Nautanki of Arvind Kejriwal: Enough is enough…
Self-confessed Bollywood fan Arvind Kejriwal doesn’t look like Sunny Deol. But he has pulled off an act inspired by Deol’s character in Damini.
In that film, Deol tells Amrish Puri that he will dispense justice on the spot. No hearing, no witness, no argument; only insaaf, woh bhi tabadtod, he promises before ominously telling his adversary, “Judge order, order karta rahega, aur tu pit ta rahega.”
On Monday night, in the theatre of absurd that passes off as Kejriwal’s AAP, the case of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan was settled exactly the way Deol prescribed: instantaneously (tabadtod), without a perfunctory trial or regard for basic principles of justice. The duo was spared a thrashing, primarily because that part of Kejriwal’s justice system had already been attempted at the stormy national council meeting in March.
“Ideally we can approach the court against all that they did. The reconstitution of the national disciplinary commmittee, the removal of Admiral Ramdas as the party Lokpal – everything was illegal. The question is why should we spend our energy in court?” Bhushan said, simultaneously summing and giving up.
Aashish Khetan, however, vowed to keep the ‘nautanki’ going.
He promised another Deolesque ‘probe’ to ‘expose’ the empire of the Bhushans, built allegedly on PILs. In his fit of rage and ego however, Khetan has conveniently forgotten that AAP was founded with seed money from this very same father-son duo. By Khetan’s logic then, his party’s very genesis is rooted in blackmail and corruption, dirty money is its DNA. Also, when a man seeks to ruin the lives of those whose feet he once touched, it shows there are gaping moral and philosophical lacunae in the characters of the protagonists.
Never mind. So disillusioned are AAP’s supporters with the ugly farce and the puerile squabbles in Kejriwal’s kindergarten of politics, it is unlikely that anybody is interested in the muck they are throwing at each other. Many of its erstwhile supporters have turned a blind eye and a deaf ear and have moved on.
As pointed out by Firstpost, Monday night’s events did not lead to even a whimper on twitter. Even the mainstream media played down the expulsion story, suggesting there is very little public appetite left for AAP’s miseries. Just a few months ago, Kejriwal seemed to be the chief minister to watch out for, but now he is not even the entertainer in chief.
Sometimes, one wonders what did Kejriwal gain from this gang war? What did he learn from all those vipassana courses he allegedly attended? Couldn’t he have handled dissent democratically, endured criticism with maturity and tampered his ego and anger with patience? Compared to him, Narendra Modi, the man derided as authoritarian and ruthless, has been a model of patience and large-heartedness while dealing with critics like LK Advani and dissenters. Even the Congress, compared often to a medieval darbar, has handled Rahul’s critics like Sheila Dikshit and Amrinder Singh with exemplary maturity.
Kejriwal, in contrast, has exposed himself as a scheming, vile, petty, power-hungry man with a dictatorial streak. His party’s reprehensible conduct has let down everybody who believed that Kejriwal and Co stood against the vices whose exact embodiment they have now become. After being stripped off their veneer of morality, it will be a miracle if Kejriwal manages to claw his way back up the morality ladder. He may survive as a politician in the mould of a Mayawati or a Mulayam, but he will never inspire the ideals he once deceitfully professed.
Kejriwal should remember Indian voters never forgive snakes who bite their own tail. In 1977, people voted in the Janata Party with a lot of hope and expectations; its beacon Jaiprakash Narayan was a bigger hero and role model than Kejriwal. But three years later, the Janata Parivar was booted out because its members made a fool of themselves with their constant bickering and backstabbing.
Again, between 1989 and 1991, VP Singh’s Janata Dal made the tragic transition from the country’s hope to its pet hate when its leaders fought for power with each other. Morarji Desai, Charan Singh, Devi Lal, VP Singh and Chandrashekhar, the main protagonists of the two governments, didn’t get a second chance. When their turn to leave came, nobody felt sorry; everybody felt the same way as Bhushan: “At least the nautanki is over.”
The mutually destructive war in AAP has guaranteed similar fate for Kejriwal, his cronies and foes.