An Enigma Called Arvind Kejeriwal

History has taught us one thing that is ‘change always comes after a long struggle’. Barriers often painful are broken and society moves forward. When Poverty and corruption became part of our DNA and political indifference took to new level a wave of active political participation to bring about change by the Indian middle class happened. To bring change, end corruption and apathy ArvindKejriwal a relentless crusader against corruption came forward and through the gauntlet at the ruling political class and he won. On 28th December 2013 history was made in New Delhi and so we all thought.

Arvind Kejriwa did give a lot of hope to the common man had envisioned but, for a long time. Everyone hoped that he will bring to the office of Chief Minister good judgment and leadership but instead sacrificed it over popular opinion and grandstanding. Edmund Burke the famous Irish political thinker once said “It is a general popular error to support the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare” The AAP party and its chief political Ideologue ArvindKejriwal fit that bill because they could not move from being activists to politicians.

Politics is about governance and the people of Delhi desperately wanted it. Never in the recent political history of India had a newly formed political party made such a significant gain fighting their first election. They managed to send the chill to the marrow of the bones of the two major political parties. But the chill like the winter of Delhi was short lived.

Arvind Kejriwal took on too many issues in a very short period of time. Sudden change was highly improbable and political maneuverings was necessary. Alas he forgot that politics is about reasonable compromise, governance, diplomacy and being good legislators. Any change which he wanted to bring was not going to happen overnight. Corruption, bureaucracy negligence cannot be stopped immediately. Politics is about staying power; the longer he had remained in office the more he could have accomplished and forced other parties to rethink.

But he resigned and said it was his moral duty to do so and by doing that dashed the hope of all those who casted their vote for him and preceded to plan and contest the general elections. But the AAP made a huge error, instead of campaigning in Delhi and adjoining states, they decided to go all over the country and stretching themselves badly. One has to work within the logistical framework that they have and use their resources accordingly. You do not go into a general election and spread yourself thin. When we were in school, we all must have studied the couplets of Saint Kabir, he had said “stretch your legs as far as your bed sheet would allow.

But know he had to push it and take on Narendra Modi in Varanasi. Ok he gave the BJP and congresss some sleepless nights by matching his sheer guts against a political juggernaut named NarendraModi. But he forgot, he was going to challenge someone who has the entire political machinery behind him and Modi is no Shiela Dixit. The Delhi CM had lost all her political support and the BJP will not let its chief gladiator vulnerable. By dissolving the Delhi Assembly the whole strategic political game plan for AAP had to be changed. Because of this no AAP candidate won a seat in Delhi. AAP has won 4 seats in Punjab and has had a lot of people vote for them, but nothing will constitute or work as a substitute to winning. One can break the vote sharing, but end of the day no one is going to remember. AAP and Arvind Kejriwal had a golden opportunity to win over 30 seats in Parliament and this is a conservative figure. What an impact that may have had on our parliamentary democracy will now become a academic discussion.

I am sure someone in AAP would have read the Art of war. Sun Tsu said make your enemy fight the battle your way. Fight where your enemy is not. AAP could have taken their fight on places were the BJP was vulnerable, but instead decided to fight a campaign like the big boys. When BJP and congress was spread all over the place, instead of chasing them they could have run the other way. This does not mean give up, but go back to the people and engage and explain their position. Instead of fighting elections in over 400 hundred seats. If we look closer, it is quite possible that Kejriwal was trying to be a martyr. But we do not want martyrs we want good leaders and administrators.

I don't want to say anything bad about Arvind Kejriwal as a person but I do want to point out his short comings of his leadership and crisis handling skills. To describe him and his political mindset I again take the help of one of the greatest political scientists, Edmund Burke. He said  “ When leaders choose to make themselves bidders at an auction of popularity, their talents, in the construction of the state, will be of no service.They will become flatterers instead of legislators; the instruments, not the guides, of the people." Call it Mr Arvind Kejeriwal realization or call it delayed epiphany, him admitting that his decision to resign from Delhi assembly general election was a strategic blunder. It was a bold admission but  late admission and yes one can also spin it as taking a Moral Stand, but people of Delhi do not care and it also showed the world he is an impetuous leader, an impatient leader whose eye is bigger than his stomach . It was a stunt gone wrong, what’s done is done.