Decoding Kejriwal

Zee News, Blogs
30 October, 2012

Whether it is a blessing or a curse, but all public figures have to live with the fact that anybody and everybody will pass a judgement about them; everybody will have an opinion about them; many like the media will emphatically repeat their conclusions till a sizeable number of persons actually start believing them, irrespective of the underlying facts; some will love them, while others will hate them. However, one thing is for sure, people will comment. To borrow Amartya Sen’s famous phrase, we are “argumentative Indians” and we will continue to argue. And, am no different. Here I am to argue my version of the man of the moment - Arvind Kejriwal - a man who is hogging the limelight and the dust at the same time; a man who is rising and falling at the same time; a man who is a politician and a non-politician at the same time; and a man who is understood and misunderstood at the same time.

Till a couple of years ago, Arvind Kejriwal was the man who brought the Right to Information Act (RTI) for the common man. Until recently, he was the darling of the Congress party that ironically still gives itself the sole credit for bringing the RTI. Then came the Anna movement in 2011. Arvind became a household name. He was a part of the ‘Team Anna’. He was the right hand of Anna Hazare. Anna wanted to cleanse the political system and Arvind agreed. Anna decided to enter politics and Arvind agreed. In no time, however, Anna decided he made a mistake and wanted to go back on his decision. But, this time, Arvind did not agree. He felt betrayed. He felt he had made a promise to the people and he was morally bound to take it to its logical conclusion. Much to Anna’s dismay, Arvind decided to enter politics to be a part of the system that he wanted to change.

Arvind has been under constant media scrutiny for all that he is doing, not that he is complaining. It is a symbiotic relationship where both the parties are feeding off each other. However, his acts of exposing one politician after another, encouraging illegal acts like non-payment of electricity bills, and constant protests, have made people think. Is it right on his part to do so, or has he gone overboard? Are his intentions noble, or are there some hidden agendas?

These apprehensions bring us to the moot question - Who is Arvind Kejriwal? Is he is an anti-corruption crusader? Is he a social activist? Is he a reformist? Is he a politician? Is he hungry for power for himself, or for the people he claims to represent? Is he an idealist? Is he an opportunist? Is he a misguided-soul-with-noble-intentions? Is he a puppet in the hands of some political parties?

The answer is as complex as the question itself. He is probably a mix of some of the afore-mentioned characteristics. He has his own share of strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures, good and bad judgements, raised and quashed hopes, and dreams and nightmares. In short, he is a human being with dichotomies built-in. He is someone who wants to make India a better place - for you and for me. Even if one does not believe in him, he deserves the benefit of doubt - the way we give the benefit to people like Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, Narendra Modi, and many others like them, year after year. He definitely deserves a chance. After all, he is trying to do something unlike many armchair commentators who comment from the comfort of their air-conditioned drawing rooms. The least one can do is not to demoralize a self-motivated man working for a cause. Let him be. If he succeeds, we can bear the fruits of his sacrifices. On the other hand, if he fails, we have nothing to lose except for some raised hopes. Aren’t we used to that anyway?


Really nice said! His cause and approach are really appreaciating. Definitely we have to lose nothing by supporting him. An ordinary man only with the support of law of land fighiting against such giants. really one should support. Let us hope for the best.

Sap Sharma, Shimoga

I think Arivnd should come to politics to see what actually his intentions is. We cannot just make the assumption and write about him but we need to see what he can actually do for the "aam aadmi". I'm not against him as well as a supporter of him but i want to first see the work then would like to comment about him.

Abhishek, Pune

We all should support the movement hoping for best.

Dr Hugar, Gulbarga

A very good analysis of the dichotomy of a human being, which is rather natural. In spite of the hope and the contradictions this mission is to be supported by the Indian people. The support itself would be self-bearing!

Biswanath Rath, Cuttack, Odisha

Yes I liked Ahmed's view. Modi is great. Jai Hind.

Amol, Hyderabad

Nicely said.. If it is really true as said... let us all join to support him... Best wishes.

Venkateshwaran, Nagpur

The most ridiculous argument that anti-Modi people present is that of Gujarat riots of 2002. There were many riots in the country, due to the Babri Masjid demolition and etc. When UPA was in power, should we also label P.V. Narsimha Rao then as a right wing Hindutva advocate. The Gujarat violence was brought under control much quicker than previous riots elsewhere.

Anonymous, Surat

Do u think people of India care for riots? Secularism is never an issue in any election. People vote on the basis of community, caste and other issues like anti incumbency. Only less than1% in india is secular but they have a hold over english media. So called secular parties have managed to divide Hindus on the basis of caste. When BJP followed Hindutva it used to get more support. It is the lack of hindutva which led to BJP's defeat. I know very well about Indian voters.

Anoop, Bangalore

I totally agree with u...... n u all knw, d ghost of Godhra still haunts Modi...

Riya, Chandigarh

Ms. Jahanvi, so what do u suggest, give power in the hands of Congress once again ??? Is that what you want despite the kind of scams that have been uncovered one after the other. Strange memory u've got where u remember an unfortunate case of rioting some 10 years back, but don't seem to remember the scams of Congress and its allies. Were you one of the beneficiaries too?? And hence the convenient forgetfulness. We as common people of India are fed up of lame excuses given by the current government on every social/economical calamity, price rise of food/ transport/ diesel/ petrol/ gas/ and the list goes on... The PM is not even ready to take the blame on himself or his ministers of the scams that have happened. There is no justice in the hindsight and you want this government back. With people like you, I can only pray to God to grant us a solution.

Vishal, Ahmedabad

How do you got clarity that Mr. Modi done massacres???? As per your writing - recently in Assam Chief Minister also did same thing- there is no address for thousands of Musilims people? Still no one arrested in that state. But in Gujarath with two days many of VHP, BJP and other pro Hinduthava personals arrested. But no one about this. Jagadish Tytler and other Congress gang - were murdered many Sikhs in Delhi and Haryana, till day no one punished? But half knowledge persons like Jahnavi personalty write comments on Modi without any knowledge...

Raj, Hyderabad

Madam plz read Time magazine once u will understand what his style of development being Hindu... support him and he will be the feature PM of our country...

Preetham, Bangalore

I don't understand why you guys can't accept that Modi is a much better PM candidate than any Gandhi heir. Congress has put every possible committee behind him since 2002 to prove him guilty and still they are empty handed. And you guys keep on accusing him. Not to mention that he has been chosen as best CM by every survey held till date. Also gm the times when politics has become a synonym for corruption he has given a very clean govt. Even without much help of central govt he has been able to develop Gujarat so the whole world is looks at it. What else do you expect are the requirements to be the PM?

Vinayak, Bangalore

Madam or Mr (whoever), please don't isolate Modi for any communal problem. India has history of it and just showing a recent one is hiding all earlier ones. Fights against Hindus, Sikhs, etc are all there. Hence don't be complicated in your reasoning.

Cool Indian, India

One riot and so much malignation. Congress has given 100s of riots since 47 including biggest in 1984, SP given 7 riots in UP in 6 months. No riots in Gujarat for 10 yrs and ur stuck to Modi. What abt Assam/ UP/ Mumbai. Clearly ur biased. Frustrated and pseudo.

Manini, Kanpur

We should and must forget communal riot.

Sharad, Mumbai

Very well said, this is what i had in my mind, thanks for giving voice to my thoughts..:p...:)

Ankur Karwasra, Noida

Thank You sir. What is the use of praising Modi if we cannot win votes? With a biased media working against Modi, it is for us to synch up with the local BJP officies (where ever we are in India) and offer help for spreading the message about Modi's development activities and convince the urban poor and the rural folks about the benefits of voting Modi/BJP to power.

Aman Garg, Bangalore

Give the chance & support Mr. Kejriwal.

Sudhirdada, Nagpur

Kyun apni vaat lagvana chahta hai.

Swadeshi, Noida

Raul Vinchi ( Rahul Gandhi) k bhakt...chup ho ja

I Hate Congress, Mumbai

Journey to the 1000 miles start with taking the first step. Arvind Kejriwal has taken the first giant step. We should not only assist him but also accompany him in his 1000 miles journey of hope.

D. J. Thaly, Panaji

True those who are in power cry so much about the opponents asking power, cry so loudly that they stopped doing their duty for what they are. So it is our duty to remind them that they do not deserve to be there if they fail to understand why they are there. Every one has right to dream, but also the system has gone to a extent that without extending the share, nothing is going to move in India. Practicality.

Krishna, UK

He can't come to the top post by simply exposing the corruptive practices of top people. He is a negative thinking idiot. He doesn't know the basic principles of democracy. Look at how the americans are following the democratic norms wonderfully. These arrogant people, Anna Hazare, V.K.singh and Kejriwal, want to end the democratically elected government before its term ends.

Abdul Ali, Chennai

Can any one comment on why Kejriwal should not dream of sitting on a big and high chair? Is this dream for politicians or of their near and dears or relatives? No. Every one has ambition, Kejriwal has ploughed fields of his life in toughest manner give new era to Indians through RTI. We must come forward to push him to the heights so that he can further bring dreams of others have light of truth and balance which is now getting transformed due to RTI.

Praveen Sakhuja, Delhi

Well summarized. India has been violated. Let us call spade a spade and let the soldier who is fighting / crusading for the people get a chance. Let the people in armchairs nod thier head in approval and create an appreciation for such a gallant courageous Indian: Arvind Kejrival.

Ravi Athalye, Pune

Nothing more, but having ambition to become PM or atleast any other top-chair seater, Kejriwal, can do any violative action/ decision, including putting sword in the back of his master Anna Hazare, not to say about a common person.

Gullarhjee, Ludhiana

Very good and pratical article written by author.

Dipankar, Delhi

I feel that one of the main thing about Arvind is that he is the first one to point fingers at Vadhra & Gadkari. Did anyone have the guts to do that before? For that reason, we all should listen to what he is saying and what the group wants to say. I dont think we should judge his motives and other non-relevant things, otherwise we'll loose the focus & miss the point. So the issue for us Indians is - do we indians want to live with that corruption and carry on with our lives just because we're ok today and surviving?

Anjan Bhattacharaya, Delhi

Back to Blogs