A cloudburst out of thin air

A cloudburst out of thin air

By M.J. Akbar | 19 December, 2015
Why has Kejriwal manufactured a false storm in order to defend a bureaucrat? It is not as if he has deep emotional commitments to bureaucracy.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s outburst against the Union government after CBI raided the offices of a member of his personal staff can be placed in three categories: cynical, intriguing and revealing. Of the three, cynicism is easiest to understand, for distortion is the only option when facts are running against you.

Rajendra Kumar, the civil servant in question, was appointed to a position of power by Kejriwal despite the fact that he had history. He has, it transpires, used his influence to get contracts for particular companies. Details of his alleged chicanery are in public space, and need not detain. Suffice it to mention that Transparency International, a watchdog body that tracks corruption where it can, had formally warned Kejriwal about Rajendra Kumar. Instead of paying heed, Kejriwal gave him a coveted job.
Without an answer, the Delhi Chief Minister used the oldest tactic in the business: to raise a cloudburst out of thin air in order to camouflage what he had done. His attack took two forms. He used vituperative language against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And he followed this up by trying to revive some jaded and discredited allegations against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
The allegations against Arun Jaitley lost steam more than two years ago, for a good reason. The UPA government of Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi exonerated him. This was not any act of charity. UPA would have been delighted to prosecute; and indeed asked the Serious Frauds Investigation Office to investigate. They wanted a verdict quickly, and got it fast. It was just not the verdict they expected. Despite the fact that UPA was in power, the investigators pronounced, on 21 March 2013, that there had been no fraud. The story died. Jaitley, with general elections around the corner, withdrew from cricket administration. It is important to note that Kejriwal, who has created a political career out of a crusade against corruption, never once made an issue of these allegations.
Which brings us to the intriguing part: Why has Kejriwal manufactured a false storm in order to defend a bureaucrat? It is not as if he has deep emotional commitments to bureaucracy and will always defend the institution to the death. Just a few days before the Rajendra Kumar incident, CBI had raided another civil servant in the Delhi government. Instead of defending him, Kejriwal rushed to share the credit. Why is Kejriwal putting so much political capital on the line in order to preserve and protect Rajendra Kumar?
Rajendra Kumar, the civil servant in question, was appointed to a position of power by Kejriwal despite the fact that he had history. Transparency International had formally warned Kejriwal about Rajendra Kumar. Instead of paying heed, Kejriwal gave him a coveted job.
We do not have a clear answer yet, but the question raises its own doubts. There is speculation, of course. Memories are stirring about the mysterious cheques, for instance, worth Rs 2 crore that found their way into the AAP account before the last Delhi Assembly elections. It is pertinent to recall that Kejriwal’s closest comrades, those who helped set up AAP and claimed leadership of the moral centre of the movement that gave birth to AAP, men like Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, have broken with Kejriwal because they began to suspect his bona fides.
Sometimes unintended consequences of an episode reveal interesting dimensions of a person’s thought process. There is no shortage of hostility in the battles for power. Equally, there is nothing personal in the hostility. MPs who do as much as they can to provoke one another across the aisle in Parliament, relapse (and relax) into banter when they gather in the Central Hall. Moreover, at all times the democratic discourse is marked by restraint. Slander never injures the target; it only demeans the accuser.
Kejriwal lost all restraint when he spewed venom against the Prime Minister. When he discovered that the public reaction was negative, he tried to make some amends when talking to the press the same evening. He admitted, with a sort of pity-me look, that he might have misused a word or two, but explained that he had been born in a village in Haryana.
In that throwaway remark lay evidence of an intrinsic contempt for the village; as if it was only to be expected that villagers would be abusive. Astonishing. This is a mindset trapped in prejudice; perhaps unconscious, but still powerful.
Whatever else you may say about Indian democracy, it is certainly never dull. As the drama of power and challenge consumes the second act of a five-act scenario, the characters become true to their basic nature and surprises multiply. A generation is engaged in the wars that always erupt during an age of change. Ambition waits in the wings, waiting for mishaps or mistakes on centre-stage, even as it seeks attention of the audience by any means. There is no need to expose ambition. It always advertises itself. Ambition is not the fatal flaw of only a tragic hero; it can infect a Don Quixote as well.



There are 18 Comments

Very interesting that Kejriwal should pretend to be sheepish about his foul tongue and vituperation against Modi on the ground that he was born in a village. As you have rightly said, that itself shows a peculiar state of mind. But even that lame excuse is rendered absurd when the totally vicious and the completely out of place acrimonious remarks come from a person who belonged to the IRS and held a very senior position in the Income tax heirarchy. If it is Kejri's contention that a villager can be pardoned such foul language, he, the villager, does not even qualify on that ground in view of his education and the high ranking position in the IRS. It is plain that he has tied himself in knots and is thoroughly exposed.

There is so much corruption in the so called elite circles, that only thong to boast of is polished language.

Undeserving but voted to power by gullible electorate Kejri is manipulated by coterie of stupid. He now has to rattle whatever is advised without evaluating the gravity.

As usual MJAKBAR is lucid and to the point.

I am only interested in seeing when Kejriwal's oft repeated 'attacker-one-moment-victim-the-very-next' tactics runs its full course. Numerically, he is there for five years. But, I want to see the time when people of Delhi genuinely begin believing him to be burden they chose to bear in a weak moment of hollow anger against the status quo. I have always believed that a thing arising of 'reaction' often needs that 'reaction' to sustain itself. I always feel that Kejriwal can survive only by blaming -- nay abusing -- Modi because it provides the 'reaction' element. Earlier, the 'reaction' element was provided by "saare-politician-chor-hain" line. In many ways, his survival is no different from the manner in which communalism survives -- where the focus is always on the 'other'. More importantly, just 'how big a demon is the other'. Let us see what happens.

Sir, first point is We, most of the Indians, could not understand the logic of calling Sonia and Rahul as 'Gandhis'. How they could be Gandhis? Is that their surname indicating they belong a sect or caste called Gandhi? Why you people are fooling the Indians by calling that looters as 'Gandhis'? By calling that looters of India as Gandhis, do you know that you people are disrespecting Mahatma Gandhi? Indirectly you people are dispecting Mahatma Gandhi when you mention or address these Sonia and Rahul as 'Gandhis'. If need be you can mention as mon-son duo or congress first family or atleast mention as Italy mom and England son etc. If you address Rahul pappu as Gandhi' before mentioning such again, pls give us date and place where Rahul pappu got his enlightnment to achieve this "Gandhi" ( Gandhi means Knowledge). Second thing is about the right of an ordinary Indian. When liar Kujriwaal has the right to call our elected Prime Minister of India- who is voted by more than 35 crores people- as 'coward and psychopath etc' as Indians we also exercising the same right which is used by Kujiriwaal and start to address this kujriwaal as RASCAL KEJRIWAL. We would like to continue address this Rascal Kejriwaal by this same until he is asking apology and forgiveness to the 35 crores of Indian votes who have voted for Modiji.

MJ. Your article is absolutely brilliant.yes this rascal, refraf kejriwal should be taught a lesson by Delhi electorate.his chamchs asutosh,ashish kaitan,joker kumar viewas,childish raghav chadha,Sanjay Singh should be banished to the jungle

Whatever may be reason of income tax raids or what so ever, Kejriwal being Chief minister (going beyond dignity) should not have used dirty & cheap words about our Prime Minister Modiji. We should give at least some respect to our Prime Minister who has been known to be One among the BEST prime-minister respected through out the WORL D. Kejriwal should apologise for behaving like street gunda.

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the findings of Serious Frauds Investigation Office investigations be considered before making allegations against ARUN J . being son or daughter of a prominent politician is not a crime . similarly being a good manager and also a good politician is not a crime

Making allegations , generating doubts about people's integrity has been an aam affair for some years now. This activity by this Aap Leader will only end when he learns the lesson that has been waiting for him. Mr Jaitely seems in position and may be the chosen one to do this pending job. He must not cancel the lesson even if he is offered an apology. He must help end this habit by doing his bit to ensuring the lesson gets learnt, receive his crores. Its very cold. Use these as seed money to build shelters for the aam homeless of Delhi.

Every day , AAP & AK are proving that they are not to be trusted with running a government.AK should answer Anna Hazare and all his anti corruption comrades as to why he took this Kumar as his babu? After indulging in to one sin, he is now busy indulging in to several others to hide his original sin.AAP is very upbeat about its Punjab campaign.But people of Punjab should note all these shenanigans before entrusting AAP with ruling a vibrant state that shares borders with Pakistan.

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