In the history of Indian politics, at regular intervals, certain political parties or individuals rise to fame all of a sudden, and the meteoric rise is matched only by their abrupt fall into ignominy. Remember V P Singh, the messiah of the middle classes, who challenged Rajeev Gandhi, considered to be Mr. Clean and dethroned him in 1989. However, not only his fall from power but also from the imagination of the people was abrupt.
This decade saw the rise of one such politician Arvind Kejriwal, riding piggyback on the popular anti-corruption wave sweeping the country. Kejriwal shot into fame through his agitations against the erstwhile government of Ms. Shiela Dikshit and also on the Nirbhaya movement. Kejriwal was able to catch the imagination of the public at one stage but his hypocrisy left a lot to be desired during the course of time.
When AAP was elected as the single largest party in the Delhi Assembly, he should have continued as a Minority government but he resigned within a short time. People reposed faith in him once again and he returned with a huge majority, but once again he refused to rise to the occasion and continued with mere agitations. If Kejriwal thinks agitations can keep him popular among the public and non-governance won’t be an issue at all, he is terribly mistaken. Kejriwal proudly calls himself an anarchist. Agitations can be a fancy thing for a day or two but not for ever. All said and done, life has to go on and agitations can’t guarantee bread and butter.
Having come to power on the anti-corruption charges against Ms. Dikshit, Kejriwal has not taken any action so far on the so called allegations he had put forward. It is the same Kejriwal who promised that he would never hold any office but his supporters turned a Nelson’s eye to all his backtrackings. Kejriwal had gone back on several of his promises and assurances but there are a group of die-hard supporters who would shout you down if at all any of such issues are raised.
The midnight raid of African nationals in Delhi was one infamous episode which exposed that AAP as a party is not concerned about governance but only TRP, even if it means damaging our international relations due to racial profiling.
Kejriwal fancies himself as a Prime Minister material and still nurtures a hope that he would make it to the highest post in a fractured mandate, as a consensus candidate. His fighting against Narendra Modi in Varanasi during the 2014 elections is only a manifestation of his hidden ambition to put himself above the rest of the opposition leaders. Now comes the latest lament about Modi wanting to kill him through his security guards, like Mrs.Gandhi was assassinated, which is another attempt by Kejriwal to equate himself with iconic leaders. Kejriwal knows very well that with influence in just 7 seats of Delhi will confine him to a fringe player and to have a shot at the post of PM, he needs to have at least a double digit tally, which is possible only if he can strike an alliance with Congress, the party he accused of corruption just a few years ago, in other states like Punjab , Haryana etc.
This clearly exposes his double-standards and hunger for power. Despite all these shortcomings, what makes Kejriwal continue to put on a modicum of decency and invincibility? First and foremost, Kejriwal believes that people will swallow hook, line and sinker whatever falsehood he dishes out, at least for the sake of their serving their own interests. For this, one has to look into his core support base. Retired bureaucrats, educated middle class and the poor working class. The only thing that attracts all of them towards AAP is the fact that normal channels of politics are hard to conquer for them, whereas agitations remain an easy way out. The other thing which keeps him going is a part of a section of the media, biased against Narenda Modi.
Politics is not a Bollywoood movie where the Hero goes agitating apparently for the people and finally comes to power. Politics is all about what happens after coming to power. Kejriwal, who watches a lot of Bollywood movies and appreciates them on twitter, must get ready for the hard-part which is governance. With not much time left for the next assembly election, it won’t be a surprise if Kejriwal follows the path of V P Singh and sinks into political oblivion. The only unwelcome outcome of this experiment is people will find it hard to trust every genuine anti-corruption crusader that may come in future.