How Vishal Dadlani episode certifies ‘transformation’ of AAP, Arvind Kejriwal

By: | Updated: August 30, 2016 12:10 PM

No AAP leader, even Arvind Kejriwal, has ever apologised so much like Dadlani after hurting the sentiments of anyone or any community

dadlani-ie-LVishal Dadlani and Jain monk Tarun Sagar. (source: IE)

“For too long, you and I’ve been quiet..RISE UP!” Bollywood music composer Vishal Dadlani writes this in his Twitter bio. But sometimes being quiet is what is required. For a country as diverse as India with a thriving democracy, speaking too much, or mocking someone who is revered by a community, may backfire. Dadlani has learnt this, so much so that he has been on an apologising spree ever since he made comments against Jain monk Tarun Sagar’s address in the Haryana Assembly.

If not seen from the prism of religious sentiments, Dadlani did have a valid point — of keeping religion separate from governance. He could have done it in a more sober way, instead of writing what seemed like a mockery of the Jain guru’s attire, or the absence of it.

However, the Dadlani episode does mark an interesting twist in the AAP story for two reasons: First, no AAP leader, even Arvind Kejriwal, has ever apologised so much like Dadlani after hurting the sentiments of anyone or any community. Second, when it comes to mixing religion with politics, AAP has proved it won’t be any different from others. For politics, it would indulge in same tricks as others.

In its early days, the popularity of Aam Aadmi Party soared because of its inherent ‘anti-politics’ nature. It promised people of the ‘achhe-din’ what even PM Narendra Modi could never do — of bringing an end to corruption, devolving power directly to the people, accountable policing, swift justice to people etc. While PM Modi’s ‘achhe din’ were opaque, AAP explained in its manifesto, what can easily be passed off as utopian in a complex system like ours.

However, the party has for sure learnt the tricks of politics after tasting success from two so-called ‘struggles of Ramlila Maidan and Jantar Mantar’. The party is hopeful of setting its footprints firmly beyond the boundaries of Delhi. True that it won four seats in the 2014 General Elections in Punjab, it is only now that the cadres are hopeful of not only winning Punjab Assembly elections but also gaining a considerable foothold in PM Modi’s Gujarat and Goa. Like all states of the country, both Punjab and Gujarat are religiously sensitive. No party can dream of ruling these states after being seen as the one who often mocks either a religion or its gurus, especially when Jains constitute a significant part of the population in Gujarat. AAP chief Kejriwal understands this, perhaps more than anyone.

In his early days into politics, Kejriwal could have mocked anything or anyone that he would have felt may create controversy, or out of place. During the times of his so-called ‘struggle’, Kejriwal may also have mocked the Jain Guru’s address in a constitutional assembly. He does that even now, only he has chosen to divert all his energy towards attacking the Centre and PM Modi.

Interestingly, Kejriwal’s Twitter bio says: “Political revolution in India has begun. Bharat jaldi badlega.” Indeed. One can’t be sure of India, but the Dadlani episode apparently certifies the change of AAP and Kejriwal.

(Views are personal)

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