Monday, May 2, 2016

Anatomy of an Obsession


Delhi's full-time film critic and part-time Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made a name for himself in the arena of political theatrics - from his 370 page long "proof" against former CM Sheila Dixit to his hit-and-run tactics, and even his silent apologies for the inevitable defamation law suits. He has never been one to indulge in subtleties, with full-page ads across newspapers from Kanyakumari to Imphal, extolling himself, all at the cost of Delhi's taxpayers. Recently, he has decided to turn troll-in-chief as well, and his target is (as usual) Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

But this is where the lack of subtlety is showing more than ever before. Truth be told, it seems Arvind Kejriwal is deeply obsessed about the Prime Minister. India has over two dozen Chief Ministers, some of them managing populations that are smaller than that of Delhi's, but it seems to be only Kejriwal who finds the time to nitpick about the PM. That is not to say that other CMs do not comment on the PM - they absolutely do - but it is related to substantive policy issues, or matters of law. Even Nitish Kumar, who handily defeated the BJP on the back of Lalu Yadav's massively caste-based campaign last year, has expressed his opposition to the PM through an alternative vision he seeks - a "Sangh-mukt Bharat" as he put it.

But not Kejriwal. From finding fault with the PM's e-Rickshaws in Varanasi to blaming the PM for anything and everything that happens in any little corner of Delhi, Kejriwal is always looking for ways to bring in a Modi angle. Even at the height of national outrage over the AgustaWestland scam that involved the Gandhi dynasty itself, he chose to blame Modi. Of course, after his infamous posters asking Modi to let the Delhi Government do its job, this should not be a complete surprise. And while it does take skill to spin everything around one person, it also takes one more thing: a sociopath's obsession. A criminologist would be able to sight all the signs: a singular obsession for a person, ignoring one's own work and life to stalk the person in question (on Twitter, in this case), continuously seeking that person's attention despite never getting even a hint of it. Need I say more?

Kejriwal's obsession for Modi may be traced back to his record-breaking defeat in Varanasi in 2014. Before that, the man's theatrics were more broad-based, which would make him obsessive or stubborn, but not a sociopath. After that came a few months of dejection, with the knowledge that AAP's bets has failed. But after Kejriwal's massive victory in Delhi, he has gone, as they say, full retard. Now he sees no one else - there is no corrupt Lalu, or Afzal-supporting Kanhaiya, or biased journalists. There is just one man - Modi. He is now Kejriwal's entire world. He is his obsession. 

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