Sunday, 11 May 2014

Why I no longer support Arvind Kejriwal.

The man burst onto the scene like a fireball when Team Anna launched the Janlokpal movement. Here was someone, after a long long time, who seemed like he could stand up and speak the truth. Boldly. Without a twitch of the muscle, forget flinching. And he got me. Totally. Completely.

There were murmurs of suspicion when he chose to enter politics. I rubbished them then. I rubbish them now. People have the freedom to change their minds. So does Arvind. I was happy to see him willing to jump into the figurative cesspool and clean it up.

I was thrilled when the Aam Aadmi Party won 28/70 seats in Delhi's 2013 Vidhan Sabha elections. I would have preferred them choosing to occupy the opposition benches. BJP had more seats than them (32/70). If there was onus on any party to form a government, it was on them. Arvind and his team thought differently. No problem. I liked it that they sought public opinion before accepting outside support from the congress. My support persisted.

They had me a bit confused when they took to the streets within a few weeks of forming the government to agitate against how Delhi police functions. I still persisted with my support, however. I suppose I was convinced that their intentions were honourable. And I go a long way with someone when I am convinced of that.

I don't think the Delhi Vidhan Sabha members conducted themselves with even a semblance of dignity when their CM tried to bring in the Janlokpal bill. Arvind and his team stepped down. I continued with my support for here, I said, was a man who was willing to leave the post of a CM for his principles.

Looking back, they basically got it all wrong starting from their decision to form a government in Delhi despite not even having the largest number of seats [leave aside a clear majority]. But that is NOT why I no longer support Arvind Kejriwal. That has more to do with what the chap has been up to after leaving the Delhi government not before.

"Ab main khud jaa kar dekhoonga Gujarat main development hui hai ki nahin"

What nonsense!

Were you trying to tell us then that you hadn't been to Gujarat in the last 12 years or so? And even if that were to be true, were you trying to tell us that you could come to a conclusion about the "truth (or not) of Gujarat's development" via a 3 day jeep ride? Health. Education. Infrastructure. Job creation. Agriculture. Rural development. A 3 day jeep ride was going to open up all the secrets of all these sectors; how they were faring 12 years ago, 8 years ago, 4 years ago, now?

[Do note: What I am saying has nothing to do with whether the Gujarat story is true or not.]

"Why is the media not showing Gujarat's truth?"


The sheer amount of hostility Modi has had to bear from the media is perhaps unprecedented. I wouldn't be surprised if a few of our most honourable news anchors have "beam me up scotty" type links for any little tidbit that could help them try and aim yet another kick at Modi's knees.

And you wanted us to believe that the media was actually letting Modi off the hook despite having access to information that could potentially debunk the Gujarat development story? And in case you have some solid evidence for the same, who has stopped you from uploading it on youtube and letting us know the link?

Sincerity was your trump card old chap. Sincerity. The good had reposed their faith in you. The not so good were beginning to get a bit afraid (finally!). You need to get that aura back.

And, very very importantly, demonstrate that you can actually govern. We are in a very sorry shape as a country my friend. I hope you realize that. And I hope you realize how tough the road to recovery and beyond is likely to be. As of today, I do not have the confidence that you and your party have it in you to walk that road and take everyone along.

My suggestion: Go back to Delhi, sit in the opposition, bear the criticisms, contribute meaningfully, learn, and earn everyone's trust again. If you are serious, you should realize that you are here to play test cricket - not 20-20.

Good luck.

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