Analysis

Kejriwal: A Democratic Failure!

If each and every “common” Indian could identify himself politically as an “Aam Admi,” as being attempted by Arvind Kejriwal, the country would probably stop progressing. After all, what image has Kejriwal really projected? He and his supporters are at their best while finding faults in others. But when entrusted with responsibilities to run a government, they have succeeded in only proving themselves to be a total failure. Kejriwal has literally treated politicking as a children’s game, where power can be assumed and abandoned as and when desired by kids playing politics.

During his campaign for Delhi assembly elections, he hardly ever mentioned his aim to resign if and when his political plans were not approved by other legislators. Should drama enacted by him over his resignation be viewed as a part of a greater political strategy?  Probably yes. He has his eyes set on parliamentary elections.

Kejriwal has not simply resigned. He has failed in running a government. Kejriwal has understood that campaigning for power is one aspect of Indian politics, staying in power to run a government is another, which is not possible for all to handle. When he was handed reins of Delhi government, Kejriwal probably did not visualize that he would be caught in such a situation within a few weeks. He was not prepared for being given the charge of Delhi government within such a short period of his party having stepped on to the political stage.

Before taking charge of Delhi government, had Kejriwal strongly asserted that there was the possibility of his resigning soon from power, his political tactic would not have probably angered and stunned many. He should have reached an agreement with Congress party, which provided him the needed support to form the government, stating that AAP would part ways with it under such and such circumstances. Kejriwal, however, treated his taking over charge of government as a cake-walk, giving little importance to its democratic significance. Certainly, he is not an experienced politician. But even experienced politicians take some time to settle down, whenever they are given charge of handling a new government. Democratic norms and ethics do not allow them to start threatening to resign soon after stepping into power.

If Kejriwal’s prior aim was to quit from power a little ahead of Lok Sabha elections, why did he ever decide on assuming charge as Delhi’s chief minister? Politically, it would have been wiser of him not to participate in Delhi assembly polls. Besides, he should not have promised to the electorate that when in power he would ensure them cheaper electricity and water, among other claims.  Yes, it is understood that all politicians tend to make electoral promises to seek votes. At the same time, once in power they take a little time in settling down before making attempts to fulfil their promises. The Indian voter is mature enough to understand this.

Without even spending enough time to fully understand his democratic responsibilities as a state chief minister, Kejriwal’s decision to walk out of office highlights the extent to which precious political time, money and a lot more has been wasted because of him. Spare a thought for the time and money spent by his supporters to cast their votes in his favour. They fully lived up to their democratic responsibility. The money spent in conducting elections was also that of the Indian public. Yet, despite their having entrusted Kejriwal with some democratic responsibilities, he has turned his back towards democracy. While giving greater importance to his political game-plan, Kejriwal has apparently ignored his own democratic role. Once a politician is recognized as a leader and is also entrusted with power, constitutionally his responsibility extends beyond his own self and his party. Increase prowess is greater responsibility to his position, to the electorate and to Indian democracy. Kejriwal, apparently, has not delved substantially on these issues. But voters have.

Even before Kejriwal quit office, voters started pointing out the degree to which he was proving to be failure. Rather than functioning, in their view, he was spending more time on making noise. This is the general opinion at present. He has not quit office, as he claims, over not being able to secure passage of a particular bill. The truth is, Kejriwal has not been able to efficiently handle power and run government. Rather than let negative campaign mount against him, he has used this strategy to emerge as a “hero,” which he hopes will help his party gain in parliamentary polls.

Kejriwal should stay out of politics till he comes to grips with what Indian democracy really is. If leaders like him continue to put the Indian democratic system to shame, the world will be forced to stop viewing this country as a model democratic nation. It is hoped that Indian voters are not misguided by such so-called democratic leaders. The democratic power of teaching them a lesson lies in their vote! 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2014 on page no. 11

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