I have bitten my tongue again and again as one man pretty much turns the Indian political scene into a joke (and that’s saying a lot considering how messed up things are in that particular area already). Arvind Kejriwal, the “activist turned politician” (as the media loves to dub him – I beg to differ, in part) has announced that he is going to fast in order to drum up support for his latest “cause”. He is asking people not to pay their water and power bills, saying they are illegal and unnecessary hiked up.
Mr. Kejriwal has promised that his supporters should not fear any legal action in not paying their bills, because all such actions will be withdrawn once his party comes to power in the city. Wow. I really have to say, that I would actually be impressed by this man’s confidence, if I didn’t think he was rather full of hot air. What burns me up even more than the fact that he is basically telling people to break the law, is that he is using the words of Mahatma Gandhi to justify it. He states that Mahatma Gandhi said that people should not obey a Government/law that is against them and be prepared to face the consequences. Right, well, Mr. Kejriwal I would but point out two things. First, Gandhi spoke of rising up against a tyrannical alien government where people had no voice over the law that imposed upon them. I don’t think he had in mind protesting against any, and in your case, every, government action that upsets the public. Secondly, it’s hardly asking people to be steadfast and face the consequences if you’re offering them what amounts to a get out of jail free card, as long as they support you. While some people will hear a proposition like that and dismiss it as ludicrous, many will presume that this is a promise that will be fulfilled. Let us be realistic here, do you actually think that dozens (if not scores or hundreds) of actions will magically disappear the day Mr. Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi party takes power (IF they take power)?
Does anyone remember when all this started by the way? When the name Anna Hazaare was on the tip of every tongue in Delhi? Does anyone remember the promise “our movement will NEVER enter politics”? Does anyone know where Mr. Hazaare is today?
I have no doubt that Mr. Kejriwal has many ardent supporters who will defend his actions and take offense to my words here. They have that right. It’s a free country right? And to many extents I am absolutely pro the message Mr. Kejriwal says he stands for, as I was in support of the message of the movement that launched his new career. But I fear my support for them stops there. Using fasts and dharnas to try to hold the government hostage; taking advantage of disillusioned people who feel like no one is looking out for them and making promises like his latest one to dismiss all actions against people who don’t pay their bills; I’m sorry, but it’s just not kosher in my mind. I’m not saying that the Congress or BJP or any other party doesn’t do the same thing. Its politics right? People make promises. Some they live up to, some they don’t. But painting yourself as above all that, while at the same time making even grander promises, that’s just hypocritical. Mr. Kejriwal, you have already entered the political arena, something you said you would never do. If you insist on flinging mud, kindly get off your high horse.
I will also openly admit that I have some personal animosity towards Mr. Kejriwal. But I have done my best not to let that influence anything I have said here. If anyone feels bias has clouded my judgment, I am open to listening to your opinions, as long as they are expressed in a calm manner and make no personal attacks. Please keep in mind, everything I have said here is a judgement of Mr. Kejriwal’s politics, and not his humanity. I’ll leave that to someone more familiarly acquianted with Mr. Kejriwal, something I do not wish to be.