School of Thought

In Modi and Kejriwal's game of degrees, Indian voter's the biggest loser

Institutions have a sanctity that individuals cannot be allowed to tamper with, howsoever irresponsible the individuals are.

 |  School of Thought  |  4-minute read |   10-05-2016
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In and outside television studios, Delhi is witnessing a theatre of the absurd. A chief minister who spends 90 per cent of his time, energy and resources on matters outside his purview as CM, seeks through RTI details of the educational qualifications of the prime minister. What should have ideally been furnished immediately, does not happen, thereby giving arsenal to a bloodthirsty Kejriwal.

The CIC directs Delhi and Gujarat universities to furnish the details. Both universities are strangely still reticent. Copies of PM's degrees get leaked to friendly newspapers. As the clamour for his degrees gets whipped up in social, anti-social and mainstream media, instead of the universities, the BJP decides to make PM's degrees public in a high-power press conference addressed by Amit Shah and Arun Jaitley.

kejriwal_051016013044.jpg Arvind is precariously close to getting exposed.

Why were two powerful leaders of the BJP posing for a selfie with the PM's degree is beyond the comprehension of Lutyens' observers.

Through this one pose, they lent to Arvind Kejriwal more weight than he possibly deserved and to the issue more airtime than it deserved. The fact that two senior leaders did what should have ordinarily been done by two PIOs of Gujarat and Delhi universities, shows either nervousness in the ranks or a high degree of sabotage at work.

If he was governing well, people would not be interested in his degrees - genuine or fake. Social media is agog with glaring anomalies in the degrees and marksheets, including an incorrect totalling of marks.

The Gujarat unit of the Congress had gracefully raised this issue several years ago. It could not get much traction for two reasons a) Jal Tarang cannot compete with a drum and b) because they were not equipped with a 526-crore media budget. Newspapers in far-flung Puducherry carry the notorious advertorials of Arvind Kejriwal.

One cursory glance at his career and one realises that Arvind needs to constantly remind himself - in the recently uttered words of Arun Shourie - that he can conquer. For the leader of a party who is still recovering from the Tomar saga, Arvind looks cute attacking the PM on his degree.

Arvind Kejriwal can be safely termed as the first troll who got elected.

As an IRS officer, he showed no interest whatsoever in the job at hand but started working in Kabir Foundation and then Parivartan until he secured the Magsasay Award. He then graduated to aim at NAC and when that didn't happen, he joined Anna Hazare's Janlokpal movement, while all along the idea was to become the chief minister of Delhi.

Nothing wrong with the ambition, except that when he became CM, he escaped to Varanasi to become PM. When that didn't work, he reluctantly returned to Delhi, and is now confused whether he wants to be CM of Punjab or Goa, as he bides his time for 2019. Do not be surprised if his next agitation is to demand permission for one man to be the CM of two states.

All through the trajectory of his career, the aim has been politics and not governance. Sooner or later, unless garbed in ideology or delivery, all politics gets exposed for what it is. Arvind is precariously close to getting exposed.

It is shameful for the country that its prime minister is being accused of faking his degree and is actually being suspected of forgery. And that a chief minister is denigrating the office of the prime minister is worse for the federal system. There were not enough voices of protest when he called the PM a psychopath and a coward.

Why is the controversy being allowed to reach this stage where even a channel like Times Now is forced to cover it? Why did the universities not furnish the degrees immediately after receiving an RTI application?

And if the PM's degrees were so holy that they could not be desecrated by clerical hands, and had to be released amidst rituals, why weren't they made public amidst fanfare, with chants of "Modi Modi" at a public event either in India or any country of the PM's choice? Perhaps, when Barrack was visiting or on the traditional Gujarati jhula with Xi Jinping?

Institutions have a sanctity that individuals cannot be allowed to tamper with, howsoever irresponsible the individuals are. This controversy must end. And end now.


Pawan Khera Pawan Khera @pawankhera

Political Analyst working with the Indian National Congress

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