In this comparative analysis, the story that catches the eye the most is that of Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal. Modi, who is often mocked at for his tea-selling background, is heard of speaking about talent, technology, trade and tourism while Kejriwal, a former IITian, is seen talking about dharna, anarchy and all things populist.
This tweet said so.<blockquote class="twitter-tweet blockquote" lang="en"><p>A tea seller talks of talent, technology trade & tourism. IITian talks of dharna free water, subsidized power & anarchy- Irony- Ankur Bansal</p>— IndiaVsStupidity (@IndVsStupidity) <a href="https://twitter.com/IndVsStupidity/statuses/425666095878381568">January 21, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
How much ironical is that?
If we imagine a conversation between these two individuals, how that could look like? Here is an attempt:
Narendra Modi (NM): Welcome Mr Arvind Kejriwal. Let's have some talk over the tea.
Arvind Kejriwal (AK): Thanks Mr Modi. But I would like to have tea in an earthen cup. Otherwise, my aam aadmi supporters may not like it.
NM: Sure, sure.
(After tea gets served)
NM: So tell me Mr Kejriwal. What made you go to a dharna which caused so much problem to the common people of Delhi, who are also your supporters, the Aam Aadmi? Have you noticed the inconvenience caused to them?
AK: Mr Modi. Though I am not bound to reply these questions since I am also a chief minister like you, but since you are asking, let me put it straight. I am not responsible for the people's suffering. Had the Centre met out demand earlier, then all this could have been avoided.
NM: What is your exact demand?
AK: To suspend the three constables who defied my minister and bring the Delhi Police under the control of the Delhi government.
NM: But then you withdrew before that happened.
AK: No. We have achieved what we had aimed partially and this will go a long way to help the nation in future. This is a victory of the people.
NM: But didn't you know that the Delhi Police is under the central control before you contested the assembly polls?
AK: Well, I knew but...
NM: But what Mr Kejriwal? Your predecessors also had the same problem but they never staged a dharna to change the system. Do you think that works?
AK: Yes. India needs such steps today. It is anarchy everywhere.
NM: Mr Kejriwal. You know how much have I been targetted by the Centre and the opposition parties and their allies. But I never went out to the streets to protest. As a chief minister, I have my duties towards the people of Gujarat. Don't you have a responsibility towards the people of Delhi?
AK: I know my duty and responsibility, Mr Modi. I have a vision for India.
NM: What is your vision Mr Kejriwal? How do you plan to utilise the power of India's youth?
AK: We will invite them to lead a mass uprising and bring a revolutionary change. This is what required today.
NM: But I plan to improve the economic functioning so that they get better jobs. Don't you think that's more realistic rather than calling a war against your own country?
AK: What country? Nothing is going right in this country today. We either make or break.
NM: We can also change gradually Mr Kejriwal. I have been the chief minister of a state for over 12 years now. I, too, have lots of issues to deal with in Gujarat and yet I have won three elections on the row. The people of Gujarat have kept faith on me. Are you sure that you can return to power if you continue with such political style?
AK: Why not? We are confident even to do well in the Lok Sabha polls. The people know that we are fighting for them.
NM: Lok Sabha polls? Nice. So you must be having a national outlook also? What do you think about tourism prospects in northeast?
AK: Well... that we are working on. Will let you know soon.
NM: Is it? But its' just three months to go before the polls?
AK: There are more issues to think about Mr Modi.
NM: Okay. What do you feel about the Sri Lankan Tamil issue?
AK: We are focusing on Lok Sabha polls at this moment Mr Modi. Those issues can be looked after if we do well in the polls.
NM: So you will begin the work after the polls and not before that?
AK: Now, we are working on how many candidates to field in the Lok Sabha polls.
NM: But then, what about Delhi's own issues? You have entered so many issues at the same time.
AK: Will do all together. I love challenges and will find a way out of the piling-up files.
NM: Great. Now Mr Kejriwal, what do you think about caste politics in Beihar?
AK: I don't care. We will stage dharna across Bihar against the state governments there and invite all people to join the AAP.
NM: is it so easy, Mr Kejriwal? I have tried all these years to get closer to the people and yet I don't know how much successful will I be in the next polls.
AK: That's your problem in thinking. The AAP is confident of doing well. We are small today but will get bigger in the coming days.
NM: Best of luck Mr Kejriwal.
Conclusion: Modi is a seasoned politician who has worked from the grassroots to emerge as a top leader in the country today. His experience for working for a cadre-based party's organisation in the nooks and corners of the country has helped him to connect to the people and it doesn't matter today whether he was a tea-seller or not. Kejriwal, an IITian, on the other hand, arrived on the national stage through a short-cut. He was aided by the media in his attempt but it could never help him make up the fact that he is a fresher in hard politics. The lack of experience has been clearly reflected in his political style, which has no substance thanks to a lack of organisation. The story of the tea-vendor and IITian is ironical, but not surprising.