A drama is currently being played out at the North Block. The Chief Minister of Delhi-no less, is sitting on a “dharna”-protest. To begin with, he had wanted some policemen suspended for dereliction of duty, without any enquiry. The list of demands includes as of now suspension of the same policemen and Delhi Police to report to The Delhi Government immediately. There are others.
We are 4 days away from our 64th Republic Day. Security in the Capital-always a Herculean task for the agencies-has assumed the proportions of a mammoth nightmare.
Yet-they battle the cold and the rain to provide security to a CM who seems to behaving more like a recalcitrant 4 year old and less like the educated 45 year he is.
The jury is divided. Some are slamming him. Some are supporting saying that desperate times call for desperate measures. They say this is perhaps the only way to change things.
Change. Watching the drama play out- I contemplate change. A typhoon in its wake also leaves devastated change as does a flood or a war. Then again a flowing river wroughts gentle change as it smoothens the rocks in its path as does reviving rain, bringing to life the parched earth.
The choice of what kind of change we seek or want to bring about lies within us.
Mr. Kejriwal-are you listening?
You have been selected as the agent of change. Your poll promises and insidious campaigns seemed to offer just that. Magical means to rid the country of its evils. The masses need a hero to fight their cause and you became just that for them. However, in these times of instant gratification, the change sought for was expected instantly.
Magically. A wand to swish the bad away. A potion for strength to fight it. But hey-The tree the wand came from took time to grow and become wand worthy. That any potion worth its salt takes time to brew and gain strength. That magic is only in Harry Potter’s books and EVEN he took –with all the advantages of speed in fiction-7 books and as many years to defeat Voldemort! That magic is also an illusion.
Fine Fine. All poll campaigns are like that. Conceded. Post that however, would it not have made sense for you to take over the reins and take some “settling time”? Ostensibly you do have 5 years. Surely a month of acclimatisation and orientation would have helped? You see, however corrupt the previous government may have been (as repeatedly stated by you)-there is sure to have been SOME governance happening. Paperwork, procedures? To initiate any change, I’m sure you needed to first know what to change there? Yes of course- the public who voted you to power wanted and sought the magic wand. As the leader of your party it would not have been difficult for you to buy time diplomatically while you settled in. And everyone in a new job needs to find their feet.
You are not a seasoned politician and the importance of statecraft is not to be laughed at in governance. Yes-your inexperience may be your biggest strength, given the cause of corruption you have chosen to fight. But a measure of diplomacy IS needed. The rot of decades, will not get swept in one wield of the broom. It will take brooms of many varieties, some scrubbing and perhaps a while lot of pest control before some measure of change occurs. Why not give some patience a chance and work towards that? The river flowing gently?
All you seem to be doing is resorting to jingoism and knee jerk reactions. If you do have a game plan to govern this city, only small coterie is probably privy to that information. A coterie strongly in need of etiquette classes by the way. Is there a method to your madness? Or is madness the only method? Why else would you resort to holding the Home Ministry to ransom, in a highly sensitive security zone, with the biggest national event of the country around the corner?
Are you perhaps encouraging lawlessness with your proclamation of being an anarchist and your actions? The crowds you assemble are not peaceful. You abuse the same policemen that you ask help from. A feeling of unrest prevails in the city. You mock the Republic Day even. Astounding. THIS is definitely not the change you were voted in for. There is a time and place for action, and this is NOT it. You are compromising the security of Delhi Mr. CM. Very irresponsible of you.
And who is running Delhi while you squat and then sleep at Rail Bhavan? Perhaps the previous government set it up so well that it runs by itself on oiled wheels, leaving you free to choose your “dharna”? No you say? Hmm so then? Barring then the 50 files you cleared….other business?????
Your present stunt-no other word for it-has riled people-yes-even the aam aadmi who voted for you. We are not fighting the freedom struggle here. Realistically-The people want an ideal, honest, clean world-without having to do much for it. The “hero” has to do the leg work. So if you expect the populace to get misty eyed at your “dharna” and join it in droves -think again.
There are livings to be earned, offices to be reached, education to be provided. The same aam aadmi has to also live his daily life. To expect him to be noble and sacrificing about being stuck in traffic, crowded metro stations or anywhere-specially in this cold is very unrealistic of you. Will they never be that misty eyed- sure they will. They will also make sacrifices, do a Satyagraha and join your dharna. But not in less than 30 days of your being at the helm of affairs. It took us over a 100 years to get free of the Brits- and at the time there was a singularity in the aim. EVERYONE wanted them out. The fervour was different. Today-there are vested interests, pressure groups, diversionary tactics-all employed to de-rail any activity. To counter all that, garner public support and bring change are not then a wave of the wand are they? They need to be built up with some planning, thought and yes-“rajneeti”-however noble the intention may be.
You have not invested in the people of Delhi yet Mr. CM. Mere rhetoric does not get “bhagidari” from them. Refusing a house befitting a CM does not do it. Nor does self-righteousness-which you anyway belie with your words- “I am the CM of Delhi. The Home Minister does not tell me where to sit. I tell him”. The arrogance of new found power?
A spot of hard work and planning. Implementation. A little less talking. A lot more work. That’s what it takes.
All eyes are on you today. The supporters in admiration. The detractors hoping for you to falter in style. The fence sitters with interest, no doubt making up their minds quickly now. All of them are waiting – to see how well you utilise this rare opportunity to be a harbinger of the tremendous change you promised. Only time will tell, if you will be revered for your actions or ridiculed for them.
Time, perhaps for you to get your act together?