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Mainstream, VOL LIII, No 11, March 7, 2015

A Letter to Friends on a Matter of Concern

Monday 9 March 2015, by Chaman Lal

Dear Friends,

Perhaps I should not address you like this, yet feeling concerned about media reports, which I wish to be proved false, about internal bickerings in the AAP, I am doing so.

The Indian society is going through very hard times, despite the AAP’s spectacular victory in Delhi Assembly. The AAP brought some hope in fighting these hard times and reviving the spirit of the freedom struggle days against British colonialism. Today’s neo-colonial, neo-imperial system is much worse with the rulers under Modi playing the worst anti-people role against the Indian people. While the fascist Right-wing always had unity in India and elsewhere in the world, it is among liberals and Leftists that the worst tendency of split within split continues, more so in India. The Congress-CSP, Gandhi-Subhas, various factions of Socialists-Lohiaites, various factions among Communists. All that is betrayal of the Indian people’s struggle for a better life. In such conditions if the AAP also falls into same trap of split within split, rest assured neither would the AAP expand beyond Delhi nor would the people have any hope of getting liberated from the fascist onslaught for a decade or so. Objectively under whatsoever excuse the AAP splits or is plagued by serious bickerings, it will be treated as betrayal of the Indian people.

Arvind Kejriwal was right when he said that the AAP must not fall into the trap of arrogance. Treating Prashant Bhushan or Yogendra Yadav shabbily will be an act of arrogance if not more. I never liked Yogendra Yadav mocking at Leftists during the AAP’s emergence, when he invited Leftists ‘on deputation’ in the AAP and told them to go back if they were not satisfied! Yet I think he is one of most significant AAP figures. Differences can always be sorted out through patient discussions.

When power comes, vested interests also come with it and if caution is not observed, collapse would not be far. Kejriwal was again right in his observation that this massive victory, rather people’s faith in the AAP, is scary and any arrogant slippery and haughty step in a hurry can result in losing the people’s faith as fast as it was gained!

Please excuse me if I overstepped the limits of propriety, yet as a follower of Bhagat Singh I thought it my duty to convey my feelings to those whom I consider my friends and friends of the Indian people.

Regards and greetings,

Chaman Lal

Prof Chaman Lal is a retired Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is also the former President of the JNU Teachers Association (JNUTA).