Will Kanhaiya become Arvind Kejriwal 2.0? Ideally, he should not

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Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal has expressed his thoughts in support of student leader Kanhaiya Kumar who gave a passionate speech on his return to the JNU campus on March 3 (Thursday).

Kejriwal will be happy that Kanhaiya's arrival has boosted the anti-Modi space in Indian politics and cherish his strong speeches directed against the Centre.

kanhaiya kumar kejriwal

However, will the AAP leader also feel threatened by Kanhaiya's rise as a new political star just like he did a couple of years ago and eclipse him as the former, as many feel, has got trapped in the intricacies of populist politics that comes with elections?

The story of Kejriwal says how political activism or movements in this country ultimately gets reduced to vote politics and gradually lose credibility. Kejriwal's image as an honest crusader against corruption received a blow when he hugged Lalu Prasad, a convicted politician, following the elections in Bihar last year. But Kejriwal had a compulsion to do so, for now he is into the race for the 2019 battle.

Is election everything in politics?

In the fierce world of electoral politics where arithmetic and chemistry matter far more than philosophy, the Kejriwals and Kiran Bedis get identified more with a political colour than their individual ideologies.

Kanhaiya Kumar is also likely to end up as another Kejriwal if he joins the bandwagon of electoral politics now by campaigning for the Left Front in the upcoming elections. The vast socio-political field that lies beyond the 'first past the post system' which demands a serious engagement if the country's ills are to be overcome, needs people like Kanhaiyas more. Else, if he decides to do waht Kejriwal did, he will be lost in vote arithmetic in no time and issues pertaining to 'Azadi within India' will be left forgotten.

Kejriwal's path to power politics hasn't helped India's public life

Kejriwal had opted to take the route to power even though his mentor Anna Hazare did not it and preferred a more Gandhian way to take on the system. But Kejriwal's subsequent record as an administrator did not impress many as did his performance as an activist against corruption. Kanhaiya needs to learn from Kejriwal about the attractive trap that lies ahead in terms of electorate politics.

Cartoons showing Kejriwal among leaders of other parties making a beeline to endorse Kanhaiya are already making vigorous rounds. But setting the comical side aside, the presence of Kejriwal among the Sitaram Yechurys and Rahul Gandhis waiting to take the student leader in their fold speaks a sorry story about political activism in this country.

Party politics gobbles up activists: Not a healthy thing to happen

All political activists are ultimately gobbled up by the party politics to win the sierce battle called election and that leaves very little scope for a new political discourse to take birth and impact the system in way we desire.

Can Kanhaiya defy challenges to not to become Kejriwal 2.0?

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