“Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power – Bertrand Russell
BY ARUN AGRAWAL
He did manage to fool all of us for a pretty long time, didn’t he? Here, then is first in the series unmasking this charlatan of Indian politics who is more corrupt than even the Ambani that he accuses of being corrupt!
Arvind Kejriwal (K hereinafter) transformation from a person asking embarrassing questions of the entrenched political establishment during the Anna movement to that of the inaccessible mafia Don attired in white inciting his goons to assault a 90-year-old upholder of democratic values, a former law Minister and the conscience of the party came as a shock to many. This transformation of K from a leader who started out as a social activist, then turned into a political activist only to betray the ideals of the movements by becoming a despot, in such a short time, is unprecedented in the history of movements.
What was Shanti Bhushan’s fault to have deserved this treatment from this K of Indian politics? Is trying to uphold the first principles of democracy (decision by majority) and opposing the degeneration of value based politics reason enough for this Don to incite his cronies to assault him?
This K was too young to have experienced that part of history in which Shanti Bhushan had become the symbol of opposing the dictatorship of Indira Gandhi. He ensured that the clauses of the Constitution upholding democracy remained intact. It all started with him proving in a Court of Law that the then PM had adopted corrupt means in winning her election, vigorously arguing the Habeas Corpus case, and ending with effectively repealing the 42nd amendment of the Constitution as Law Minister.
K, therefore could not comprehend that Shanti Bhushan by opposing his dictatorial ways in the Party was merely being consistent in his thoughts, words and actions. K could not expect him to sacrifice his democratic principles and be a mute spectator to K’s personal political ambition by adopting every unfair means.
K wanted dictatorial powers within the party. Shanti Bhushan opposed it. In a telling email in July 2014 Shanti Bhushan was prophetic in what he wrote to K:
Till some time back I had a lot of respect for you and always thought that you were inspired with lofty motives and were prepared to make any sacrifice for the country and its people. After watching your recent actions I am getting convinced that you are a totally selfish person only with a selfish personal agenda. You only believe in using and exploiting people only for your self-advancement I now believe that Aruna Roy (was) rightly believed that you only exploited her for your own ends and did not give her due credit for work in the Right to Information campaign. You have no belief in the concept of Swaraj. You have convinced yourself that any achievements in Anna Andolan or in the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party was solely your personal achievements which is nowhere near the truth.
Did you even have the capacity to draft the Jan Lokpal Bill? Could you have even launched the Anna Andolan without Anna or his Gandhian image. You did not have even the rudimentary knowledge of law much less constitutional law to be in a position to make any worthwhile contribution in the joint drafting committee.
All committees are only showpieces to defraud the people and throw dust into their eyes to create the illusion that our party is a great democratic party in which decisions are taken collectively.
K responded with the usual feigned old world sentimentality but Shanti Bhushan, the lawyer was not taken in. He wrote back:
Your email is looking like a carbon copy of your email to Anna and cannot be taken seriously unless your actions show that you actually continue to believe in the concept of a democratic party…..
You must remember that the main objective of the Aam Aadmi Party is to spread the message of clean and ideal politics all over India rather than winning an election and making somebody a Chief Minister. You must also agree to always abide by the majority views hereafter.
This is the proof (if proof was required) of the clash between K, the dictator and Shanti Bhushan, the democrat. The clash was between power by any means to using correct means and keeping the faith of the masses who had supported the party in large numbers.
The breaking point was complete at the time of the selection of candidates for the Delhi election. Moneybags, defectors and criminal elements were given tickets by K. 23 of the 70 candidates selected had criminal cases against them as against 21 selected by the Congress and 27 by the BJP. The rest was going through the motion of the formal breakup.
To Shanti Bhushan, K had betrayed the movement and worse the principles of democracy. To K, Shanti Bhushan had betrayed the party by (honestly) ranking the three contenders for the post of Chief Minister of Delhi. According to K, he should have lied and rated him as the best. Only people who did not know the truth about K (as most did not), would disagree with that ranking. People may differ in their ideology but they know who is a gentleman politician and who is a rogue politician.
Shanti Bhushan did not endorse the rival party or the candidate. He refused to meet Kiran Bedi who thought that she could capitalise on it politically. Shanti Bhushan knows the proprieties of life while placing the truth in the public domain. The classic example was the manner in which he placed in public domain the issue of corruption at the highest level in the judiciary. The Supreme Court, Bar Association or the Bar Council did not expel him for it, did they!
For the Chadda’s of the world to accuse him of acting on behalf of the BJP is an example of how some of these upwardly mobile youngsters will sell their soul to ingratiate themselves with their Supremo. He does not know the history of Shanti Bhushan’s split with the BJP and does not deserve to be educated.
Another rehabilitated ex-spokesperson was used to blame Shanti Bhushan for the failure of the compromise formula by ratting on a single out of context private conversation (I do not know if it is even true) but failing to see the logic behind the kameena video of his Supremo as the deal breaker! Did K want a compromise? That video is what K is and is really stands for: The ultimate K of Indian politics!
As to the question raised by this K in his Don ka speech at the time of setting his goons on Shanti Bhushan: Why is he in the Party, the simple answer was: Did K consider him fit to be anything in the party?
Shanti Bhushan by accident continued to remain as one among the 350 odd members of the National Convention by virtue of being a founder member of the AAP party. K had anticipated that he would be a stumbling block to his future political ambition and had insured that he be kept away from all the committees by inserting a clause that only one member from a family could find representation in these committees.
Hence being a father of Prashant Bhushan was a handicap while the same handicap did not apply when his services were utilised for the drafting committee of the Lokpal Bill. It was not nepotism when he represented him and the party in court on at least 20 different occasions inspite of his age.
If individual merit exists between persons who are relatives it is never nepotism, favouring one’s old friends and henchmen to key posts in the party irrespective of merit is.
Shanti Bhushan was the ultimate benefactor for the Party. He gave credibility to K and the party. If he resisted the non-democratic manner in which the party was functioning then he was being true to his past. To set goons to assault is not how you treat elders who have had your goodwill at heart, had given you unstinted support, wrongly compared you with Obama, had drafted the Lokpal Bill, had negotiated with the government in the Lokpal drafting committee etc. The gesticulation of K in the video without his saying anything to restrain the advancing goons is the defining moment for the Don. He was after all the Don. To make the victim feel threatened that his life is in danger is what Don is all about. Mission accomplished, flunkies to clear the mess, time to move on. One must admit, this Don had style!
Mr K in his speech gloated over his victory in the elections. The swagger and the arrogance of victory was there for all to see. We have come to win and those who want to lose can join them, K thundered. End justifies the means and to hell with the means! Gloat not Mr K, that victory was obtained by promising the biggest bribe in the history of Indian elections. The bribe with interest will be paid by the future generation. We will see how the cookie crumbles on that. But more on it in the next article.
The sacking of the Lokpal
The people of this country are witness to the fact that K has no commitment towards Lokpal, that he conveniently used it to bolster his CV on being an anti-corruption crusader, that he used it to resign from power to fulfil a larger political ambition, that he did not even care to place the bill that was introduced in the Assembly in the public domain. K did not follow the only Lokpal (of the party) that came into existence while taking action against senior members of the party who differed with him on account of his dictatorial functioning by referring their disciplinary cases to the Lokpal. He prevented the Lokpal from attending the Party’s National Convention to witness his Don like performance. Ultimately K unceremoniously booted him out from the post in defiance of the rules relating to the appointment of the Lokpal.
And who was this Lokpal? He was a 90-year-old Admiral who had served the nation with distinction. His daughter while working with the Ford foundation had helped with funds for the unregistered NGO, of which K’s present deputy CM was a co- partner. Unfortunately how that money was spent and what was achieved is not in the public domain.
Accusation against K of using and abusing people
K, you do not treat people with the dignity that they deserve. You use them to realise your personal ambitions. You feel that they should be grateful for having been given the opportunity to serve you. You do not respect their time, show no gratitude and ultimately abuse them. In fact your statement in that Don ka speech that there were plenty of people, doctors, chartered accountants and other professionals who are willing to serve you for free is an admission of that mind-set. That was also a not-too-subtle message to those professionals whom you were expelling from the party. It was also not a coincidence that the word lawyer was not mentioned in the various categories of professionals that you recounted. You would do well to remember that any professional who knows his subject matter and has self-respect will not join you. It is for this reason that no noteworthy person of repute is left in the party and all that you have is hangers on of nowhere people attracted by the political power that has come your way by betraying a movement.
Mr K, on a personal note, I too have been at the receiving end of the use and abuse approach of yours. You had me abused at IIM Bangalore. You used my write-up for the hugely successful press conference on Reliance/Mukesh Ambani on the KG gas pricing issue. Because of the success of the press conference, you requested me on three different occasions to shift to Delhi. Your agenda was to use me as an ongoing source of providing material on financial scams. I could see through that agenda and refused as you were not honest in exposing scams. You merely sensationalised corruption issues sourced from others. In fact you have no track record on exposing any type of financial scams. All you do is plagiarises material of others or material that has long been in the public domain and then boast that it is your own. Khemka exposure on Robert Vadra is a typical case in point. After using the expose you gave a ticket to the officer who did the cover up against Khemka and then resigned to fight the election! Incidentally, the gold plating of cost of KG gas basin had been taken up by Tapan Sen (MP) since 2008 and you have adopted it as your discovery for fighting Mukesh Ambani.
Myth about K being a crusader against corruption while serving in the Income tax Department:
K often refers in sundry speeches that he was a Commissioner of income tax and could have made any amount of money (black) had he continued serving there and there was no need for him to give up his job to take up the people’s crusade.
K knows that he is embellishing his bio-data to impress the ignorant. He was not even a joint Commissioner of income tax let alone a Commissioner and would require two more promotions to become one. But then that is a minor aberration in his series of tissues of convenient lies.
The larger point is that the Income Tax is perceived as the one of the most corrupt departments in the country. Some opt for it in preference for the IAS to make money. Yet, this paragon of honesty failed to name one income tax commissioners as corrupt either orally or in writing in the 10-15 years that he served in the Income Tax department. He also did not name anyone as corrupt when he left the Department. How many large income tax evasion cases did he unearth? How many corrupt subordinate income tax officers were charge sheeted by him? The frequent number of times an officer is transferred is an index of his honesty. How often was he transferred? Had remained in the NCR forever!
Contrast that with the track record of Shanti Bhushan who while practising in the Supreme Court gave in a sealed cover the names of past Chief Justices of India who had been corrupt? He went on to state that the majority of the Chief Justices during that period had been corrupt? That number was 9 CJI out of 16!
Mr K, you were a part of the corrupt system and did nothing to reform it. You played along. Shanti Bhushan did not.
Mr K you cannot get away by insulting and abusing the very same people that have helped you. These are icons of society who have fought corruption and cherished the values of democracy like none have. They have a track record.
You too have a track record: That of only making allegation, inciting the masses, bribing the electorate and using every low means that politicians use to acquire power.
Mr K, you have abused the trust of the civil society, the activists, the patriots, the electorate, the young and old idealists, NRI/PIO population abroad who trusted you and contributed funds in large measure.
There are costs to be paid and I assure you that these costs will be paid. You have fooled too many people for too long.
You have been challenging many a people for a one to one debate.
Having fought 9 cases against RIL in different courts, having authored a book ‘Reliance the Real Natwar’, I too challenge you to a debate on corruption. Anytime, anywhere! The topic is: Arvind Kejriwal is a far greater threat to Indian democracy than Mukesh Ambani/Reliance.
My next article will be a comparison of the two, as I know exactly what your strategy is and what you are up to.
Incidentally, K, those who have been busting scams were able to decipher you much in advance. Y P Singh, the ex-IPS officer as early as October 2012 in a well televised press conference compared you to Hitler, a fact that others have woken to two and a half years later!
I may not be a Don but I too bust scams. Even when it involved a stoolpigeon in the order of the Hon’ble Apex Court.
(Arun Agrawal is the author of the book Reliance: The Real Natwar. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)