Why Is Arvind Kejriwal Aping Modi?
Many people are wondering what has happened to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal? Soon after registering a thumping victory in Delhi elections, he has moved beyond the bad blood of elections and sought cooperation and blessings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre.
“I had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi but he could not come as he may have been busy. We want to seek his blessings for smooth governance of Delhi,” Kejriwal had said after winning elections.
Probably, Kejriwal has realised the only way to take on Modi is to play the politics of nationalism, because he deserves no chance to fit into the big shoes Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee and Lalu Yadav, whose politics is similar to Congress’ hate-Modi and hate-Hindutva politics.
He has realised this truth after experiencing the futility of playing hate-Modi politics for the last five years. In fact, he has refrained from making any personal attacks on Modi, just as the Prime Minister does with his opponents.
Kejriwal has played the nationalistic cards with care in the last one year. For instance, he supported the Abrogation of Article 370 (stripping Jammu Jammu and Kashmir of autonomy) and said he would clear out Shaheen Bagh protests if he had Delhi police under his control. The virulent and anti-India protest began with the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act in both houses of the Parliament.
He also played the “soft” Hindutva card by giving 10 lakh Hindu senior citizens free pilgrimage and declaring “Desh Bhakti” to be part of school curriculum.
His rendition of Hanuman Chalisa and chanting of “Bharat Mata” and “Vande Mataram” before starting his speeches, are some of the observations, which were completely missing over the last five years of his rule.
Kejriwal also realised the tacit connect Modi has with the poor and common voters, which is the result of his economic policies dyed in socialism and nationalism. Therefore, he promised free electricity and water to the citizens, to make the connect with the voters.
Apart from realising the benefits of playing nationalistic politics, Kejriwal also realised the futility of playing left politics, which has been rejected by the people of the country, over 70 plus years. From boasting 80 odd MPs in 2004, the strength of the left parties in the Indian Parliament has been reduced to a mere three to four MPs.
The only space it occupies now is in few universities and organisations.
Kejriwal also realised the global rejection of left politics, in countries like The United States and United Kingdom. In fact, the most virulent perpetrators of wronged nationalism were the Soviet Union, China and North Korea, who were and are at odds with non-communist democracies.
He also understood the pulse of the people. He knew the majority strongly backed CAA and were against Shaheen Bagh protests. Therefore, he refrained from making any comments on religious supremacism and visiting the site.
He understood, rather quickly, that he can reap electoral dividends by ideological symmetry, not by ideological battle. Therefore, in the last phase of election campaign, Kejriwal played the “soft” Hindutva politics by reciting Hanuman Chalisa, making public trips to Hindu temples and giving free pilgrimage to senior Hindu citizens.
Making AAP An Alternative Option
All this suggests that Kejriwal wants to make AAP an alternative option to Hindutva politics of the BJP, instead of joining hands with hate-Modi and anti-India brigade.
Many of the AAP legislators are right leaning. In fact in earlier stages of Anna Hazare movement, to which Kejriwal was a part, the Lutyens media had charged Anna for his links with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
It is an an open secret in Delhi circles that a cadre of BJP and Sangh is working for Kejriwal because they are dismayed with two Gujaratis – Modi and Amit Shah – controlling the party’s exchequer. This proof could be found in the unusual comments of RSS General Secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi that opposing BJP does not amount to opposing Hindus, just a day before Delhi poll results.
It could also be found in the reason for Amit Shah to he himself participating in door-to-door campaigning, which was to curb BJP and Sangh’s cadres working for Kejriwal, but apparently failed as BJP lost badly to AAP.
Sangh is an apolitical organisation which supports any party that plays nationalistic and Hindutva politics. It had backed Indira Gandhi’s nationalistic and “soft” Hindutva politics.
It also supported Anna movement. In fact, Anna had worked on several projects related to village development with RSS leader Nanaji Deshmukh in 1983.
Gram Wishva (Village World), an organization devoted to the development of village, was established with Hazare being a very active member of the group. It was this worldview, which he later replicated and experimented at Ralegan Siddhi, his home village.