Hindustan Times (Ranchi)
Why Kejriwal should be wary of the aam aadmi
As much as I trust AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal, I cannot convince myself to believe that the aam aadmi is what he is pretending to be. We have been hearing of the aam aadmi’s woes for quite some time now. But who is this aam aadmi? Well, there are two kinds. One is the kind mirrored by AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal himself — sick of the system, a victim of it; the second one is a wolf masquerading as the first kind. On the one hand, he craves to live the life depicted in a Karan Johar movie; on the other hand, he idolises Kejriwal! He has been demanding equality since Independence but not only does he take pride in being a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, etc, but also upholds the banner of the caste system that fosters inequality like nothing else. He wants his child to become a civil servant so that he can flaunt the red beacon, and be a part of the elite, but until then opposes the VIP culture tooth and nail.
The aam aadmi is nothing but a bundle of naïve confusions. If a corruption-free nation is what he wanted, why could he not build it in the past six decades? How is it the responsibility solely of the legislators sitting in Parliament? It is impossible for a handful of parliamentarians or people in the bureaucracy to hold the system to ransom without the collusion of the aam aadmi.
The problem is that not only is he a sincere practitioner of hypocrisy, he rather thrives on it. He is in love not with virtue but with the idea of virtue and loves to bring down the virtuous. If we go back in history, Mahatma Gandhi’s example comes to mind. If Indians respected him, they would have emulated him, but they chose to incriminate him for backing out of the non-cooperation movement, for abiding by his principles.
This middle class Indian is the worst of hypocrites for he practises it blatantly. He defines what virtue should be like and tries to imprison the likes of Kejriwal in his definition of it. He never follows it himself — he never will.
If the aam aadmi is Kejriwal’s strength, it is also the same aam aadmi that is his weakness. The problem is coupled with the fact that though this common man has Kejriwal’s reins in his hands, he can be controlled by none other than himself. I am afraid, even if AAP manages to come to power, the common man won’t let it function. They have never known this kind of politics. The only politics they understand is that of intimidation and suppression and they respect that. I would say about the common man what was said of John Milton regarding Paradise Lost — ‘he was on the Devil’s side without knowing it’.