lessness. I have stood by IAC. I have courted arrest. I have walked the talk. I have wished for his success. I have tried several times to get the clarity. I have reached out to him not just after December 8 2013. As I shared with you in the earlier mail, I have been wanting to influence his thinking from 2011 for a real, TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP.
He was one. He can be one, and he should be one.
But not with his current style and haste.
That’s why when you want me to join hands with AAP I am reluctant. I have a moral, ethical and Dharmic responsibility. I will not peddle hate. I will not spread negativity. I will not be riding on convenient division of population based on demographic data for reaping dividends of votes.
That may not be the qualification for a good AAP candidate today, or a good AAP campaigner. I need to clarify and get convinced on the positive agenda and approach. Our core values and beliefs. Have a place in the structure and system to have positive influence. Have a role in thought leadership.
But alas AAP and Arvind did not have the time earlier and now we are running out of time…to announce a “suitable candidates for the constituencies and powerful campaigners for election”. Sure I recognize the need to take a decision. For you and for me.
I choose to say thanks but decline this offer of candidature, for now.
I am touched by your sincerity of offering me an opportunity that thousands are waiting for to grab and willing to invest crores of rupees for: a lok sabha candidacy in India.
But I have to answer my conscience, my principle-centered mind. So I choose to wait.
Of course I am aware of some implications, when I make this choice: To be seen as a “theoretical ideologist”; to be branded as a X-party or Y party fan; to be accused of being a reactionary force. To be abused in the social-media by hecklers who invade in to any public place including AAP. To be curiously researched for some mud-slinging matter. One will have to live with all possibilities!
But I have great regards for you, your sensitivity and your broad mindedness. Thanks once again for your hand of unconditional invitation.
Let’s talk after this election fever subsides. Of course, If Arvind still cares to.
I will continue to be available, as a true, caring Indian – to AAP and other such parties / forums/ institutions, who want to build a new India. I will continue my work relentlessly- beyond the limits of south Chennai constituency, beyond Tamil Nadu, beyond India, across humanity…
That is the work for human evolution: physical, emotional, intellectual & spiritual; The work of awakening human being to his true positive self and giving up negativity; The work of promoting love &care and giving up hate and suspicion. The work of living in collaboration and celebration, and giving up the anxiety and myth of competition or deficiency. The work of discovering human sensitivity, soulfulness, realizing all our oneness.
I will continue the work of helping as many human beings realize the possibility of a very positive life, a very positive world.
Work on the possibility of (as I say often in Tamil) a “PUDHIYA NAAN; PUDHIYA SAMUDHAAYAM”! Work towards A new self, A new society!
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- Conversation In Conscience: One Mail That Pained Me So Deeply; One Mail I Wish I Did Not Have To Write!
- Why did I decline the chennai–south Parliament seat ?