Day of the Bully - The New Indian Express

Day of the Bully

Published: 09th March 2014 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 09th March 2014 07:33 AM

Tim Field missed Arvind Kejriwal by eight years. Field was a prominent British anti-bullying activist and the author of Bully in Sight—the authoritative definition on bullying and bullies. He would have found a delightful subject in Kejriwal, India’s pre-eminent serial bully. The AAP street lord has been missing the cameras that loved his Delhi antics: singing songs at Ram Lila grounds in Rafi gangstarap; sleeping on Janpath in a hideous floral quilt and coughing piteously on TV wearing a slum chic Gandhi topi and taking on Mukesh Ambani by registering an FIR for fiddling with gas prices. Ignored in Delhi by the media, and determined not to be overwhelmed by India, he has chosen Gujarat as the next Ground Zero for television coverage and ventured into Modiland with the goofy panache of a Don Quixote on steroids.

Modi didn’t reply to his letters and mails, Kejri pouted; what other recourse did he have except to drive to the chief minister’s house? It is obvious that he chose to forget that even a junior officer wouldn’t meet anyone without an appointment. Did he seek one? Obviously not. How does it matter whether the Election Commission accuses the mad-hatted crusader of violating the code of conduct? Kejri acknowledges only his own code, and not of democratic India. India’s pre-eminent Narcissist with the attention deficit disorder is turning the general elections into a degraded spoof. Espresso celebrities are known to fall into deep depression, go on drugs and alcohol benders once their 15 minutes of fame are over. Furious over lost limelight, they resort to extreme attention-seeking measures like sending their nude pictures on Twitter and joining Bigg Boss.

AAP Big Boss Kejri’s conduct displays signs which any psychiatrist would diagnose as a Narcissistic Personality Disorder—turgescent self-importance, excessive thirst for adoration, “an overestimation of their abilities as they inflate their accomplishments, while underestimating and devaluing the achievements and accomplishments of others”. Field’s description of the narcissist fits Kejri to a T—reacting  “angrily to criticism and when rejected… but simultaneously and paradoxically representing themselves as belonging to the profession they are vilifying”. Kejri may deny it, but he belongs to one of the most vilified professions in the world—politics. The art of politics is about getting attention and the means of communication adopted to become agents of governance.

Nazi propagandist Goebbels was good at communication, but the Nazis were overall bad at governance. Politics is different from governance. Kejri’s agitational politics is eerily reminiscent of the Munich Beer Hall putsch in 1923. Adolph Hitler and 2,000 cohorts marched to the centre of Berlin and initiated a violent confrontation with police. Sixteen Nazis and four cops were killed. Arrested for treason, Hitler became a Teutonic hero and the putsch was his first step to becoming Chancellor of Germany. It was also the launchpad for Nazi propaganda. Kejri was inept at governance, which became clear in the 49 days of AAP rule in Delhi. He failed in the delivery of all poll promises, from power reform to setting up schools. Now, forced to play with the big boys, Indian democracy’s Nazi is showing signs of panic and insecurity.

Hence, the AAP putsch—agitate on the streets, get arrested and become heroes. Even sensible, erudite former journalists were part of a mob that attacked the BJP office. Kejri unleashed his goons in Lucknow and Allahabad. AAP demonstrated once again that going berserk is best for attention-grabbing, even as Kejri sheds tears for the common man. But Modi is not Shinde or Sheila Dikshit. He is a ruthless politician with a reputation for neutralising opponents with realpolitik and governance. In Delhi, Kejri ended up looking like a standup comic delivering cheesy lines to a thinning audience. In Gujarat, he could end up as the failed Narcissus who drowned in his own pool of crocodile tears.

ravi@newindianexpress.com

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