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Kejriwal & Thackeray: They are anarchists because they are not leaders


We have two types of anarchism in India at the moment. While Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal has mastered a unique style of anarchy by being a part of the government and administration, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena in Maharashtra is practising another form of anarchy, which is a more conventional type, i.e., anarchy on the streets.

The goal of both the outfits is roughly the same. While Kejriwal is fuelling a disrepect of law by intending to reward those who defaulted on paying power bills, Raj Thackeray is openly challenging the administration by asking people not to pay toll charges. Both glorify sentiments of hatred and cynicism towards the establishment. In case of Kejriwal, even being in power hasn't provided any outlet to the growing frustration and he is fiercely campaigning for a drastic change in the system, not caring for the institutions of the State either.

But why have we arrived at such a situation where anti-incumbency feeling is gradually paving way to harmful cynicism and violence? This is understandable in authoritarian regimes where decades of anger and frustration explode one day, washing away even the most powerful of regimes. But in a country like India, which has never betrayed the ideals of democracy since Independence and even punished those who tried to subvert the democratic functioning in the late 1970s, is the rise of such intense hatred against the rulers a healthy sign?

What explains the Kejriwal and Thackeray phenomena then?

First and formost, a prevailing sense of despair across the nation in 2014 is a reason for this. It is a great tragedy that the Congress, which had made a massive contribution in leading the nation towards independence, has now led it into a black tunnel with no end. The tenure of the UPA II government at the Centre has been so disastrous that it has inflicted a serious injury on the nation's psychology. People have given up hope and are desperate for a change and taking the advantage of this negative sentiment, people like Kejriwal and Thackeray, the former more than the latter, have made an impression.

But there is even a bigger problem. While a shaky regime under a non-existent leadership at the Centre has given rise to an alternative hope in people like Kejriwal, the lack of a sound leadership among the alternatives has made the situation even worse. If we look at Kejriwal's style of functioning, the man is clearly found wanting about how to survive on the sticky wicket of politics. He began his fight with the backing of the civil society and after winning the elections, he shifted his loyalty more towards the political society. The lack of understanding of the blind lanes of politics has left the man a struggler who is trying every means to stick to his constituency, even if that involves a shameless display of lawlessness.

Raj Thackeray also has a similar problem. He gets active before the polls every time for he has nothing else to offer other than order violence against the administration. While Kejriwal's style of lawlessness is more sophisticated, Thackeray's style is more raw but both have a sinister design and that is to subvert India's democratic functioning.

Both these gentlemen should understand the simple fact that they have taken help of the country's strong democracy to launch a fight against that very democracy.

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