ANGST IN MY PANTS
(Published in Hardnews, Nov 2011)
I’m not particularly fond of Arvind Kejriwal, but I have to give the devil his due. For starters, he’s got everyone in the nation (corrupt people included) talking passionately about how corruption must be eradicated. I think that’s absolutely fantastic, even though I do not approve of Kejriwal’s flawed Jan Lokpal Bill or his shockingly dictatorial and undemocratic methods.
Kejriwal has other sterling qualities as well that have gone largely unnoticed, so I’d like to draw your attention to them:
1. He’s a magnificent con man: Way better than some of the brazen characters Leonardo DiCaprio frequently plays on screen. He fooled us beautifully by calling his movement India against Corruption, when it really should be called India against Secularism. Some of us suspected this for a long time – and we have to thank the RSS (god bless their bigoted souls) for confirming our worst fears in public. Along the way we discovered that several people associated with the movement belonged to a group called Friends of the BJP, my my! Eventually, Kejriwal let the cat out of the bag himself by exhorting people not to vote for the Congress in Hisar, since there were so many other delightfully corrupt politicians from other parties to choose from. Pay no heed to Kejriwal’s indignant squeaks of protest and denial. If we all had noses like Pinocchio that grew by inches every time we lied, Kejriwal’s would be longer than Mount Everest. Though less scenic, mind you.
2. He deserves full marks for creativity: Instead of getting a cute baby elephant or tiger cub as the mascot for his pan-India movement, he thought out of the box and got a doddering old man. Such a relief to move away from India’s predictable Appus and Sheroos to an Anna, isn’t it? Even better, Kejriwal declared that his mascot is above the Indian Constitution. Terrific – he’s made him so much more magical than a fairy tale character!
3. He makes Sonia Gandhi look timid: Kejriwal is not a man to be trifled with, make no mistake. First he forced his mascot to stop eating for days on end to twist the government’s already bruised arm. And now that his mascot keeps making embarrassing statements, he’s ordered him to stop talking altogether (of course Kejriwal has made it all fancy and honourable by calling it a maun vrat). And we call our prime minister Mrs. Gandhi’s puppet? Hah. I would really love to see Kejriwal in a remake of that fabulous Charlie Chaplin film: The Great Dictator. He would fit the hero’s role so well, down to his bristly little moustache.
4. He can spend hours with Kiran Bedi: Anyone who has witnessed Ms Bedi’s insanely wild side at the Ramlila grounds will understand just how much strength of character it would take to willingly spend even one second with her. Gosh, my poor dog whimpers and races out of the room when he sees her on TV these days. What I want to know is, where is that ghoongat Ms Bedi was horsing around with on the Ramlila stage? She needs it desperately, now that details of her grossly inflated airline bills to NGOs have emerged. And she has the cheek to say that she was just being a do-gooder by putting that money in her NGO! Hmm. Pinching money from other do gooders to make her own NGO better than theirs, huh? Now that’s a very interesting lesson in ethics for India’s youth.
5. He is already being treated like a politician: Sure, it was only a humble slipper someone hurled at Kejriwal and not a sophisticated shoe, but hey – many people dislike him already - that’s definitely a move in the right direction.
6. He can turn Rakhi Sawant into a super star: Kejriwal’s PR skills are amazing. Look how he’s got all the major news channels eating out of his hands – okay, we know that most of the news anchors are idiots, but even so. And ever noticed how quickly he reacts to the mood on social networking sites and tries to swing it back into his favour again? I’m dead certain that if he handled Rakhi Sawant’s career, she would outshine Bollywood A-listers and earn much more than them.
Honestly someday I’d like to meet Arvind Kejriwal, shake his hand warmly, and tell him what I really think of him.