The posh anarchy of the 'aam aadmi'

"I am an anarchist" could well have replaced the "I am aam aadmi" slogan of Arvind Kejriwal as he, as chief minister, took to protesting against the police for refusing to raid a drug and prostitution ring.

The intent, if we look at it from a non-political perspective, is quite uplifting. We have the ruling party leader at the forefront of a dharna, walking the talk by sleeping on the pavement. However, does it work as politics if leaders decide that such an action is the only way to make the system work? Why is he in politics then if he knows no other way to go about the business of making institutions accountable?

It was supposed to be a ten-day protest. In one day, the Centre made some polite noises and he has claimed it a victory of the people. This is untrue, and he is also speaking out of turn. For, he is in a manner inciting people not realising that they could well be at his doorstep one day.

He chose the issues that are essentially 'fringe' — drugs and prostitution. The raids weren't to be carried out in the posh or even middle class enclaves of Delhi. His core constituency, for all his common man talk, would be safe.

He also wanted action against the Delhi Police in the case of the gangrape of a Danish woman. Another one had to do with not acting against the in-laws of a woman who suffered from burns. These are important, but how different would it be from the fast-track judgements passed by courts on the urging of activists and the media?

If all this is essentially to ensure full statehood for Delhi, then AAP should find other ways. The media martyrdom he is happy to embrace as an anarchist is a slap on the face of the person in the street who would be arrested for anarchy, and as a politician he would back the cops for such action.

The stark contrast of Kejriwal sleeping on the pavement under a thick blanket, with a Wagon-R ready to help him out at a whisper, and images of the other homeless should awaken him to this less eyeball-grabbing issue. There is no corruption involved here.

Who will be made accountable for their state and their welfare?

© Farzana Versey


Images: NDTV, Rediff, Wall Street Journal


  1. FV,

    Serious issues with the mocking tone you have adopted in this post.

    1. I disagree with the position taken and method adopted by AAP on this issue (as a matter of fact, many other issues as well). But I must say I am fascinated by the visual of an elected CM protesting against central govt in this manner.

    2. Regardless of the justness or otherwise of the cause, voluntarily spending a night on street in bone-chilling cold takes astounding determination. I have sufficient experience of spending whole nights out in open, in temperatures approaching zero, with inadequate protective gear. Trust me, only a person with steely determination (or one with no other option) can readily give up the comforts available to him/her and sleep on a pavement at night in such weather.

    3. Contrasting Kejriwal's photo with that of homeless kids refects not just cynicism but general contempt and distrust for politics. You seem to be suggesting that those who approve of Kejriwal's actions are necessarily unsympathetic to the plight of the destitutes.

    Correct me if I am wrong.

  2. F&F:

    Mocking tone? Even if it is, how does that become a serious issue when it is serious questions I have raised? 

    I did mention that the idea was uplifting in a non-political scenario. 

    As a CM, justness of the cause is imperative. The "steely determination" of spending a night in the cold didn't last until the promised period, and settled for scraps, including parathas specially for Kejriwal by the LG.

    I have not suggested that those who approve of Kejriwal do not care for the destitute. (Although I certainly think it was a populist gesture that would appeal to TV-watchers.)

    {Contrasting Kejriwal's photo with that of homeless kids refects not just cynicism but general contempt and distrust for politics.}

    Really? But this happens to be the reality, a reality that is not an 'issue' important enough to be addressed. Had the CM slept on the pavement for the homeless, I might have had a different take. 

    PS: *come back, Modi, all is forgiven*


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