Arvind Kejriwal: Bifocal Bluster – Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar Etteth“Driving around in a Wagon-R that stops at red lights doesn’t make a chief minister. Neither does refusing a huge official bungalow after first accepting it. Kejri the crusader could become the animal he loathes the most—Kejri the politician.” – Ravi Shankar Etteth

Arvind KejriwalA commander without a vision is a general without a plan. A general sans perspective leads a campaign without a blueprint. The worst is a leader with a view, but lacking both vision and perspective. Sadly, India’s new Don Quixote tilting at the windmills of corruption, Delhi’s own Arvind Kejriwal—who yearns to be India’s Kejriwal—could prove to be just another power-hungry amateur who believes that soapbox oratory is statesmanship. Perhaps he didn’t expect to win. Now that he has, he is rummaging in the dustbin of history for a vision.

Kejri’s politics is a Xerox version of bygone symbols. All great changemakers possess one grand vision. Mahatma Gandhi’s was Swaraj—a gigantic idea that created a peaceful revolution. Kejri borrowed the phrase, but doesn’t define the enemy since his previous foe is his sleeping partner in governance. Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision was to create the “temples of modern India” to generate enough hydroelectric power to drive nascent industrial production. Kejri’s is to crack down on private power companies to grab the popular vote of Delhi, which has hardly experienced power cuts for a decade. Indira Gandhi’s slogan was Garibi Hatao and the Green Revolution made India self-sufficient in food grains. Kejri’s casuistry is to create a welfare state. Rajiv Gandhi’s dream was to create a modern, tech-driven India for the 21st century. Kejri’s is to use the social media to acquire homemade mandates. V P Singh’s Mandal changed caste politics forever. Narasimha Rao’s vision, executed by Manmohan Singh, opened up the economy and brought in reform. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, modern India’s greatest visionary, tried to build an economically and militarily powerful nation respected for both its liberal global stance and Asian superpower status. Kejri’s is to become a superpower himself. Sonia Gandhi borrowed her perspicacity from Indira to consolidate power through massive subvention India can ill afford. Son Rahul also believes that the poor need a free ride, and not encouragement, to create a competitive next generation. Obviously Kejri agrees with his ideological mentors. The poor, however, do not want subsidies; they want development. Hence, in the Lok Sabha polls, the generation that believes in the development mantra could well scupper Kejri’s national ambitions.

AAP + INCDriving around in a Wagon-R that stops at red lights doesn’t make a chief minister. Neither does refusing a huge official bungalow after first accepting it. Kejri the crusader could become the animal he loathes the most—Kejri the politician. As campaigner, he had damned power companies without even an audit. Coal imports are driving up power production costs. Since 2007, property prices have gone up by 670 per cent, fuel by 190 per cent and essential commodities by 170 per cent. Last year, all states raised power tariffs: Tamil Nadu by 37 per cent, Kerala by 30 per cent and West Bengal by 24 per cent. In Delhi, political imperatives kept the hike down to 5 per cent. It is not facts that fuelled Engine Kejri to victory, but the public perception that the Congress party is corrupt and India needs a change.

What is the change Vision Kejri offers? The end of corruption. Admirable. But how will he do it? By starting an anti-corruption hotline? Who is going to man it? Kejri himself? A call centre? How will the corrupt be prosecuted? Delhi Police doesn’t report to the chief minister; so who will carry out arrests? For a party that hadn’t even thought of getting a flag of its own, it is obvious that Kejri is flying by the seat of his pants. AAP is a contradiction—an elitist party wooing the plebian vote. There is no objective examination of promises and delivery mechanisms—it’s just a high-profile magnet for celebrities like ex-Infosys satrap V. Balakrishnan, singers Remo and Rabbi Shergil, banker Meera Sanyal and Apple India honcho Adarsh Shastri; all privileged rebels in search of a cause. There will be more recruits with chequebooks and passbook. Kejri is also Bollywood’s new Twitter hero. Expect a film soon. – The New Indian Express, 5 January 2014

» Ravi Shankar Etteth is a columnist for The New Indian Express. He can be contacted at


6 Responses

  1. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but
    your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future.
    Many thanks


  2. Lot of tweets and buzz doing round about growing presence of Ford
    Foundation in India and Indian politics. Felt like doing some research on
    this. Trust me results have been shocking. It really raises questions – IS

    *What is Ford Foundation?*
    Always thought that Ford Foundation was a philanthropic organization
    involved in charity, until I came across few of these links.

    Then I realized that in the garb of charity, their mandate is to ensure
    WASHINGTON’S HEGEMONY (DOMINANCE) in international market.

    *It was established as a front of US’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
    The modus operandi is to fund people / professions that can influence
    decision making and policy making – authors, historians, journalists,
    social activists, media companies, publishers, etc.*

    Digging further on this, I got even more worried, when I saw their
    increasing interest and presence in Indian politics.

    Here is the list of Indians/ NGOs who have been funded by or have proximity
    to Ford Foundation

    · Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia’s NGO – Kabeer
    · Mallika Sarabhai’s Darpana
    · Yogendra Yadav was funded by ICSSR of Jawaharlal Nehru
    University, which in turn was funded by Ford Foundation
    · Amartya Sen for its books – Ideas of Justice
    · Teesta Setalvad and Javed’s Sabrang Communication, one who has
    been fighting against Modi all these years

    And you would know, most of these guys are part of Aam Aadmi Party or *are
    major supporters* of AAP.

    This poses a very serious question on why is Ford Foundation interested in
    Indian Politics.

    Just to do further research on members of Aam Aadmi Party, I tried to find
    some details on other members like Aruna Roy, Medha Patkar, Prashant
    Bhushan and Gopal Rai…

    And this was even a bigger SHOCKER to me…

    *Aruna Roy* is the one who had sent a petition to President PRANAB
    MUKHERJEE for mercy towards Ajmal Kasab.. the one who killed so many
    innocents in Mumbai terror attack on 26th November 2008. She was also part
    of Sonia Gandhi’s National Advisory Council
    Here are some links pertaining to the same

    *Prashant Bhushan, *who we all know for the rubbish referendum view on
    Kashmir, *was also the preferred mediator of the Maoists a couple of years
    back*. Now why would they want Prashant Bhushan*?? D*id they trust that
    Prashant Bhushan would show some soft corner towards them?
    Here are the links pertaining to the same

    *Medha Patkar* – we all know *her for being* responsible for delay in
    Sardar Sarovar Dam. But something that I didn’t know earlier, I came to
    know when I read the link given below. It says that tribals in Chattisgarh
    had thrown her out of the village of Dantewada for her*pro-naxal* behavior.

    There were some other articles, which suggested her proximity to Angana
    Chatterjee (who was suspected to be *an *ISI agent). But didn’t know the
    authenticity of the article, hence not attaching it.

    *Gopal Rai *– Ex member of Sonia Gandhi’s *NAC*. Was president of All India
    Students Association *(associated with CPI (M-L))*, which is *known* for
    its pro Maoist stance..

    *If all this was not enough, One more article that I came across and that
    raised doubts on CIA’s interest in India is the one in Economic Times, that
    suggested that Government was giving work for Aadhar to a startup –
    MongoDB, which is funded by CIA’s venture fund. Links to the same are given

    This really is giving me a sleepless nights. Just wondering, if we have so
    many anti nationals within the country, do we really see Pakistan and China
    as a bigger threat?

    But then was wondering, why is media not exposing all this? But then
    somewhere the answer is in front of us – Manish Sisodia (ex journalist with
    Zee), Yogendra Yadav (ex Journalist CNN IBN), Shazia Ilmi (ex journalist)
    and the latest entrant Ashutosh (ex Managing Editor IBN7)… Are they not a
    party to it?

    Also wondered why people like Meera Sanyal (ex chief RBS) and V Bala (ex
    Director Infosys) joining AAP. Then came to know that Meera Sanyal’s NGO
    Pradan (which operates in Naxal hit belt) is funded by Ford Foundation.
    Also, Narayan Murthy (Chairman of Infosys) is on the board of Ford
    Foundation. Probably there could be his compulsion to align with them given
    that 60% of *Infosys’*business comes from US.

    We all believe corruption is an issue, but nothing can be bigger that
    National Security.

    We all want corruption free India and Aam Admi Party raised some hopes. But
    these news articles, really make me worried that *by extending our support
    to AAP*, are we compromising on NATIONAL SECURITY?
    If people who can compromise on national security for personal gains, will
    they ever give you corruption free governance?

    Like Ford Foundation, is AAP only a front face of some bigger conspiracy?

    This time, I was thinking of seriously giving a chance to AAP… but not

    As a TRUE INDIAN, if this is worrying you as well, do forward it to spread
    awareness. Main Stream Media will not do that job


  3. What is the credibility of one who claims to fight corruption but accepts the support of the most patently corrupt political outfit in India to run the govt? What is the leadership potential of one who has no mind of his own but is prompted by lakhs of mails and messages? What is the executive skill of one who mistakes slogans for policies and lacks a clear programme on anything? Anna Hazare fought for a toothless bill believing a mere Lokpal will make things right.. His former chela or colleague Kejriwal cannot even decide what it means to be simple in practice… This will be quite a joke, but for the tragedy it will create for any genuine anti-corruption exercise hereafter. Seeing Kejriwals, what they talk and how they act, who in his right mind can believe that corruption will ever go? Well, it will only go on.


  4. According to the writer Mohandas, “gigantic idea that created a peaceful revolution.” This is a propaganda at its worse. Gandhi and his followers destroyed India for ever.


  5. The article raises serious questions waiting to be answered! India suffers most from poverty of leadership. “Leadership is action, not position.” Leadership without a vision could be disasterous. The nation is waiting to see how AAP acts and what vision it does have.


  6. It is said the AAP is financed by the Ford Foundation (a known front for the CIA) and the Catholic Church. If this is true then Kejriwal is just another pro-Christian American stooge (we already have a number of these imposters in office)!

    Indians should be very wary of this ‘magical’ party!


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