Published on February 7th, 2015 | by Sandeep Patil5
Shri Kejriwal is one of the key reasons why my blog exists!!! Almost a year ago we all saw his phenomenal political career reaching its pinnacle when he defeated 3 times CM Sheila Dixit to become next Delhi CM. Aeronautics tells us that if an aeroplane starts ascending rapidly, at a very steep angle, it cannot sustain itself for long; soon it starts stalling and heads towards crash. Something similar happened to Mr. Kejriwal as well. After rising rapidly, he lost his balance and caused his downfall – when he resigned from Delhi CM’s post within 49 days. The whole L’affaire Kejriwal was so much enchanting and dramatic that I could not contain my own thoughts to myself. That was when I wrote my first ever blog-post or for that matter anything in public domain.
While I never approve of Kejriwalian politics, I nearly despise it; all the same his stratagems never fail to amaze me.
But this guy #Kejriwal is a super strategist. Only if he could think in national interest…
— Sandeep Patil (@pppsandeep) January 21, 2014
Today, on the eve of Delhi elections, I am tempted to analyze his possible strategies that made AAP reclaim their lost dominance. Here are some key points –
1. Know your enemy – The Delhi unit of BJP can be called, in optimist’s words ‘with vulnerabilities and weaknesses’ and in pessimists words ‘incapable and hopeless’. Lack of credible leadership, party division among factions, influence of ‘compromised’ leaders, lack of any imagination or agenda… they have everything on the plate! This means Kejriwal always has a chance to make a decent comeback to Delhi! Did he count on this point and took a calculated risk when he stepped down from CM post and took chances against Narendra Modi in Varanasi? Or after the defeat in Varanasi he did his homework again? We would not know, but it doesn’t matter either. What matters the most is, he realized very early that his enemy is not as strong as it looks! He readily had a chance to make a decent comeback… and if he tries even harder, he can make more than decent comeback!
2. Exploit the weaknesses of your enemy – As Kiran Bedi is inducted in BJP and announced CM candidate, AAP quickly points out at the ‘lack of leadership’ in BJP. This allegation does not make much impact at the beginning. In fact many believe this as BJP’s master stroke against AAP and it indeed could have been one. But Kiran Bedi makes mistakes after mistakes, gives some laughable bites to media, lets the situation slip out of her hand. Now people (the fence sitters) start looking in other direction and find a point in AAP allegation.
Since Kejriwal and Bedi has worked together very closely in the past, surely Kejriwal and his aides must have known the strengths and weaknesses of Bedi as a person e.g. her (dictatorial?) style of functioning. The AAP must have made a good use of this first hand knowledge in framing their plan of action and possibly render some blows. One would argue that the reverse is equally true (that is Bedi also could do the same to Kejriwal). There is a very important positional difference here. While Kejriwal is supremo of an established party now, Bedi on the other hand just assumed office of a new party weeks before. Naturally she is not in a position to reciprocate back to her one time associate.
3. Anarchism has it’s advantages – This perhaps is the most important and characteristic way of Kejriwalian politics. You be an anarchist by choice – take U-turns when you like, throw mud on anyone when you feel… at the same time, take very high moral ground, say great poetic things.
महाभारत में श्रीकृष्ण से दुर्योधन ने सेना मांगी थी। अर्जुन ने श्रीकृष्ण का साथ माँगा था। आज भाजपा के पास सारा तंत्र है। हमारे साथ भगवान् है — Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 5, 2015
There is a huge number of people who not only approve such type, but also adore it! For many, there is little importance to the rational things like hard facts, importance of keeping your word, making claims based on right information etc. Rather they are moved by emotional gestures! Precisely the reason why Saas-Bahu serials occupy the prime-time of TV channels, the emotions matter more than reasoning!
For Kejriwal, this arrangement works like a dream. His opponents spend their energy in hitting him where it doesn’t hurt! They are mostly busy exposing him for the things … which are already known to his detractors and for his supporters it doesn’t make any difference. Kejriwal keeps his opponents busy engaged with the false, futile targets. Like this…
Then he himself chases his real target – his voters. Those who are eagerly awaiting his freebies, those who think he is real-life version of Anil Kapoor in “Nayak”, the minorities who are told everyday that they are unsafe in the new regime.
4. Mr. Bechara – I had read a good blog post about how being Mr. Bechara is very advantageous in Indian politics. Kejriwal has very subtly converted his arrogant resignation last year into a near sympathetic situation… and people love to render sympathies. There are many kind souls who are by now convinced that “bechare ko ek aur mouka milna chahiye” (he deserves a second chance). Dunno why, though!
5. The match winning shot – There is one very key difference between war and politics. In war when someone throws a lethal weapon… a good warrior may duck it, a superior warrior may kill it. But a true politician worth his salt would neither duck nor kill; he will very skilfully change the direction of the weapon back on the unleasher itself! That’s what Kejriwal has done so well. The erstwhile colleagues like Shazia Ilmi and Kiran Bedi joined BJP ahead of elections. Then there were stalwarts like Modi and Shah ready to fire their salvo. And this person has painted the whole situation like many-villains versus a single hero!
5 फिट के केजरीवाल को हराने के लिए 56 इंच छाती वाले मोदी ने पूरी सेना झोंक दी है।तुलसी ने मानस में लिखा है- ” रावण रथी , विरथ रघुबीरा”!!
— डॉ.पंकज श्रीवास्तव (@PankajSDr) February 2, 2015
This ploy has everything what the doctor has ordered. There is the money power of Adani’s and Ambani’s, there is muscle power of the rulers, and to top it up, Modi ji wears “suit worth Rs. 10 Lakh”… “stitched in London”… “with his names embroidered” … “in pure golden thread”… “gifted by some rich Industrialist” … more to come!
Typical filmy narrative. There is a gang of villians lined up – of Amarish Puris, Paresh Rawals, Gulshan Grovers. And against them standing is a small common man, the muffler-man… “jiske pass agar kuch hai, to
maa ka janta ka ashirwaad” (he has nothing but blessing of his mother/elders/people – a typical Hindi movie dialog). One can see the direction in which the narrative is flowing. This is not an accidental narrative, this is a carefully scripted narrative!
If you think “in today’s India” these kind of things do not work, think again! Remember, when the Chopra’s and Johar’s were making “Dhoom”, “Love Aaj Kal”, “Ta ra rum pum” for today’s India, it is movies like Dabang, Baghban and Singham that have done better business in India and are more remembered!
Good posts on similar topics