Kejriwal or Crazywal? Without Clarity, AAP Runs Risk of Failure
By Nagesh Narayana | January 24, 2014 11:18 PM EST
Bangalore taxi drivers are upset with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for stealing the spotlight on a day when they were also on strike, though their protest was in support of truck drivers. Their ire was visible when they resumed services the next day.
India Against Corruption
A New Delhi-based passenger, who took a taxi from the Bangalore airport, was taken aback when the taxi driver turned to him to complain about the way a chief minister is virtually stealing the entire country's TV bandwidth, staging protests in front of the country's home minister's office.
"Your chief minister, who is that, Crazywal right? He is too much," he began after the initial KYC talk. Though he was stunned by the comment, the passenger was impressed by the way it was put. The taxi driver was, indeed, an aam aadmi.
And he is not alone either. Even Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had recently referred to Kejriwal as mad, without actually naming him, reflecting the national mood. Shinde merely said: "When I was in Kherwadi (as a policeman) my leave was cancelled right after my wedding because there were riots. Now because of a 'yeda mukhyamantri' ('mad chief minister') on dharna, I had to cancel the leaves of policemen."
The Home Minister was clever enough not to name Kejriwal directly, while the taxi driver had no issues in calling him "Crazywal". However, DP Tripathi was not naive like the driver when he had succinctly termed CM as "Chosen Madness". DPT, the erstwhile firebrand speaker from JNU and currently the Nationalist Congress Party spokesman, was unequivocal when he said: "Kejriwal has given a new meaning to the word CM. It means Chosen Madness."
But Kejriwal is neither crazy nor mad. He is encapsulating the newly found poster-boy status in politics. The way he is biting into media bytes and bandwidth is turning sour for India's national parties - Congress and BJP. Out of the 15 trending topics on Friday in Twitter, 13 are on AAP or its leaders. Usually, the last working day of the week is known for covering more Bollywood news than politics. But now the trend of social media network is fast changing with AAP's new game strategy.
No known TV news editor can afford to miss AAP-centric news, interviews or their outbursts. Rule or no rule, Kejriwal is sure that he is on the right path with full "courage of conviction". It was similar to what Mahatma Gandhi did in his famous Dandi March.
The modern method, however, has slightly been tweaked by Kejriwal, aptly called "Crazywal" for doing so. His political dissent has no qualms overriding the centuries-old traditions aimed at respect or ridicule. Some of them are:
- The way Gandhi dressed himself in a simple one-piece attire, Kejriwal too wore muffler, sweater, shirt and pants to blend himself better with the modern middle class, which tolerates Maruti Suzuki Wagon-R but not a BMW. So, he remained a common man.
- No inhibitions to criticise. Any interview on TV by Kejriwal is "crazy" enough for TV anchors; nonetheless, straight-forward utterances of a man from his heart turn them appreciate his honesty. Without honesty, no one can counter modern-day leaders. Here, he has won more admirers from the middle class.
- Governance means not merely sitting in CM's office but also mixing with the people unescorted on dangerous Delhi roads, according to Kejriwal. He is actually echoing the middle class views about safety levels in Delhi. Gone are the days when daughters returned home safely after college hours. Now, anybody could target them to be Nirbhayas. Here he is touching a sensuous chord with the middle class.
- Delhi Police cannot harp on insufficient men and resources. Everybody, including former cop Shinde, knows that policemen have the knowledge of happenings in every locality. It's Kejriwal's turn to tame them and unleash a war on drug-peddlers, eve-teasers and rapists on prowl.
- Indian government, especially the bureaucrats, never trusted the common man. Everytime a fraudster was unearthed, it has tightened the rules distorting the process of governance. Kejriwal says he is here to reverse the order and he is convincing the middle class in particular.
- Life threat is always there for the common man, and so why not for Kejriwal? Even Mahatma Gandhi was a victim of no-policing of the country's common man 65 years ago. There is no rule in police diary to protect a common man, so why should Kejriwal accept this special privilege?
So, here goes #Yocrazywal!