AAP & DOWN – Mayank Gandhi

When I bought this book, to be frank, I thought it would be a dry tale or retelling of the rise and fall of AAP as a political party. Because who doesn’t know of AAP and Arvind Kejriwal – the visual media has done and keeps doing it post mortem almost on a daily basis. Every mistake of a AAP leader, is sure to be on prime time.

However to my pleasant surprise, this book is not only of the movement called Aam Aadmi Party but it is a semi-biography of Mayank Gandhi himself and from his enthusiasm of doing something for the nation to his disappointment with his icons, whether Anna Hazare or AK, it is a reflection of every volunteer, every citizen who saw a silver lining on the dark political clouds of India but now feels cheated, disappointed and devoid of any enthusiasm or nationalism anymore.

It is a frank as-is account of AK vis-a-vis AAP. But at the same time, some of the examples given where it seems AK tries to manipulate or is depicted as a shrewd strategist, one also feels what other options did he have – for all our respect for gandhian ideals, we know that Gandhi would have been an abject failure, if he had to deal with today’s Indian politicians. #MayankGandhi #AAP #ArvindKejriwal

The biggest flaw of AK here is his failure to recognise the real leaders and his true comrades and also his failure to communicate convincingly to his party leaders of why he did so to each and every decision he unilaterally took.

The chapter on Anna does not come as a surprise though, as the author himself observed, Anna with his simplistic approach towards politics could never be the leader of a political party and perhaps no one knows this better than Anna. He uses his charisma, respect and stature to mobilise people support against issues and I think for this only reason we need to thank him.

The party’s imminent downfall is apparent in an chapter where in a PAC meeting, a member uses the names of Prithviraj Chauhan and Mahmud of Ghazni as an analogy. One can observe the delusion that power brings on lesser mortals.

While the author’s contribution and perseverance in projects such as Global Parli deserves a salute, his writing at times conveys a self defeat, of being let down by his leaders. This is a natural human reaction, but it would be a tremendous loss to the nation and to its citizens if we lost leaders such as Mayank Gandhi to pessimism.

A very transparent, in your face account of the revolution that was not to be, do not miss it, it is a must read.

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