Arvind Kejriwal vs Nitin Gadkari: Indian politicians and their art of communication

Arvind Kejriwal and Nitin Gadkari

Former Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Admi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal has been summoned to court as an accused in a defamation case.  This is particularly interesting for a number of reasons. For starters, in the politics today it is virtually impossible to tune into any news channel and not hear a politician from any party happily slandering their opponents name over everything ranging from the missing water bottle on his nightstand to the Bhopal gas tragedy. One can easily go to the extent of saying it appears to be our indigenous political format.

While no one is denying that politicians from other countries are also villainous and self-serving with a particular flair for focusing on the destruction of their colleagues, they do it with a sense of suave calculation. Subtle yet elaborate planning goes into bringing down their counterparts. But here in our motherland we are of a rather different disposition. Our politicians hold nothing back, hurling all the abuses learnt since childhood at their ‘esteemed’ rivals. One might even call it admirable.

Unlike the witty two-faced yet polite games played by politicians against each other in other countries, we in India are honest and direct. If our politicians have an unpleasant opinion about someone to air, air it they will! Going far enough to tell you what they think of your fathers and their fathers before them. So when our Union Law Minister calls a group of activists ‘Gutter snipes’ it doesn’t seem to shock anyone. It’s afterall the law of the land by popular tradition if nothing else.

Therefore we are somewhat flummoxed that ex-BJP chief Nitin Gadkari has seen fit to file suit against Kejriwal for simply calling him corrupt. We would expect at the very least a hearty reply and a full frontal assault on Kejriwal and all he stands for. And all this for simply being called corrupt? It seems like overkill. After all calling a politician corrupt in India is like telling a dog he sheds fur. It’s not about to enlighten someone about facts they were previously unaware of.

It is quite sad to see Gadkari is assaulting our trusted ways. It brings into question his Indian political spirit. Here’s our advice to Mr.Gadkari: Go to your nearest bookshelf, locate the book that’s says “Oxford Dictionary” on the side, put together a list of the strongest words you can find, then make a public spectacle throwing all said words at Kejriwal and his common sense. After all, it is tradition.