Person of the Week: Arvind Kejriwal


Person of the Week: Arvind Kejriwal

Illustration: Juergen Dsouza/ Arré

Move over undercuts and lumberjack beards, we have a new trend. It’s called “Accidentally Insulting the Martyrs” and all the cool kids are doing it. This definitive trend of the season has the knickers of newsmen, politicians, and actors in a real twist.

Among the leaders of this movement are serious actor Om Puri, serious politician Sanjay Nirupam, and Rahul Gandhi. But for taking the movement to a new high by being so exceptionally accidental and earnest with his insults, our Person of the Week is none other than Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Have yourself a shot of cough syrup because this party is about to get lit.

Kejriwal is not invited to teen patti parties anymore because of his tendency to play the victim card. So for a change of flavour, he thought he’d actually praise the government. He thought he’d win some brownie points if he avoided directly asking for proof of the surgical strike and instead “saluted the Prime Minister” and lauded the “great bravery” shown by Indian forces. He added a tiny bit of advice for the government in the end, asking them to counter Pakistan’s misinformation campaign, by providing proof.

Big mistake. This was going to be a textbook lesson in how to have your arse handed to you.

Predictably, people took only the second half of Kejriwal’s statement and ran with it, because really, nobody can brook a sanctimonious Dilliwala. The same people who were born to call Kejriwal an idiot on the internet, were now accusing him of being an evil genius for the way he had questioned the army and the government in this most subtle manner.

Sadly, Arvind Kejriwal will never rise on the troll food chain. He was once again picked on for being the pot who called the kettle black.

The tirade against him went on for days but Kejriwal insisted that he really loved the Army and our country. Unfortunately, he was inaudible over the sounds of Arnab Goswami having a “civil debate” in another city. He had, after all “Accidentally Insulted the Martyrs” and would be made to pay.

Kejriwal is like a basketball player whose hands are tied behind his back – he’s constantly getting hit in the face. He’s had eggs, chappals, and stones thrown at him; he’s even been slapped in public more than once. So when a few dissenters wanted to figure out the perfect way to “defend their martyrs and country” they didn’t have to think much. And so, this time, they threw ink at him.

All of this dovetailed beautifully with the Pakistani troll agenda, who promptly issued a new hashtag. On Thursday, #PakStandsWithKejriwal was the top trend at our next-door neighbours’. There, he was winning hearts for being India’s only honest politician (old interviews and statements were taken out of context as proof). Here, the trolls were only too happy to put him on a train.

Poor Kejriwal just can’t seem to catch a break.

But if there’s one admirable quality about the Delhi chief minister, it’s that he refuses to give up. A man of lesser resolve would have accepted by now that he would forever be the champion of the “Accidentally Insulted the Martyrs” movement. But not Kejriwal. He was ready to go all-out patriot on everybody’s ass.

Opportunity presented itself in the form of fellow trendsetter Rahul Gandhi, who called out the BJP for politicising the strikes with their propoganda posters. He used the words “khoon ki dalali” which angered the BJP. A lot. Kejriwal barely skipped a beat before issuing a statement, simultaneously supporting the BJP and targeting Rahul Gandhi. He chastised Gandhi for politicising the strike by talking about another party politicising the strike, ignoring the fact that they are all politicians.

Sadly, Arvind Kejriwal will never rise on the troll food chain. He was once again picked on for being the pot who called the kettle black. At this point Arvind Kejriwal’s going to have to ditch his muffler for a cape, fly across the LoC, and conduct a few surgical strikes of his own to make people forget this gaffe. And he must do this while simultaneously eradicating corruption, not upgrading his car, and figuring out a way to protect his face in public.

Maybe then he will be able to regain his #LolKejru status.