The importance of being Kejriwal

During the days of the Iron Curtain, ordinary citizens of Eastern Europe were reputed to say 'They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work'. The Indian aam aadmi can say, 'They tell us they are not corrupt and we go on having to bribe them'. The fact that Indian politics is hopelessly corrupt is hardly worth discussing. The major players when accused of corruption usually respond by saying that the other party is corrupt too. Thus the Congress and BJP conduct their mudslinging matches. Voters know that anyone who has had the luck to enter the legislative arena at any level, from panchayat up to Parliament, is on to the yellow brick road. You only have to look at the declared (not even the true) assets acquired by MLAs and MPs and you know that the most profitable activity in India is politics.

In dictatorships, the top people restrict the fruits of corruption to the few they know. India, being a democracy, has democratised corruption. Once you are in, it is like living in the Forbidden City in Beijing. You are immune from legal consequences and you can go on being corrupt with impunity. The media is docile because they know the consequences of exposing the powerful can be crippling. If you are an uppity anchor, a large defamation action costing crores could be slapped on you.

It is this collusive culture which Arvind Kejriwal has begun to challenge. He will be denounced as being in the pay of one or the other party since the political classes cannot imagine anyone outside their circle to have the wherewithal to find the evidence against them. Hence the universal anger of the political classes against Kejriwal. He has obviously decided that from now till election time he has to release scandal after scandal exposing corruption. There is no danger that he will run out of material before May 2014.

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