Wednesday, 28 September, 2022
HomeOpinionKejriwal is not BJP’s alternative in Delhi. He has let Muslims down...

Kejriwal is not BJP’s alternative in Delhi. He has let Muslims down who voted AAP en masse

Kejriwal, who once called PM Modi a psychopath and said Delhi will choose its CM not Amit Shah, lies at the mercy of both. His inaction during Delhi riots says it all.

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Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is the alternative to the BJP in Delhi. This myth has been shattered in the last few days with the Delhi riots and his government’s nod for Kanhaiya Kumar’s prosecution.

After the Aam Aadmi Party’s strong victory against the BJP in the Delhi election last month, many were imagining Kejriwal to be the David who could vanquish the Goliath-like Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, eventually. But the riots in Delhi have made many on Kejriwal’s side question him. With his inaction during the riots and nod to Kanhaiya Kumar sedition case, people are asking if the AAP is just another version of the BJP — a BJP-lite, with a tad less of Hindutva.

The BJP made Shaheen Bagh a flashpoint, where it tried to show the AAP as a Muslim-loving party which was neither distancing themselves nor lending support to the movement. But Kejriwal steered clear of it all, spoke of development and threw in a dash of Hanuman chalisa to douse the ‘bad Hindu’ vibes that the BJP was sending his way. Many, like me, thought it was a smart move. He contained and brought back those on the fence to his side.

But Arvind Kejriwal’s inertia during the Delhi riots, which took place in the capital of India in broad daylight, has many doubting his ‘secular’ credentials. It will never be forgotten that Kejriwal was the chief minister of Delhi while 42 people were mercilessly killed and 200 lay injured in hospitals. Yes, the Delhi Police comes under Home Minister Amit Shah, but that in no way absolves the sitting chief minister of choosing to pray at the Raj Ghat for peace instead of going to the ravaged ‘mohallas’ and being with his party workers at ground zero.

Kejriwal was seen meeting Shah and reposing his faith in the Delhi Police. Since the violence didn’t ebb post the meeting with Shah, Kejriwal was finally seen asking for the Army to be brought in. The request evidently fell on deaf ears. So, is Kejriwal really the alternative to the BJP since he did not do much for Muslims who voted for him en masse?


Also read: Kejriwal is wrong. Delhi to Gujarat, outsiders blamed in riots, but most victims know attackers


A dilemma for Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal is now in a predicament. And he has himself dug this hole.

The five Muslim-dominated constituencies of Ballimaran, Matia Mahal, Seelampur, Okhla and Mustafabad were swept by the AAP. But perhaps the damage to AAP isn’t much after all. Just five constituencies might come as a small price to pay for Kejriwal when his winning number this election is 62 seats.

But then the obvious question is, why vote for Kejriwal at all? What is he doing differently from the BJP? The whole development shtick of Kejriwal will always be Modi’s brain-child, who started it with ‘sabka saath sabka vikas‘. It was Kejriwal’s antics against the BJP and the Congress as the ‘aam aadmi’ who spoke truth to power that made him the nation’s sweetheart.

But today’s Kejriwal, who had once called PM Modi a psychopath and said Delhi will choose its CM not Amit Shah, lies at the mercy of them both. It is this example of Kejriwal’s volte-face that can be a learning curve for voters in the upcoming elections in Bengal, Bihar and Assam. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee is conspicuously silent. The Congress remains a party of mere lip-service with no on-ground assistance to victims. The Left has almost left the political landscape of India and exists somewhere in the digital algorithms of social media. The BJP evidently remains the only party ‘with power’ worth voting for.


Also read: Delhi CM Kejriwal announces peace initiatives, compensation for riot victims


Echoes from 2002

The escalation of a riot right after the Delhi election is a huge message to India. The focal point of India’s election cycle will always remain religion. And anyone trying anything other than that will eventually fall in line. Kejriwal has proven that and underlined it by not doing the most obvious thing expected out of him after a communal riot – showing concern, asking for accountability, stepping up to the occasion by visiting charred localities and meeting victims.

Kejriwal has resorted to what the Congress did post Gujarat riots in 2002. When the Congress came back to power in the Centre in 2004, it did nothing to help out the victims. And it cost the Congress heavily in the 2007 Gujarat Assembly election after Modi spoke of ‘Gujarat pride’ and won easily that year in the state’s assembly election even after Sonia Gandhi called Modi a ‘maut ka saudagar (merchant of death)’. And the domino effect of the silence of Congress in 2002 was seen in 2014 too. The Congress did not speak of the injustice done in Gujarat openly since it was in power at the Centre and didn’t want to push accountability for something it apparently had no control over. This is the same justification that the AAP is trying to use to absolve itself of any responsibility in the Delhi riots.

Just how 2002 set the ball rolling for Modi who brought communal politics to the forefront and fashioned himself as the penultimate Hindu leader, so will 2020. Hindus-vs-Muslims is here to stay as an election agenda.

Only time can tell whether Kejriwal will be able to dodge this bullet. But one thing is for sure. He is repeating the mistakes of the Congress. And that can cost him dearly.

The author is a political observer and writer. Views are personal.

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50 COMMENTS

  1. History repeats for those who do not learn from the past.kejriwal is no exception.
    Unfortunately with all his smartness he is playing into BJP communal politics.
    He should have been boots on ground on day 2 of riots.He should have rejected fir plea on kanhiah and friends. Costly mistakes,hope he will learn and rectify, before it’s too late.

  2. I think the author would have been happy with Kejriwal if he had specifically targetted Hindu rioters only. She conveniently misses Godhra train burning as well as people like Tahir Hussian whose preparations show that riots were a planned affair by anti-CAA lot who expected Kejriwal to specifically aid them. The author is not at all concerned about citizens, only about Muslims as others are Wajib-ul-Qatl.
    Shekhar Gupta is good and objective but ThePrint has a horrible and very one-sided second line of journalists and analysts.

  3. “why vote for Kejriwal at all? What is he doing differently from the BJP? ”

    Kejriwal is the only mainstream politician in India whose campaign focuses on education and health. The number of Indians who die due to inadequate health care is thousands of times more than the number of Indians who die in riots. Education and health are not only worthy ends in themselves but also help develop human capital, which in turn is the best tool to ensure economic development. Economic development in turn leads to true secularisation i.e. de-emphasis of religion in public life. How many riots have occurred in developed countries? The religious demographic in South Korea changed completely post WW2 but there were no major social disruptions.

    The vitriolic of BJP has been accepted by masses because of the failed developmental model of Congress. The antidote to the religious hatred and polarisation is development of human capital not abuse of BJP and chanting secularism as a mantra. Kejriwal is trying to develop human capital. How successful he is or whether his education and health strategies are well-developed or not is another question.

    • Exactly,sir.It is anti Hindu,anti Modi and pro Muslim so also it’s contributors. Gupta seems to be in their clutches, some how.

    • I have nothing with Kejriwal what he has done for Delhi is good, people are happy(though he talks about he is the only one that can develop the country, which is not true)

      Failed development model? I see, so what has BJP done to develop India. As you know to much of “History” you would know that Dr. Manmohan Singh saved india from Economic crisis by his budget, when he was in power he signed a nuclear deal with US, promoted girl education infact did things to implement the right to education on a major scale. And many more

      But what has bjp done by their so called “extraordinary budjet”? Nothing. The economic growth slowed down. And talking about capitalism, who is benefited by it. Yes, the rich. (The same way that happened in mexico in the past).

      Talking about secularism, Secularism is also achieved by stopping the people with non-secular ideas. And who has shown this non-secular ideology? yes the current government.
      May it be CAA or triple talak. (triple talak is a Muslim’s religious belief and it is stated in their holy book too, so interfering with other religious beliefs is not the right way unless and until the Indian chief incharge(priest) of that religion wants a change)

      Also this protest on CAA that is going on also violates Article 14 of the Fundamental rights.

    • To summarise my point, yes the human capital is the only way to stop the riots, as you can see before 2014 there wasn’t any violence on religious grounds but after 2014 these violence increased and still increasing so what does this tell us about the relation between ruling party and human capital (human capital of the ruling party)? The proportion between them is vast. Hence the only way to stop these violence is if the people who support non-secular ideas are dethroned.

  4. Muslim Muslim Muslim Muslim Muslim Muslim Muslim Muslim Muslim Muslim Muslim Muslim Muslim Muslim Muslim Muslim …….but Hindus and BJP must be secular.

    Keep walking Zainab (arab name, not even Indian) !!

    • The leading party should be secular. The BJP member, now CM of UP said things like “Hindus and Muslims can’t coexist” “ if you kill 1 of us we will kill 100 of them”. These are not the statement to be made by a party which is ruling India. Thus promoting violence on religious grounds. Secularism as stated in the the Preamble should be followed.

  5. 1. If it is said that interests of the Muslim community in our country must be protected, question is whose responsibility is it? I say that let everyone be clear about a basic truth, which is that secularism will succeed in our country only by protecting interests of all communities and not by appeasing the minority vote banks. 2. If what author of this article says is true, it is obvious that our political leadership cannot protect interest of the vast number of poor Muslims because this section of our society has been used by greedy politicians in vote-bank politics. 3. No big research is required to support what I have said. Just a cursory glance at the economic conditions of the huge number of poor Muslims in States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, etc., is good enough to prove my statement. 4. I think that our political leaders, irrespective of their political affiliation, have to ensure that all the poor whether Hindus, Muslims, or of other religion, get equal opportunities to increase income and thus make economic/social progress. That will make our society more equitable. 5. My incidental observation is that the Muslim leadership in India has vested interest in ensuring that all poor Muslims, particularly women are not exposed to modern education and democratic practices. While on one hand, the poor in Muslim community have remained poor and uneducated, on the other hand Muslim leaders belonging to Congress and regional parties like BSP, SP, JD(S), NCP, etc., have amassed wealth. This is a very unhappy scenario which must be challenged by the Muslim community.

  6. We are Indians and we all are brothers and sisters.
    Please don’t divide us on basis of colour, caste etc. Killing one another is killing your own brother and sisters, if anybody doubt on this than check your DNA we are from one family. We must unite and work towards the progress of our country and keep the caste and religion upto person level only.

  7. Arvind Kejriwal is the best for me and he will he can bring peace in this world It you educated people do favour to Arvind Kejriwal
    Arvind Kejriwal is the messenger for humanity
    He promote love not hate like BJP
    Amit Shah is tadipar you all know
    BJP is using religion and few are enjoying the cake
    Once you have any awareness about riot you will get better knowledge of the riot

  8. You (what name to be given)all are psychopath who have Modi phobia.you people(extremist,news people, fundamentalists, leftist)are exposed&your funds source are stopped after Modi came to power,so your ho-hallah is genuine,but why do you try to indulge Kejriwal (who is doing some right steps due to blessings of’ Bajrangbli’)in your gameplan.so avoid creating consipiracy bcos this will not help in removing Modi sarkar

  9. Poll after violence failures sign and symbols created heaven became Hill only purpose of Mafia Raj central politics But before whenever goes yours Play 💳 reports wrosted proforma or Best proforma not only Capital NCP is 🏭 reset. Later and 🍽 whole nation occupied thosed Regional Party accept Central… Monopoly Politics!!! 👌

  10. Everything has reaction. If you ignore one side, other side will either be up or down. You are no different from communal. BJP can’t be communal.

  11. Everybody from different political parties seem convinced that the movement against CAA along with NPR and NRC was planned by external forces with the help of internal forces inimical to security and integrity of India. It was clearly meant to create a mass civil disobedience all over the country by initially putting forth ladies and children holding national flag and Constitution in their hands and then escalating it to higher level eventually leading to paralysis of Central government. In the process, if violence occurs somewhere, so much the better for the cause. The plan was to show the world how much right wing and fascist the Modi government is and that it needs to be thrown out in the interest of Indian democracy.

    No sane person will find anything objectionable and adversely affecting any Indian citizen in CAA. Therefore, beyond lending initial token support to it, Congress or TMC or other parties withdrew from the scene. Kejriwal is as good a (or even a better) politician than those who he was supposed to replace and he played perfectly by that logic and chanted Hanuman Chalisa.

    Besides, it is a matter of serious concern that say starting from Kanahiya Kumar’s JNU event in 2016 till 2020, many incidents have repeatedly occurred in and around Delhi where suddenly a few anti national elements gather from nowhere, create mayhem and vanish. In the national capital, around a few kilometers away from the seat of Central government, occurrence of such incidents regularly indicates that intelligence is failing badly. Amit Shah needs to sort this out quickly; otherwise the country may have to pay very heavily for this lapses.

    So the issue is much deeper and sinister than what Zainab is trying to portray.

  12. Secular is not appeasement politics..secular means treating all religions equally .If you promote appeasement to seek votes it brings hatread between communities.Here too you forgot to highlight tahir hussain an AAP..mla..who was charged with murder of Ankit sharma.an IB official. .Hatread promotes violence .

  13. Politics, thy other name is opportunism. Every one seems to have played his/her assigned role during the recent Delhi riots. While these riots would always be remembered more as the key administrative failure of both the Delhi govt and the Centre but it’s no use crying over the split milk now. However notwithstanding the ongoing blame games, the entire matter ought to be thoroughly investigated into by the CBI within a stipulated time frame instead of the local police for some obvious reasons. Let the cat be out of the bag and all those found guilty of not only igniting these most condemable riots but adding more fuel to the fire thereto should also be handed out some exemplary punishment. For God’s sake, no self serving cover up and no politically convenient victimisation of any one.

  14. We do not expect impartial journalism from many like you. Hope your all get well soon.

  15. Arvind Kejriwal’s bad days have just started. First he did nothing to during the riots and secondly, he sold out Kanhaiya Kumar in a false case after winning elections. If he had to do it before elections, he knew that AAP wud never win in Delhi. Basically he played safe and that is called opportunist politics. Not good for his image.

  16. I had lot of expectations from Mr Kejriwal , but his indifference towards Delhi riots and contradictory and unethical stand in Kahaniya’s case, simply indicate that he is no longer a sympathiser of humanity and has preferred to become unprincipled politician like others. Supply of free water and electricity do not absolve him from his moral responsibilities.

  17. Kejriwal also know that he can not get succeed for third term and there is no point to take any path which is criticised by central authority Hence it is better to work along with their line and loot the exchequer keep happy to front line leaders of his party

  18. Now it has become very clear that Kejriwal is a pakka RSS man.muslim community should realise at least now that all are of the same mentality as BJP.cannot be believed to anybody.

    • He shouldn’t have increased the free money given to your stupid mosque imams. Just have some common sense idiot

  19. Its very sad that a platform like telegram you are using for your hypocrisy. You will be a muslim only and cant be a human being. I tell u, rioters have no religion. Dont try to be a scapegoat. You can’t see anything beyond your kaum and urself. That’s the only thing people like you know. Scholars like you, igniting hatred in every society. Common people has nothing to do with religion or caste. They just follow society what you make.

  20. Dear zainab.
    Its very sad that a platform like telegram you are using for your hypocrisy. You will be a muslim only and cant be a human being. I tell u, rioters have no religion. Dont try to be a scapegoat. You can’t see anything beyond your kaum and urself. That’s the only thing people like you know. Scholars like you, igniting hatred in every society. Common people has nothing to do with religion or caste. They just follow society what you make.

  21. Kejriwal is no alternative to Congress. He did nothing for Muslims, who voted en mass for him. You did not speak about riot victims, which included both Hindus and Muslims. You conveniently forgot Tahir Husain and his elaborate riot preparations.
    You are issuing threat to Kejriwal that support rioters (Muslims) otherwise you will not get muslim votes.
    These lines echo your communal approach and you should be ashamed of your hypocracy.

    • it-cell out in numbers to try and say that Hindus suffered as much as Muslims -that is rot! you might have hidden the truth in remote Gujarat but this was Delhi.

    • According to the author, it is not clear what should Kejriwal have done? Doing anything might have either emboldened Tahir Hussains for for more actions, or germinated more Tahir Hussains out of spite. The police is not under his control and workers are volunteers, not a regiment which can march to riot hit places to placate people at their peril. Tolerance of Shaheen bagh also showed that he does not want to meddle into somethings which is not in his polity. And, I would opine he has done the right thing by drinking politics from religion.

    • Very truly said. The Delhi police is not under Kejruwal . So what did the author expected from Kejriwal, I wonder.

    • i read the article first and then looked at name of the writer -no wonder there was a communal bias

  22. ARVIND KEJRIWAL PLAN B OF RSS – HE SURRENDERED DURING LOKSABAH ELECTION FOR BJP AND RSS NEED HIM IN PICTURE-AND WHERE EVER ANY VOTERS ANGER AGAINST BJP HE WILL BE ABLE TO SPLIT ANTI BJP MOMENTUM -IT DISTRACTING PEOPLES’ ATTENTION FROM CONGRESS PARTY

  23. Zainabji, you are doing a perfect job serving as a mask of the islamists. The islamist plot is very clear. First unleash the women and children to block the roads hoping to provoke a police reaction from the government. When that did not work, the islamists unleashed the violent mobs on Hindus on the day Trump landed, hoping for full blown communal riots. Your mind is so grotesquely perverted with hate that you do not see the islamist plot unfolding in front of you, but try to shift the blame elsewhere. You and your ilk are worse than the rioters on the street. You know what you are doing.

    • Stop this drama of accusing people of blocking the roads. It was the Delhi and UP police who blocked the roads so that the protestors could be blamed. Hindutva mobs were escorted by the Delhi police into the streets from parts of UP. Police are the main culprits behind the massacre sponspered by the BJP who themselves orchestrated the anti-Muslim riots and are now blaming Muslims for it.

  24. Kejriwal is a lonely king without warriors soldiers time protect his people he is only a administrator of Delhi does not have police men under his control. He can’t command even a constable as it is under home minister control rest of the story you know

  25. Both Hindus and Muslims died in the riots and even Muslim politicians like Tahir Hussain were seen organising riots . but the author is silent about the Muslims. Muslims started Godhra train burning but she accuses Modi of Gujarat. Had there been no Godhra, there would be no riots either. Let me remind her Muslims also started Great Calcutta Killings in 1946.

  26. Why should only Hindus should carry the burden of ‘secularism’ and Muslims should always be Muslims only?

  27. I find your headline and assumptive reasoning spectacularly “non secular”. Did Kejriwal let the Muslims down? Or is it that he let the citizens of Delhi down? It is the latter – is it not? Why single out “Muslims need saving?” By doing this you strengthen the hands of people who have called out this apparent hypocrisy in the establishment since 1947.

    Indians need saving – Indians of all hues, caste, religion, creed et al need saving from the 2 headed monster that is the BJP – not just Muslims who voted for AAP overwhelmingly. And by using the voting logic – you verily underline the fact that the Muslim community is indeed a political entity which can readily be accessed by political parties to win elections and a entity that is willing to trade its votes for favorable decisions benefitting themselves over and above the national interest. Where then is the spirit of shared responsibility, democracy and secularism?

  28. The use and throw of Anna Hazare, the tacit tie up with Congress in his first stint, the sacking of Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav etc etc was not enough for Smt Sikander to open her eyes. It has taken 42 deaths for her to finally realise that Shri Kejriwal has only a “I, me, mine” agenda. I wonder how such people become journalists.

  29. I feel deep pain when I look at Mr Kejriwal. During the election campaign, when pragmatism, even opportunism, scores over idealism, one understood his need to avoid emotive issues, which in any case lay outside his constitutional powers. However, the popularly elected CM – by a landslide, for a second / third term – has let down the citizens of Delhi. As the list of victims shows, that includes both Hindus and Muslims. How much informal / moral influence he has over the LG and CP, one cannot judge. Were they completely unresponsive to his pleas for effective intervention, he and his entire army of AAP leaders and party workers should have fanned out over the city, standing / squatting between traumatised victims and attackers. Acted as a shield, left no one in any doubt where their sympathies and duty lay. Just another politician, eyeing the main chance. No one should be taken in by his sweater or muffler.

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