History, they say, always repeats itself. What, therefore, is now happening in AAP is something that the past has repeatedly witnessed. Two instances that make this entire episode a real time déjà vu are given below-
Indian National Congress- Mid 1960s
Following Lal Bahadur Shastri's untimely death, Indira Gandhi was hoisted as the next Prime Minister by the Congress Old Guard. She seemed pliable and party seniors felt that they could manoeuvre her to get things done. Little did they know, that the woman, who Lohia famously described as "Gungi Gudiya" had ideas of her own. Following poor performance in 1967 general elections, Indira decided to steer leftwards. She ran into resistance from the Old guard. After repeatedly clashing with the Old guard, she was finally expelled from the party for violating party discipline. Unnerved, Indira broke off from the party and formed a party of her own. The Congress(R), as it was called, joined forces with the left and retained power in Delhi. The Old guard, who had made Indira the Prime Minister, were consigned to the dustbin of history.
Arvind Kejriwal was never the ideologue of AAP. That position was held by Yogendra Yadav and the Bhushans. It was they who strategized and put forth political theories that made AAP Delhi’s darling. Arvind Kejriwal became the symbol of AAP, given his passionate speeches, his willingness to fight the Goliath and his earthy demeanour. Sadly, the ideologues refused to give up their idealism for political practicalities. These ideals came in the way of Kejriwal, who in an almost Indira-esque way has chosen to humiliate and discard his former colleagues, while he at all times remains above the mudslinging and name calling. Who will remember Yogendra Yadav and the Bhushans, once they are out of AAP?
Soviet Union -1920s & 30s
Lenin's death was followed by an internal power tussle in which Stalin emerged victorious. Stalin, ever the politician was sick of the ideals of Old Bolsheviks who had won the civil war. He trained his guns at Trotsky, once Lenin's closest confidante, labelled him anti-Soviet and had him banished. Soon, he set his eyes on eliminating other Old Bolsheviks who did not agree with his policies, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Bukharin etc.. Ideology was sacrificed at the altars of demagogy and political realities. In a matter of years, Stalin emerged as the supreme leader. The others were reduced to singing odes in his glory.
Shazia Ilmi, Captain Gopinath, Anjali Damania and now probably Yogendra Yadav and the Bhushans are the Old Bolsheviks of AAP. They helped create the party. They infused it with ideology. They created masses of volunteers who selflessly campaigned for the party. But the “Old Bolsheviks” fell out of favour of the man who they had created. Arvind Kejriwal turned out to be their Frankenstein's monster. With his active connivance, they were pushed outside as Kejriwal strengthened his grip on the party. Ideology fell victim to personal ambitions and political exigencies.
Kejriwal, in all likelihood is AAP’s Robespierre. Robespierre, played a key role during the French Revolution but then turned against those who had led the revolution along with him. Bloodletting followed and the revolution was disgraced. AAP is following the same path. The leadership has been discredited, hallowed ideals have been hollowed and witch hunt has begun.