Like many Indians, I have great hopes from Arvind Kejriwal. He seems ambitious, genuine and fresh. He has all the makings of a leader that we have been desperately looking for. His entry in active politics is one of the rare good things to happen in Indian politics lately.
However, Kejriwal needs to transform himself from an activist to a leader. I didn’t agree with his ‘fast-unto-death’ for getting Lokpal Bill passed. As Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said, Indians should quit strikes and anshans in favor of constitutional methods. Arvind’s call to people of Delhi to not pay electricity will achieve little beyond making headlines. India is paying heavily for populist economics, via subsidies and inefficient government programs. We don’t want a new leader to continue with the same populist pandering that the old political class has done forever.
Kejriwal says that the power tariffs were to be slashed, but weren’t due to the nexus between the Delhi Government and the private power operators. His claims may be true, and he should build public opinion, expose this nexus instead of doing gimmicks like burning bills in front of the media.
Also, Kejriwal should stop wearing his iteration of the Gandhi-Anna Hazare cap. It is just a reminder of the farce that the other politicians do by sticking to starched white kurtas, invoking an unconscious connection with the leaders who fought for India’s independence, while looting India of its resources. The common Indian that Arvind is trying to represent, doesn’t wear a cap. Neither Arvind himself wore a Gandhi cap, till the launch of the Jan Lokpal movement.
In the mean time, we hear little from him on his views on reforms, FDI, foreign affairs, subsidies and other issues. He is not an anti-corruption activist only anymore. He is trying to become a mass leader. The mass needs to know what he thinks before it can trust him.