Friday, 6 February 2015

Kejriwal, the stuntman of Indian politics


 Mister Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister (CM) aspirant of AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) is displeased at not being “invited” to watch the Republic Day Parade of India. He publicly expressed his annoyance saying he did not understand his exclusion from the list of VIP invitees and claimed that as ex-CM of Delhi he ought to have been invited to watch the Parade. Mr Kejriwal’s displeasure is more of a political stunt that has become quite routine over the last one year. It would be prudent to remember that last year when Mr Kejriwal was Delhi’s Chief Minster he made all possible efforts to disrupt the Republic Day Parade by sitting on a dharna(demonstration) on the route of the Parade. He even went on to mock this same Parade when he stated that a bunch of VIPs (Very Important Persons) in designer clothes watch the military march and that the Parade is a slap on the face of a common man. In the interest and benefit of common man this Parade should be boycotted and banned, Mr Kejriwal had said haughtily, then. He did not stop at this and went on to assert that he was an “anarchist” and believed in “spreading anarchy”. The stunt of overnight sleeping on the roads followed. Ironically, Mr Kejriwal had to call off this infamous dharna when there was practically no support from theaam aadmi (common man)—whom he claimed to represent.
A year later, Mr Kejriwal is making noise at being left out from the list of invitees at the Republic Day Parade. On the surface these might seem as innocent statements coming from an amateurish politician. And the underlying explanation, almost always is that Kejriwal is just a common man who is wading through the murky political waters ‘only’ for the sake of aam aadmi. Well, if only these explanations were true. Unfortunately, these are not hasty statements emanating from a political rookie rather one can sniff an astute politician who knows the political shenanigans and uses them according to the opportune time.
Last year, after making a spectacular electoral debut, piggybacking on his agitation politics Mr Kejriwal and his party stretched it further by staging the dharna near Rajpath. The calculation was that common people reeling under run-away inflation due to UPA’s misrule would whole-heartedly support his agitation. That proved to be a damp squib, though. A year later when optimism has returned, macro-economic parameters are showing signs of recovery and with US President Barack Obama as chief guest of the Republic Day Parade, general mood in the country is buoyant. All of a sudden, Mr Kejriwal now wants to be the VIP. And in his rush to grab the headlines he conveniently forgets–rather deliberately misguides–that by ‘demanding’ a VIP ticket to Republic Day Parade he becomes a part of the same ‘VIP culture’ that he had constantly denounced. By playing a ‘victim’ of being denied rightful entry to watch Republic Day Parade, Mr Kejriwal is trying hard to gain sympathy of Delhi voters who are due to vote on February 7.
Yes, the public memory is short and people tend to overlook the finer nuances of a political statement, but this memory never gets erased completely. It would be good if both AAP and Mister Arvind Kejriwal indulge in some constructive political discourse and shun the stunts that they constantly seem to engage in. The law of diminishing returns has already set in for this stunt-a-day kind of AAP politics.

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