New Kind of politics
Arvind Kejriwal has brought in a new kind of politics and invigorated India’s jaded masses, panelists at NDTV’s Solutions summit today agreed, though they sounded a note of caution on the danger of “regressive economics.”
“The fact that some basic issues have been used to mobilise people in a political way is a very positive step,” Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said, talking about the “Kejriwal phenomenon”.
Dr Sen commented that Mr Kejriwal had done the right thing by entering politics, a move that led to his public split with Anna Hazare, a man he called his guru.
“What Anna Hazare did was not right…outside the legal system…It was good for (Kejriwal and others) to join politics,” said the noted economist, attributing Mr Kejriwal’s success to the “total failure of all political parties” in doing what a government should, in creating educational and health opportunities.
Mr Kejriwal, 45, and his Aam Aadmi Party scored a stunning debut in the Delhi election by winning the second lead in a triangular battle with two mainstream parties. The party is now considering offers of support from the Congress and the BJP, and may be in a position to rule the capital.
Former union minister Arun Shourie, however, warned, “If that kind of person forms a government, economic policies can be regressive.”
Infosys mentor NR Narayana Murthy lauded Mr Kejriwal for demonstrating that “with a few powerful messages, you can win elections with very little money”. But he also had this advice for the taxman-turned-politician – “You have to accept and practice compassionate capitalism – combining the good things of capitalism and socialism.”