Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has proved that he is nothing more than a typical Indian politician who often suffers from a disease called megalomania. His recent order targetting the media for making any news that could defame his or his government's image speaks about the democratically elected leader's ill-feeling towards a democratic culture. Sounds ironic but it's true.
Kejriwal's transition to a typical politician hurts more
But Kejriwal's imitating the country's traditional politicians hurts more for he had promised a new and refreshing form of politics. His movement for a cleaner, corruption-free India encouraged millions about a change at the grassroots, something India hadn't seen since the days of the Mahatma.
Instead of the Mahatma, Kejriwal turned out to be a Mamata
But it was soon discovered to be an illusion. Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) learned the tricks of electoral politics fast and conveniently ignored what the ideals of democracy actually demand from a leader who challenges the status quo. Instead of another Mahatma, Kejriwal turned out to be another Mamata Banerjee, who targets media and anybody who question her authority.
In India, politics for change is plagued by politics of status quo
Kejriwal has proved even the politics for a change in this country is plagued by the politics of status quo. People like him rose though the ranks of a complex Indian political system by riding on the media's back. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also did the same when the long-serving but weakening Left Front government goofed up in Singur and Nandigram in the state on the question of industrialisation.
Banerjee rode media's back after Singur & Nandigram and then she dumped it
Banerjee's Trinamool Congress saw its fate turn around in the third election it fought against the Left (it was decimated in the two earlier attempts) mainly because the media had fuelled the public mood against the establishment and in her favour.
But soon after coming to power, the same Banerjee declared a war on the same media for posing questions to her administration. The same symptoms are seen with Kejriwal now. The man, who made use of the media to the optimum to cement his place in politics, is now targetting the same for turning the lens on him.
But why do these politicians forget their past so quickly and expose their double standards?
Kejriwals & Mamatas don't like questions because they have no answers for them; hence shoot messengers
The main reason is that the Mamatas and Kejriwals mistake the media's assistance to be their own strength. They suffer from a false pride that they are genuinely appealing to all people across the spectrum. But these leaders bridge the gap between them and their audience by taking help of the publicity.
And when they sit on the throne of thorns after the elections and find that the task in hand is actually not very rosy, they begin to feel nervous. And as the media adds to their nervousness by raising unpleasant questions, they take out the knives.
But Kejriwals and Mamatas, who eat up the same democracy that produce them, forget that the political system in India today is not what it used to be 40 years ago. They can not aspire to become another Indira Gandhi today for the system has been opened and it is more closer to common people.
But Kejriwals & Mamatas forget that today, people don't judge after 5 years
Political judgements are not exercised in this country after five long years and those in power remain under the scanner every minute, thanks to multiplication of the media, which has not forgotten its basic duty of asking questions.
Democracy isn't just about polls
These leaders, thus, out of frustration (for they can neither dump the media for only it can help them in the bad times) struggle to come out with a definite stand top deal with the biggest critic. Neither they can welcome the criticism, nor can they ignore them. Democracy isn't just about elections, it is more about a culture of openness where the diversity is allowed to co-exist and co-operate.
For Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee, that seems to be a forgotten chapter.