Mumbai: For the young and sections of the Indian middle class he is a “hero,” who has “unmasked” corrupt politicians. But there are many who can’t stand the Magsaysay award-winning activist-turned -politician’s “methods” that have further vitiated the country’s political discourse.
Politicians have reason to hate the 42-year-old Arvind Kejriwal. And he has spared no one.
Since the October 2 announcement about forming a political party, his organization, called India Against Corruption (IAC), has made a splash in the political arena by leveling charges against Congress Party president Sonia Gandhhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and Law Minister Salman Khurshid of illegal land deals and fund embezzlement.
The politician aspirant’s googly came when he fired a salvo against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Nitin Gadkari, accusing him of grabbing farmers’ land and corruption in collusion with the Nationalist Congress Party’s tainted Ajit Pawar.
The 24X7 media coverage of Kejriwal has ensured that he has become a household name.
He has also struck an instant chord with the middle class, when he accused both the Congress and the BJP of being hand in glove and also took up the burning issue of high power tariffs in the capital.
He has clearly mesmerized youth and the middle class who want a change in society, a society that will be free of corruption in high places.
It’s no wonder that IIT and IIM graduates are joining his organization.
Kejriwal is going to announce the name of his party on November 26.
The fact that his one-time mentor, Anna Hazare, has kept silent about Kejriwal’s attempt to catch people’s fancy and to garner future votes, speaks volumes, say his detractors. He parted ways with Hazare, who has now announced a new anti-graft team — minus Kejriwal.
While Kejriwal still wears the Gandhi cap, that was once again made popular by Hazare, it now has the words Main aam admi hoon (I am the common man) on it. It earlier had the message — “I am Anna Hazare.”
Only time will tell whether his method of catching future votes by flinging mud against the political class while offering little solutions to the country’s ills would yield results.