This article was also published in the Hindustan Times on 14th August 2014.
Plato had said that one of the penalties for refusing to be a part of politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. In 1999 when Arvind Kejriwal embarked upon his ‘journey for change’, he firmly believed that “change begins with small things”. Back then he may have set on the road to correct the mistake which Plato had pointed out. However, fifteen years from then, one wonders today, what has become of him?
It is a very critical time in the political balance of the country. This is not only a time when nations are taking personalities and stands in the international circle but also one where our country itself needs to define its political personality after decades of regional pushes-and-pulls between the smaller gullies and the bigger corridors of power. I say “critical” with an equal importance to the potential to transform and the power to extinguish the political balance (or what remains of it). It is definitely not the first time when an ‘electoral insurgent’ has announced himself on the scene – J.P. Narayan showed the gates to Indira Gandhi and V.P. Singh did the same to her son. It is also not the first time when the grand old Congress has been humiliated nor the first instance of the so coined “people’s political will” being “triumphant”.
However, it is a critical time in India’s political history because of the abundance of problems that are at hand at home and the plethora of opportunities for a stake in the world’s future, in the international circles. A balanced treatment of both is what is expected of any leader at helm, today. Can political activists – most of who end up being flashes in the pan – deliver on them? As a political optimist, one may say, maybe – and if given time, definitely. Is Kejriwal such a leader who can live up to such expectations (or ‘demands’, if you may)? The answer seems to fade away with every passing day. Continue reading