‘The new CM in Delhi is making us all stand up and think upright,’ I said, when our discussion on the social fabric veered to the formation of the new government in Delhi. This always happens when Specky and I discuss things… we start with one topic and end up discussing something quite different.

Specky said, ‘Kejriwal is mixing up democratic governance, social activation, and spying socialism in what will surely be a heady concoction to control.’

What she said made sense and I told her that a fitting acronym for this new combo could be GAS. No, I’m not saying that Kejriwal has begun to GAS around with all these pompous ideas… GAS is simply Governance, Agitation or Activation and Spying put together.

‘Will this gas make society burp uncontrollably?’ asked Specky.

Well, it isn’t easy to know if society would burp on and on… and Kejriwal, despite all his conceptual knowledge surely isn’t a gastroenterologist. But it is easy to conclude that it just might end up increasing participation by the people in every decision.

‘Come on,’ said Specky with a mock panic in her tone, ‘now don’t go on and add a P to GAS. It just might make our Capital GASP.’

This is what our opposition believes,’ I said. Yes, the promoters of conventional politics are quite uneasy about all this talk about referendums and ‘ask the people’ slogans. They are the sort who’d be happy to let the people of their constituencies snorkel in mush and slush to find embedded crumbs of goodies that the politicians throw towards them once in a while. They aren’t the sort who’d want them raise their hands or shout ‘Aye’ or ‘Yeah’ to approve policies… isn’t that a job for the legislators? Yes, the conventional politician is unnerved. He also doesn’t think it is right for the hoi polloi to enter their hallowed portals with spy cams fitted… weren’t they happy to sting each other occasionally only to hug later? And what is all this about holding durbars? Now this upstart called Arvind wants to convert a stadium into a legislative assembly? Hey Ram! What is the political world coming to?

So the conventional politician now sneers and jokingly asks, ‘AAP ko GAS toh nahin?’

Well, GAS it is. And this GAS is what the nation needs. The nation needs people to move out of their fear and inhibition and participate to build a stronger city, state, and country. They need to sting the corrupt out of the system. Obviously, the people need to do it because the system has been unable to cleanse it on its own. The system needs people to do it all. The nation also needs people to say ‘Nay’ to any wrong policy and a ‘Yeah’ to what they jointly feel is correct. We have had enough of these politicians hogging these two wonderful words and using them to line their own pockets and fill their own coffers and send their own relatives to every kind of conceivable heaven.

Delhi has shown the country that GAS isn’t a mere political fart that happens only inside the parliament. What has happened in Delhi needs to happen all over the country… and governance, agitation, and spying need to hold each other’s hands and smile.


The GAS method... redefined by AAP

The GAS method… redefined by AAP



Arvind Passey
12January 2014