After being touted as a transforming agent and a democrat, Morsi of Egypt showed his true side by attempting to consolidate his powers as President. Yet sometime back, during the season of the Arab Spring, he was a darling of the Egyptian masses, and also the West!
Then I happened to see a documentary yesterday, "The Queen And I". It was on the life of the very elegant Queen of Iran, Farah Pahlavi. The film was produced by Iranian-Swedish filmmaker, Nahid Persson Sarvestani.
The Queen's husband, the late Shah Reza Pahlavi was deposed by Iranians, who saw the imperialists as oppressors and Khomeini as a messiah. But as the film showed, letters written by ordinary Iranians to Queen Farah showed how things had worsened, how the messiahs were worse than the imperialists and how the people thought they would have been better off under the imperialists.
It is however an entirely different speculation that Khomeini as propped up by the British and French simply because the Shah had planned to nationalise foreign-owned oil companies.
Today, in India, we are being shown an alternative Aam Admi Party, or AAP, led by a maverick, Arvind Kejriwal.
Should we really be enthused about AAP?
Perhaps not, I believe.
He's untried, untested and more importantly seems publicity hungry to me. What are his true intentions? Would he be like Morsi or would he be like Khomeini?
While we may like some of the ideals he presents, we may find them appealing, I find them unrealistic.
Human nature is prone to greed, corruption and vice. Its inbuilt into our DNA. Every nation is corrupt in its own way, degrees may very. For instance, many of the "least corrupt" nations of this world are tax havens and countries that stash ill-gotten wealth from all over the globe.
The deciding factor is not the extent of corruption, because eradicating corruption would be something quixotic. Instead, we should determine the dividing line - how much is enough.
The PV Narasimha Rao government of the early 1990s was corrupt, yet was the most efficient in independent India and did indeed revive the sputtering economic growth engine, setting the stage for India to assume economic superpower status. Similarly, the NDA government too was corrupt but it had a vision of growth which was implemented in the form of telecom reforms and the highway projects!
So decide for yourself, is AAP for you?