Did you quit for the Jan Lokpal, really?

We need to open our eyes before face-saving exercises go down in history as acts of martyrdom

shivangi-narayan

Shivangi Narayan | February 15, 2014



So many thoughts come to mind after watching the hilarious, dramatic, erratic, and completely nonsense exit of the Arvind Kejriwal government on Friday. Blackmailing. Naiveté of those who want to overhaul everything in a day. Systemic breakdown. Yes, tantrums of kids when they don’t get what they want.

And a tantrum there was. The Kejriwal government wanted to enter the assembly, get the Jan Lokpal bill passed and remove corruption in society, all in one day. Kejriwal knew full well that constitutionally neither the BJP nor the Congress nor the speaker could have helped him until the centre permitted him to table the bill in the assembly. Given Delhi’s semi-statehood, its government has to take the home ministry’s consent before any bill is tabled in the assembly. Stalling came from the centre and no amount of screaming in the Delhi assembly could have or would have changed that.

Another important fact the government could have kept in the back of its mind is that change doesn’t come in a day, or for that matter in 47 days, and anyone who has started to fight for change has known that fully well. It took 200 years to gain independence, hundreds of years to end apartheid and decades to end casteism and achieve women’s rights. Even instant noodles don’t cook in two minutes as advertised.

According to Prashant Bhushan, the Delhi CM resigned because it became clear that BJP and Congress would not let the government work. Was it an insight that came to him only yesterday? The party came to power as a ‘protest’ party, one that was a threat to the mainstream parties from the beginning. It was clear from the start that it was going to be difficult to manoeuvre their way across with constant pressure from those who have been kept from forming the government.

What was then, the answer to such predictable pressure? Resignation? Resignation is the most laughable step that any CM in such a situation would have taken. He could have negotiated with the centre to table the bill. He could have persisted with the bill till the centre would have relented. Till it was ready to be argued in the Delhi assembly. Nothing irks a problem monger (if BJP and Congress were indeed introducing delays in passing of the bill) more than persistence. Resigning in a huff is war equivalent of letting your opponent win because you refused to put up a brave fight.

Come on, Kejriwal. You knew you wouldn’t be able to table the Jan Lokpal bill. You knew there would be opposition to it constitutionally. You were all ready to resign because your party has now developed a life of its own and has become unmanageable. It was a clear-cut face-saving exercise.

Just that it doesn’t save your face but exposes it more so. Please do not campaign for the Lok Sabha after this debacle. You have no right to take on more promises when you couldn’t deliver the few you undertook in December 2013. 

 

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