AK versus AK, and NN!

For the past few months I have been formulating my views towards the emergence of the aggressive anti-corruption political party AAP and its rabble-rousing founder Arvind Kejriwal. I have been analysing and expressing my views on what exactly is wrong with the party and its founder. I read Kejriwal’s Swaraj and Guha’s book on Gandhi that somewhat gave me the idea.

And then two things happened that kind of lifted the curtain and I was able to see clearly: The Season Two of Satyamev Jayate was telecast and Nandan Nilekani joined the Congress party.

We all know Kejriwal is fighting an aggressive battle. To him, everybody is corrupt: our politicians, our police force, bureaucracy, our MLAs, our counsellors, our media…there isn’t a section of society that isn’t corrupt.

That may be true in reality, but that makes his job impossible, because, going by that logic the only honest person in whole of India would be AK. That is not a problem really. The problem is his aggression, a bull in a china shop mode where he tramples everything he passes through. His book Swaraj was an angry welt on Indian society, full of scorn and imaginary ideas masquerading as solutions. There, everybody is corrupt except ‘people’. And in every interview, every speech, Arvind Kejriwal insists on tougher laws and harsher punishments, as if that would solve all our problems.

Changes are not brought in that way. Not in a democracy.

And in the two episodes of Season 2 of Satyamev Jayate, Aamir Khan tackled two serious issues plaguing our country. Before watching last week’s show, I too was of the opinion that our police force is bad and India is becoming a police state. Like Kejriwal did. I believed that we needed police reforms. Kejriwal didn’t.

Aamir Khan, however, turned the table and showed us a completely different perspective. Those who had watched the show would have now stopped blaming our police force and started sympathising, even feeling sorry for, them. In this, Aamir does not play the blame-game. He emphasises the need for change, but whilst identifying the symptoms, he goes deeper into the root of the problem, and rather than asking who is responsible for the problem, he asks what or who can solve it. He identifies people who worked towards the solution and introduces them to us. Arvind Kejriwal believes that nothing worthwhile has been done in the past 65 years. Aamir Khan understands and appreciates that considerable work has been done and we only need to build on it, albeit more urgently on certain cases.

Amir Khan exudes sympathy, concern and care. He doesn’t point fingers. He understands that our problems are not that of one man’s making and therefore jailing this person or punishing that person won’t solve our problems. He likes to get people together, discuss solutions, and, at worst, holds a mirror and asks us to see ourselves. He understands that change will be slow and painful.

All those above characteristics can also be attributed to Nandan Nilekani. After joining the Congress party, Nilekani gave two key interviews, one to Rajdeep Sardesai of CNN-IBN and one to Barkha Dutt of NDTV. In both the interviews, he was quite measured in his criticism of opposition parties and leaders. As much as possible, he tried to focus on his own track record and plans rather than what the opposition parties are doing or not doing. His book Imagining India is on the polar opposite of Kejriwal’s Swaraj. Nilekani’s book talks about our problems in a sympathetic non aggressive manner, and uses scientific research and statistical data-gathering practices to understand some of the key issues. It also, like Aamir, focuses on people in the respective fields who have contributed richly towards bringing in change. It places some active ideas and plans that require taking everyone along. Nilekani respects what our politicians have achieved so far and also understands reasons why they are not able to achieve in certain quarters.

Arvind Kejriwal, on the other hand, shows full of scorn and anger towards our society. He dumbs down our achievements and talks of an illusory utopia. His 49-day governance in Delhi was a crumbling mess. It only improved my respect for leaders like Narendra Modi and Sheila Dixit who stood their ground and governed their states for 10 or more years. Surely, they had the same disabilities that Kejriwal complained of, but still they stayed and even performed in some quarters. Delhi or Gujarat today is not the same place they were in 2001.

We need more people like Nilekani and Aamir Khan and less people like Kejriwal. ‘As a technocrat, I hit the glass ceiling at Infosys, and therefore I moved on,’ Nilekani mentioned in his interview. I hope very soon Aamir hits the glass ceiling as an actor!

#AamirKhan, #ArvindKejriwal, #NandanNilekani, #SatyamevJayate