Kejriwal is No Mad Man


Photo Courtesy: NDTV's Ketki Angre
Photo Courtesy: NDTV’s Ketki Angre

Muslims need to think out of the box if they really want to be part of the new India represented by forces like AAP


Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was on a sit in, recently, demanding the suspension of police officers who were allegedly derelict in their duty. The reason was that the Delhi Police is not under the control of Delhi government. It is under the supervision of the federal government. People called him mad and argued that he is a protestor in chief and an embarrassment to his office. They said so because many want their chief minister to live in a certain way, dress in a certain way and conduct his life in a certain way. They do not expect him to organize protest rallies and sit ins. He is considered part of a power elite and elites must behave elegantly in a manner that would separate them from common man. One of the identities of an an elite is that he is not approachable to his people.

But Kejriwal did not come to power to earn a status for himself. He is in power because of common men and he wants to live and behave like them. That explains the reason that he took to the streets of Delhi because the Delhi police failed to act on behalf of rape victims. Who in India or the world would risk one’s political career for the sake of two nameless and unknown women? Probably no one, not even the loudest champions of women’s rights.

This has shocked the media, the politicians and most middle class people who have developed an easy life style to protest and protect their interests, who are willing to talk big without contributing anything substantial to the welfare and well being of common men.

Kerjriwal has emerged as a phenomenon and a criterion people would judge others on. He is changing the rules of politics. He is redefining democracy. He is challenging the status quo and he is bringing in the system common men who usually sit on the periphery of politics. He is telling the people that whatever they get from their political system is their right and politicians are in the system to serve them not to master them.

How long he would survive, only the time would tell. The powerful interests in India probably would not want him for long. They would love to see his political demise sooner than later. They would not even shed the crocodile tears if he is eliminated physically. Apparently, the police has already started plotting that game. The Delhi Police informed him that Indian Mujahideen are about to kidnap him. In India, not many people are there to demand hard evidence from the police or intelligence agencies.

Even if they demand, the police does not care. The police and intelligence agencies can concoct any fact, prepare any evidence, organize any crime. They can frame anyone and accuse any group of committing of any crime. Who knows how many crimes have been committed by the police and intelligence agencies and who knows how many people were framed by the police? A quick look at India’s fake encounters offers a grim reality to that. In fact, there is no provision in India where truth can come out truly.

Corruption is everywhere. So it’s possible that Kejriwal might face the same fate that many Muslim youth in India have faced in the last few decades where the police and intelligence framed them in crimes they never committed or where the law enforcement agencies killed them in fake encounters.

The only way to break the arrogance of the police and law enforcement agencies and the politicians as well as bureaucrats in India is to empower ordinary Indians to play an effective role in governing himself. Kejriwal offers that alternative. He knows that his alternative would not work under the present political system. He would have to change the system and he is ready to use any non violent means to challenge the statues-quo.

He understands what is at risk and why is he doing what he is doing. His success would depend on his ability to communicate with common men. If he has channels other than the media channels, then he is going to succeed. If he is relying on the media for the transmission of his message, then he would lose because the media in India is not controlled by the people. It is controlled by the powerful interests, backed by politicians and corporations. The only way to tackle a hostile media is to have strong spokespersons. Kejriwal would need strong media spokespersons who can articulate party’s ideas in the language of a common man.

Muslims are acting like spectators in this epic battle for the soul of India. Their style of politics is hurtful to them more than anyone else. They ought to define their role in this epic battle. Are they willing to take a chance and support the party that is challenging the status-quo or are they going to be conservative in their approach and support the old players?

Muslim masses have been rendered so ineffective by their own leadership that they are afraid of taking independent decisions. They are still looking up to their existing leadership to find a way for them. They need to think out of the box if they really want to be part of the new India. They have to decide whether they stand for those who are seeking to root out corruption from national politics or support those who have nothing to offer but old slogans and never to be fulfilled promises.

Kejriwal or no Kejriwal, India is changing and the forces of change would dictate their terms to people. The change in India would definitely owe itself to the politics of Kejriwal who has given a new vision and new meaning to democracy. After all, the changes that we have seen in every aspect of our life have come as a result of some extraordinary actions taken a by a few individuals their contemporaries initially defined as mad, crazy, magician, manipulator, imposter, liar etc. Kejriwal is no exception.

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.


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