KEJRIWAL — A Freak Crusader Against Corrrupton
Addressing a meeting of his party's national executive on January 31st the Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal released a list of 27 politicians belonging to different political organisations whom he dubbed as "corrupt". The list does not include any name from his own outfit because AAP leaders, in his view, are all icons of honesty notwithstanding the fact that a number of allegations have appeared in the media against one of his favourite minister. An AAP MLA has also been accused of sexual molestation of a woman.
There is nothing new in Kejriwal's rhetoric. He is used to this kind of language and conduct. During the last one year of his life as a politician he has charged as "corrupt" numerous politicians spanning almost every political hue. To him, it looks, the only way to trumpet to the world that he — and his AAP — is the only 'honest' politician in the country is to drum up all others as 'corrupt'.
Against certain politicians Kejriwal had been very specific and concrete in his accusations. He had levelled serious charges against his predecessor Delhi chief minister Mrs. Sheila Dikshit and declared that within a few days of his taking over, she and most of her ministers would be behind bars. The Delhi people gave him the chance to come out true to his words but 45 days after his taking over, nothing seems to have moved decisively in the right direction. So far, the only achievement is having nabbed about three police constables and one junior official on charges of graft. It is, as yet, too much to believe that Delhi administration stands sanitized of corruption with Kejriwal taking over the reins of office.
Lacks the spark
It is now clear that Kejriwal lacks the spark and the spirit of a genuine crusader against corruption. He seems to be failing in his conviction and commitment to the pious cause of cleansing politics, public life and governance. His verbiage is more directed to appeal to the gallery than doing anything great when he himself is at the helm of affairs in Delhi government. On the basis of documents and evidence in his possession against his targets he would have, if he were sincere to the cause, lost no time in knocking the door of courts to seek orders for registration of criminal cases against those he accuses of graft. On the contrary, he preferred to get fascinated only to the glamour of media glare. His leaving the matter at that after his own media exposure shows he, like any other politician, wanted just to reap a harvest of electoral gains for which he had not undertaken the toil of sowing the seeds. During election campaign every political party — Congress too did do that in 2004 and 2009 — promises a clean government only to forget its words after mounting the high pedestal of power.
During elections to Delhi assembly in November last year, a CD was released containing serious charges of corruption and misdoings against persons contesting elections on his AAP's symbol. One of the CD showed Kejriwal having himself sent an SMS to his party man saying that he had allegedly sold his party's nomination to a person for ` 2 crores. After first denying the allegations Kejriwal then constituted a committee composed of his own men of confidence to look into the allegations. AAP absolved everybody of any wrongdoing. He did lose the opportunity to rise morally high by failing to set a model for others to follow by ordering a probe into the CD. He just treaded on the path beaten by every other political party in such a situation in the past — a conduct he had been criticizing with a sharp tongue. The ugly stains of the kind of allegations contained in the CD cannot so easily be removed with the detergent of an inner party investigation by interested individuals. It cannot infuse confidence. The truth could only be known if there was a free, fair and impartial inquiry.
What would be Kejriwal's reaction if following his example every political party, like him, ordered an in-house inquiry by its own men into allegations made by him and gave a certificate of innocence and honesty to those he accuses them of having indulged in corruption? He has now lost his moral authority to question their conduct and motives.
If a political party or a leader receives funds from an organization based within or outside the country, for people like Kejriwal it is rank corruption. But if the latter is/are the recipient(s), he/they claim it an innocent and honest donation for a genuine aam aadmi cause. This hypocrisy needs to end.
A PIL had been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking registration of a criminal case against AAP leaders for receiving foreign funds. According a statement filed by Ministry of Home Affairs, the AAP has not supplied information sought by the Ministry. AAP claims transparency in all its functioning. Then why should it prevaricate in supplying the information when its hands are clean?
The grandiloquence and conduct of Kejriwal party boils down to a simple conclusion: His fight against graft is not aimed at eradicating corruption but confined to earning political mileage and deriving electoral dividends, nothing less than that. AAP suffers from the same fallings and failings every other political party suffers from and he speaks against. By his words and actions he has only exposed himself and failed to prove different from others of his clan. ***