Tag Archives: Delhi government

Nationalism and Politics – An Open Letter to Arvind Kejriwal

I write this open letter to you as a well wisher, and someone who has been seriously supportive of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) through all the ups and downs in the years since its formation.  Perhaps like many others, I too have high expectations of the experiment that AAP is and the new ground it has tried to break in terms of providing a government that has steadfastly kept the interests of the common person in mind while taking decisions.

But I also write this letter because I, like many others, have been perturbed by some developments which do not augur well for the future either of your party or of the country. The latter in any case, is set on a disastrous course, thanks to the current dispensation at the Centre. Let me also make it clear right away that I am not one of those who criticize AAP for ‘lacking a clear ideology’ and I in fact value the fact that on many critical issues, AAP has been able to resist the pressure to step into well trodden, familiar responses to specific situations and issues – especially well trodden among Leftists. But I do think that AAP needs to think a bit more seriously  about politics – which is not the same thing as ideology.

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This is the story of the monkeys of Delhi

From 2009 to early 2011, I lived in a south Delhi barsati which had an enormous terrace area. When I moved in, this open space looked sad and empty, so I spent many thousands of rupees doing it up with all kinds of plants. Then came the monkeys. A team of five to ten. On finding the kitchen locked, they would break the pots, and sometimes eat the plants. No flower was allowed to bloom.

I replaced the mud pots with heavy cement ones. The monkeys broke fewer of them but ate more shoots and leaves. They would come at night. Soon they’d come at dawn, and make such a commotion I’d wake up terrified. Mild banging on the door wouldn’t ward them off, nor would the other tactics I tried. I was afraid of them. They could be aggressive and strong and these traits were multiplied because they operated in gangs. I felt caged in the small room of my large barsati. All I could do was share my misery on Facebook. “Be careful,” a friend warned in a comment, “they once killed the deputy mayor of Delhi.” Read more…