Arvind Kejriwal is dealing in sixes at the moment. Once Anna Hazare's 'passive resistance' took the backseat, Arvind Kejriwal went ahead with his proactive crusade and corruption. After releasing a vision document earlier this month, Kejriwal brought allegations against the son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Robert Vadra, saying he was involved in disproportionate assets case. The India Against Corruption (IAC) man also said that another top politician would be exposed soon.
Is Kejriwal really fighting against corruption?
Kejriwal's mission is a bit baffling as far as a real fight against corruption is concerned. His plan looks similar to the plots of the Bollywood films of the 1980s and 1990s where the hero targetted the gang of villains one by one and terminated them so that a new dawn ushered at the end. Is this what Kejriwal's fight all about? Does corruption only mean targetting people linked mainly to the Congress? Corruption can not be a compartmentalised concept and attached to a single party or colour.
Exposing Vadra will only strengthen Kejriwal's political ambitions
Kejriwal's effort to expose Robert Vadra's suspicious dealings with the DLF might be a public awareness campaign at best but hardly an issue attuned to the nation's grievance against the tainted Congress-led government at the Centre. True, Kejriwal raised a matter which none did till today but is it actually going to help him in the long run apart from gaining some brownie points in the Delhi assembly polls due next year? Few days ago, the man took on the Delhi administration over the rise of power tariff and even restored the electricity connection to a daily wage labourer, whose connection was disconnected for he had failed to pay the bills.
Kejriwal's political journey is a reverse one
Kejriwal's avatar-like entry into politics might have worked wonders in a mythological film, but not in the ground realities that define today's India. Irrespective of his vision document or not, one can not deny the fact that politics can not be a quickly-done business. The problem with Kejriwal is that he has started targetting 'corrupt people' which basically reduces his scope of play. But politicians, on the contrary, should try to increase their scope of action if they hope to reach out to the masses to get their visions approved to achieve a future goal. An aspiring politician should have a vision, an ideology backing that vision, courage to fight for that vision and an organisation to promote and strive towards that vision.
Fighting corruption does not only mean attacking individuals
The crusader's vision so far has been only to target corrupt people. He has been hogging the limelight for chasing 'powerful and influential' people for trying to expose them. But in doing this, Kejriwal is actually squandering away a good chance of achieving a bigger target, i.e., to reach out to the masses.
The exposure of Robert Vadra is nothing extraordinary for there are several such cases of 'improper activities' in the country. Will Kejriwal run after each and every relative of politicians for they are soft targets? Robert Vadra's improper business dealings (if they are proved) should be judged under relevant corporate laws. Equating corrupt public representatives with dishonest private individuals is going to take the IAC movement nowhere.
Politics is an old game played in the garb of new ideas. Arvind Kejriwal can not start his political journey through negative action. If he can not construct anything in the first place, then the excitement that he is creating on the TV screens will die a slow death. In a country like India, to effect a change in politics is not easy.
The political culture that the country witnesses today has not grown in a vacuum. Years of socio-economic and cultural inputs have worked in tandem to build this culture and if Kejriwal just believes that winning a parliamentary seat will make him the catalyst of change, he is completely mistaken. Kejriwal has said that his upcoming party will be built from bottom up, but the irony is that Kejriwal's political strategy is based on a 'top down' model.
Mahatma never called press conferences to promote politics
Kejriwal has the platform to improve his game. But it seems that his fight against corruption is too limited in scope and reach. It looks a lame horse without constant media support. Has Kejriwal ever thought how the Mahatma had built up a pan-Indian mass base to take on a mighty empire and there was no crazy media then? Before the advent of the Mahatma, there were generations of freedom fighters who physically attacked individual Englishmen with an aim to free the nation from the clutches of colonialism. It didn't work that way and never will. Neither the moderate school of the Congress succeeded to win freedom for India. It was only a matured nationalist movement under Mahatma Gandhi which threw the toughest challenge to the British, if not threw them out.
Kejriwal can take a leaf out of the Mahatma's book. There are far important issues that this country has than the misdeeds of an inconsequential businessman called Robert Vadra. Yes, those who invested in the DLF would find this as a useful information but there is no need to direct an entire anti-corruption movement in this episode.
Kejriwal attacking the power centre riding a strong anti-incumbency wave
Vadra is just a weak link and given the Congress is already a dead force by now, there is no big achievement in riding a strong anti-incumbency wave. Kejriwal's anti-corruption crusade has essentially become a crusade against Congress and that too in and around the national capital. It is pathetic that Vadra himself made a mess by posting unnecessary comment on Facebook and deleted the account later and Congress shamelessly tried to defend him, but that is what the dynastic Congress is known for.
Kejriwal already a populist politician
The man, perhaps, is trying to speak in the language of populist politics but if there is no greater vision, he is bound to fail. If he wants to fight corruption, he must go to its roots. The people who he is terming corrupt have not become suddenly corrupt today. There is a problem with the system which has encouraged them to become corrupt and yet remain unapologetic about it.
If there is an urge to change India, Kejriwal should make a blueprint of an alternative India and fight for it, electorally and otherwise. Just banking on negative votes will not do the job for him. India is not just Delhi or Haryana and neither corruption means just appropriating money. What about the corruption in other parts of the country? Kejriwal's programme is limited in terms of both scope and geography.
This is the tragedy of Indian politics. We have left it to rot by calling it bad and when it began to come after us, we say India is unfortunate. Why are we unfortunate? Why have we let such a situation take form in all these years? It is our inaction that has allowed the goons to act. Even today, when this man called Arvind Kejriwal is barking the wrong tree by attacking Robert Vadra, we are saying he is an avatar. Is India going to see its public life cleaned up and normalcy restored through this?