Kejriwal’s resignation


On the face of it, Kejriwal’s resignation sets a precedent, and a dare, if you will, to other politicians. Unable to introduce a Bill in the Delhi parliament, he quit. My gut instinct is to cheer him for it–he’s holding himself accountable to his constituency. But he could have fought harder for it. Be that as it may, I’d like to see Modi resign for destroying the lands and livelihoods of Gujarat’s poor. Voluntary accountability among politicians can only be a good thing.

Moreover, Kejriwal has been speaking out against the establishment in the name of the aam aadmi or common man (sic). Now he finds himself stalled by a Cong-BJP alliance that refuses to allow him to make good on his key election promise. This is what Kejriwal gets for drawing attention to what he calls a “nexus” between the oil ministry and the multinational behemoth Reliance Industries, owned by the richest man in the country, Mukesh Ambani. He is riding high on his tactical martyrdom, no doubt, as are his adoring supporters, many of whom are far from aam (such as a former chairperson of the Royal Bank of Scotland (India)). 

If Kejriwal’s claims are true (and who would think otherwise?), then we now know that there is close collusion between those who own all the wealth and those whom we elect to manage it. Surprise, surprise.

It’s a funny thing. He’s speaking out against something that dare not be named (hint: it starts with C and ends with M). Does it have to be spelled out? The head of the oil ministry colluding with the head of the oil industry to escalate the price of oil. An establishment politician doing shady things with his buddy the richest man (among a billion people). You call it corruption. You call it a nexus. Why not just call it idli-vada? It’s just as obfuscatory and a lot tastier.

You won’t refer to it by name, because of the specter that hasn’t stopped haunting it. But you are no socialists. You’ve insisted on that, as has your party’s spokesman Yogendra Yadav. (By the way, you couldn’t add two more A’s to AAP?) Your middle-class urban constituents, “so fed up with corruption ya,” will applaud your political gumption. Most will turn a blind eye to your other shenanigans (like racist and sexist witch hunts of African nationals), so long as you clear a path to what they think will be a cleaner government.

To those who cling to illusions, and will no doubt cling stronger still after this resignation: Stop thinking of it as a “corrupt” system. A corrupt system demands cleaning. A bankrupt system requires overhaul.