Arvind Kejriwal and the era of gutter level politics

Arvind Kejriwal announced the formation of a political party called Aam Aadmi Party with the promise of a new brand of politics. He promised India that AAP would bring in clean politics, focused around their anti-corruption platform. A new level of public discourse centered around transparency. Sure there were the boisterous sometimes outrageous press-conferences by Kejriwal where he fired his salvos on the people his court deemed corrupt. But there always seemed to be a certain level of dignity maintained.

As far as the promise of clean politics goes, AAP cannot claim to have fulfilled expectations. 1 minister sacked dramatically on allegations of corruption. Another minister forced to resign after being arrested in a cheating case. Allegations of corruption against another ministry, the minister of which was oddly relieved of only that portfolio, citing “health reasons”. That is 3 out of the 7 cabinet ministers. Not a very healthy score.

Add to this the fact that in the recent past, Arvind Kejriwal seems to have had a meltdown. A meltdown of epic proportions. The  language, tone and tenor have gone from tolerable to cheap, coarse and crass. One cannot fathom that Kejriwal is actually a Chief Minister, that too of the National Capital Territory, because his behaviour comes across as one of those conceited college activists who find it cool to abuse people in places of authority.

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It started with this tweet:

Here is an elected representative, a Chief Minister at that, with an enormous majority abusing the Prime Minister of a country. And it is not even election season. Elections often bring out the worst among politicians and it is par for course for barbs to be exchanged. But the trigger for this extremely abusive tweet was the fact the CBI raided the office of a bureaucrat in the Delhi Government. Here is an anti-corruption messiah absolutely losing his cool just because some bureaucrat in his Government was probed for corruption.

Not only is the Prime Minister attacked, who one can argue is a political opponent, Kejriwal has now gone on to abuse and deride even the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Najeeb Jung. Two letters written by Kejriwal, from his office as the Chief Minister of Delhi, addressed to Najeeb Jung have now leaked on social media and they show the depths that Arvind Kejriwal has sunk to.

In the first letter he literally challenges or rather sardonically requests the LG and PM to raid his minister “for the crime of completing a medical college in record time”:

Kejriwal's letter
Kejriwal’s letter

In the same letter he goes on to deride the LG again saying that irrespective of the “illegal, anti people, anti constitutional acts” he does on the directions of the PM, Modi will never make him Vice-President:

Kejriwal's letter
Kejriwal’s letter

In his second letter within two weeks, he once again goes on the aggressive. This time at least there is a reason: The Anti Corruption Bureau is questioning his Transport Ministry which has been riddled with allegations of multiple scams.

Much like his previous letter, he once again baits the LG and PM to send a CBI raid party, to raid his minister Satyendra Jain for the “crime of drafting a fantastic solar policy”:

Kejriwal's letter
Kejriwal’s letter

In another line, which reveals the absolutely twisted mindset of Kejriwal, he alludes that Modi is very happy with the LG for doing his bidding.

These letters, these cheap jibes are no accident. These are not slip-ups or on the spur of the moment remarks. These reveal a design of a demented mind. This man is only on the look-out for a fight. If you see his tenure as CM, almost every month there is some new issue with which he has claimed victim-hood and started a fresh fight. His constantly antagonistic approach is the only way he seems to feel he can be relevant. And in bad times, such stances can be used to cover up own deficiencies.

Under his brand of politics, which was supposed to be clean, he has abused and insulted the two most important people in the matters of a State Government: the Prime Minister, with whom he needs to work in close coordination to get many works done, and the LG, who again has many powers, especially in a territory like Delhi, which is not a full-fledged state.

It is not something unique to find that a CM has to deal with a PM who is a political opponent. Countless CMs in India, have dealt with opposition party PMs, but it is only AAP’s Kejriwal who always find some or the other grouse with the PM. In fact even recently when the President rejected AAP’s bill, he dragged in the PM. This reveals either mental imbalance of utter dishonesty.

Many states have also had Governors who were earlier in active politics and from the opposing party. Often Governors are appointed only to make sure the CM has a tough time. Najeeb Jung is not affiliated to any political party, and instead is a former bureaucrat, just like Kejriwal. Further, he is not a Modi appointee. Yet, it is only this petulant Delhi CM who has such a severe problem with his Governor.

Forget the position, both the LG and the PM are very senior people, men of considerable age, who have spent far more time in their respective fields than Kejriwal who is just a political upstart. Basic culture and decency demands that one must respect their seniority, if not position. A CM can have genuine grievances but there are ways and means in which they can be conveyed, means which do not cross the line of public propriety.

What is even worse is the utter silence from eminent people who support AAP and also the media. There have been almost no debates or discussions highlighting how Kejriwal has made it a habit to bait, troll and abuse people in positions which demand respect. A constantly at war CM combined with the Rs 526 crore advertisement war-chest maybe spelling out “acche din” for TV channels, which could perhaps explain the silence. But it is certainly not “acche din” for political discourse in India.


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