oppn parties Where is the Difference Mr Kejriwal?

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
oppn parties
Where is the Difference Mr Kejriwal?

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2015-09-22 12:56:06

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came as a whiff of fresh air in the cesspool of Indian politics. Since it was born out of the Anna Hazare agitation and India Against Corruption (IAC) movement people, especially professionals and upwardly mobile youngsters were attracted towards it in large numbers. Although Arvind Kejriwal was the fulcrum around which the party revolved, there were other qualified and clean people who were there in the top decision making body - Shanti Bhushan,Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav, Kumar Vishwas and Admiral Ramdas being the main.

This correspondent has always written that Arvind Kejriwal is an anarchist and an autocrat. Ever since he advised Anna Hazare to hold his agitation for Lok Pal and refused to even consider any other draft of the Lok Pal bill, it was clear that he was an inflexible man with a super sized ego given to rewarding chamchas and yes men. Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh have formed a coterie in support of Kejriwal in the best traditions of mainstream Indian political parties, the very one that AAP and its followers love to despise. In his second innings as Delhi chief minister, it is becoming clear Kejriwal’s folded-hands apology in Delhi was just a ploy to win votes. As before, he has no humility at all and wishes to run the party as a one man show, surrounded by chamchas. What then is the difference between him and those politicians who he abhors?

People who joined AAP were attracted by its ideology of being different from the others. What is now happening in the party is no different from what we have been seeing in all other Indian political parties. Be it Mamata Banerjee and TMC, Jayalalitha and AIADMK and Mayawati and BSP, to name just a few, the rule is to worship the deity and the biggest devotee reaps the best rewards. In AAP too, the same thing is happening. The day you forget to light the incense sticks is the day the deity opens her third eye to devastate you.

Inner party democracy and one man one post are things that are for non-chamchas. Blue eyed boys can be everywhere as they are the eyes and ears of the deity. They can sit on various party bodies and be ministers at the same time. For years, the Congress and the other parties have been following this undemocratic principle in running their parties. Arvind Kejriwal has been quick to learn how he can keep a stranglehold on the party in this manner. But he forgot two things â€" one, AAP is a new party and was formed with a different ideology and two, there are people more qualified and with bigger egos than his in the party.

What Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav have raised are valid points. If Kejriwal is allowed to become a cult figure, the very purpose of AAP will be defeated. Almost everyone admit that he single-handedly brought victory to the party in Delhi. But that is history. There are many battles to be fought and won. For that, there have to be qualified people. If Kejriwal and his acolytes estrange those that helped form the party, AAP’s future looks bleak indeed.