I adored Arvind Kejriwal when I came to know that he is from my own institute-IIT, Kharagpur and that he also graduated in mechanical engineering. My excitement further increased when Rakesh, my eldest son in US informed during his phone conversation that Arvind was from his own batch. Rakesh had done graduation in manufacturing science that was part of mechanical engineering department. I visited IIT quite often, when Rakesh got into it. I was also external examiner for postgraduate students in manufacturing engineering. I had addressed once the students and faculty of the mechanical engineering department on my pet subject in those days: ‘Re-engineering of engineering education’.
I had come to know of another aspect of Arvind Kejriwal pretty late, when he became activist, particularly because of his contribution in the right of information movement. I kept on reading about him now and then in media. Naturally, Arvind came in great limelight for organising the successful show of Anna’s fast in Delhi for getting Jan Lokpal Bill accepted by the government. And it was evident that Arvind managed the fast very well and made it a movement of one and all of the educated population of Delhi.
However, I didn’t like the way they got into the business of drafting of the bill sitting across with some ministers. That would not have been the way to get something like Lokpal in the system. Bill drafting would have followed the usual practice and Anna and Arvind could have got their ideas incorporated in that.
I felt bad when Arvind parted way out from Anna, and went to form a political party, AAP. Arvind naturally put his best in campaign. He came out with the stories of corruption of Robert Vadera, the son-in-law of Sonia and Gadkari. He organised the party well. I loved his idea of constituency-wise manifesto that would make the elected member committed to get them implemented. I don’t know if he took the feedback of the people of those constituencies to prepare it.
The win of AAP in recent assembly election in Delhi has made him legendary. But Kejriwal didn’t shun abusing both the national parties publicly. Arvind would have been more humble and have been using words cautiously. He would have been different at least in using arrogant and abusive words.
Arvind doesn’t like to form government nor he would support the other parties. This again in present political scene is anti democratic. But more amusing and childlike were his 18 demands that appeared in media.
I certainly wish him to succeed. His failure to come up to the national politics will hurt me, and perhaps many. But he must access his own strength. Till now not many responsible and able persons seem to be with him.
But I shall certainly like to give one advice to him. Arvind must focus on Delhi and prove himself. Let his party men and particularly elected ones, start working in the schools and healthcare centres of their constituencies and for educating the grassroots for sanitation. Let them be the NGOs helping the citizens to get their due rights from the present administration and also own the individual responsibility to the the community.
And finally Arvind must not play a spoiler such as Nitish Kumar and Lalu or Mulayam under the garb of secularism in the political change that many are expecting to come in 2014. Arvind must also protect his party from those regional leaders who may use AAP brand to create chaos.