Arvind Kejriwal, claims to be a common man. His whole politics has been built around the natural urge in people to root for the underdog. A group of week people going up against a mighty empire, the system, naturally gets the people on the side of the week, the meek and the oppressed who have somehow gathered up the take on a mighty system.
For such politics to work, it needs to always come across as the victim, to be constantly seen as the oppressed. The problem arises when those who claim to be fighting against the system, then become the system, like Kejriwal led AAP has done.
However, the problem is Kejriwal is no longer fighting the system, he is the system. He is no longer fighting against an oppressive government, he is the government in Delhi.
If one were to borrow from popular culture, in some ways, there are parallels between him and Robert Baratheon of the Song of Fire and Ice books. The two have a very different set of personality traits and a very different story arch, but the similarity is that much like Robert Baratheon, Kejriwal was far more effective when he was fighting to be king, but once he became king, he just didn’t know how to rule and govern.
His latest attempts at a dharna have exposed his lack of ambition to govern once and for all to see.
Around a week an ago, he and three of his friends started a dharna in the house of Delhi’s Lt. Governor Anil Baijal. His demand for the dharna was that the Lt. Gov. must intervene in an IAS strike that was happening in Delhi, and till this demand wasn’t met, he would not budge.
The pictures that emerged seemed less like people protesting something, and far more like a group of friends chilling at home.
In response to Kejriwal’s claims, the IAS Association held a press conference and stated clearly that they were not on strike and were attending to their duties like before. Now how does the Lt. Gov. end a strike that isn’t even happening?
By now India has gotten used to Kejriwal’s dharna politics, but in the confusion, a very important aspect has gotten ignored. In their press conference, the IAS association openly said, multiple times, that they have been threatened with physical violence by AAP MLAs and don’t feel safe and feel threatened.
Why has no TV news channel posed a single question to AAP and its allies on this point? Why hasn’t it led to the kind of anger and outrage in the media like it should? Where are those news anchors, those wonderful, self-appointed protectors of the constitution?
Just picture the anger that would have filled the TV channels if IAS officers had held a press conference and said that they feel threatened by the Modi government and that the BJP had threatened them with physical harm. There is no doubt that all news channels would have done no piece besides this and would have asked all kinds of questions to the BJP and Modi.
They would have been absolutely correct and justified in doing so too. There are three pillars of our constitutional society, the Judiciary, the Legislature and the Executive. How could one stand aside and let the executive branch be threatened?
However when the members of the executive branch of the Delhi state govt. have openly and repeatedly said to the whole world, they are being threatened and don’t feel safe, why is there a deafening silence on the issue in the media?
I leave that for the people in media to ponder over, however, this does seem to hint at media bias against the BJP and Modi govt. There seems to be one yardstick for Modi and another, a far too liberal one for everyone else.
Is this how the framers of the constitution wanted the states to run, with the executive branch openly pleading for their safety in public. Is it wrong to say the conditions for invoking article 356 have been met?
Furthermore, the AAP has been experts in shifting the goalposts. Once they realized that after the IAS Association’s press conference the excuse of the dharna being held to end IAS strike, wasn’t going to fly, they shifted to the excuse of full statehood for New Delhi.
It is not a new demand and has been raised before by various political parties in the past. However just what does the Lt. Gov. of Delhi have to do with granting of full statehood to Delhi. Delhi can be granted full statehood only through a constitutional amendment that will be passed in the Parliament.
The Lt. Gov. has about as much role to play in Delhi getting full statehood as maybe Virat Kohli does. Kejriwal may as well have gone to Virat Kohli’s house and said, that he won’t leave till Virat Kohli ends a strike that isn’t even happening and till Virat Kohli ensures Delhi gets full statehood.
Kejriwal cannot seem to resist the urge to constantly play the victim. This was well and good when he was fighting for the keys to city, but now people expect governance and not more dharnas. The sooner AAP and Kejriwal realize that the better for them, but more importantly, for the people of Delhi.