Is Arvind Kejriwal an Aam Aadmi?

Arvind Kejriwal is, presently, the most famous anti-corruption social activist in India, along with or maybe after Anna Hazare. ‘Born on 16th August 1968 he was an Indian Revenue Service official before joining social and political activities.’

His recent political work has two strands – one the sort set into motion long ago by people like Arun Shourie and continued by Tehelka-like media – if one remembers the famous Antulay cement scandal articles long ago in the Illustrated Weekly of India, then edited by none other than Pritish Nandy. Kejriwal’s ‘exposures’ through media, of shady tie-ups are much more broad based, with a masses-backed frontality to them which gives his attacks a new twist. However, one also has to look back and see to remember that nothing much really happened to Antulay, in the long run. Arun Shourie profited as did Nandy too, and so did the magazine’s share holders from massive sales. One also remembers Harshad Mehta, and Bofors.

The other strand is his Aam Aadmi party initiative. In November 2012, he launched the Aam Aadmi Party, claiming that the party’s vision is Swaraj. This has become a bit worrisome to many and a total nightmare for a few. But it is good for us to look soberly at Kejriwal. One cannot dismiss his efforts at all, as if not him others will come up as leaders to do both the job of pointing fingers and trying to set things right, because India is ripe now for such a social and political change. Another point to take into consideration is that he is a clean politician.

Having said so much, and being impressed by his antecedents and awards and efforts so far as typifying heady idealistic youth and sound social activism, one can briefly set his work against another Indian for a second to ask a tangentially comparative question.
The person I have in mind is the founder of Paalam. “Mr.Kalyanasundaram worked as a Librarian for 30 years. Every month in his 30 year experience(service), he donated his entire salary to help the needy. He worked as a server in a hotel to meet his needs. He donated even his pension amount of about ten lakh rupees to the needy.

He is the first person in the world to spend his entire earnings for a social cause. In recognition to his service, United Nations Organization adjudged him as one of the Outstanding People of the 20th Century. An American organization honored him with the ‘Man of the Millennium’ award. He received a sum of Rs 30 cores as part of this award which he distributed entirely for the needy as usual. Moved by his passion to help others, Super Star Rajinikanth adopted him as his father.

We notice that Kalyanasundaram’s social work consciously stays out of trying to create political change and upheaval, as did Mother Theresa’s, for which both were criticized, but the bedrock of historical facts is that unlike these two, those who attack others often turn out, on getting power, into intolerant and power-hungry people. This is the danger someone like Kejriwal obviously faces, a predicament to which one does not really have any clear knowledge yet as to how it will be in the future, if power – termed Swaraj! – does descend suddenly on the ‘Aam Aadmi Party.’

Image Source : HindustanTimes

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