Fighting corruption or fanning discontent?
The upsurge against corruption has acquired mind-boggling complexities. It has throw up serious questions but no ready answers. Rather than being an empowering experience, it has disempowered and divided public opinion.
Many believe that Arvind Kejriwal is right. Others say he’s wrong and raking up muck to carve political space for his yet-to-be-named party at the expense of established players. So much so that certain right wing activists have branded him a closet communist for having spared the Left from his onslaught across political divide.
Be that as it may, Kejriwal’s India Against Corruption has for the present captured popular imagination and succeeded largely in becoming the voice of the people denied justice and fair play. Rampant corruption and nepotism has added force to their campaign.
But can Kejriwal sustain the fight against the mighty order he’s painting corrupt and insensitive on a daily basis? To show himself as fairer he has tended to tar all politicians with the same brush. Only time will tell whether it’s a work of genius or a fatal tactical blunder?
The danger of IAC running out of steam is grave and real. It has given people a forum to articulate their grievances. But there’s no assurance or a clearly laid out road to secure justice that’s denied to them.
Kejriwal has no faith in the agencies under government control. He’s also unwilling to approach courts with documentations he shares with the Media to shame the alleged culprits. His stock solution for all ills is the institution of the Jan Lokpal that isn’t going to happen any time soon even if the IAC makes a debut in state assemblies and Parliament.
Experience shows the association of thieves is much stronger than that of honest people. Or else the likes of Anna Hazare and Kiran Bedi wouldn’t have parted ways with Kejriwal.
It’s difficult to pass judgment whether IAC’s allegations against Robert Vadra, Nitin Gadkari and a trust chaired by Salman Khurshid establish criminality. But they surely raise serious questions of propriety.
Besides ensuring early justice for the people for whom they speak, Kejriwal and his associates will hereon have to fight a spate of counter-attacks and insinuations from the political class. Their credibility could be severely dented if even one case highlighted by them in the media fails judicial scrutiny. For it isn’t enough to be passionate in politics. People follow path-finders; leaders who are mad and methodical at the same time.
Post-script: Kerjiwal has made an impressive beginning. Can he script a happy ending?