Mistry, Kejriwal against Modi: Implications of the Varanasi battle

Madhusudan Mistry--621x414Meet Mr. Madhusudan Mistry, one of the General Secretaries of AICC, close aide of Rahul Gandhi, party in-charge of Kerala, Karnataka and one of the old guards of INC in Gujarat.

Meet Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, ‘The Aam Admi’ of India, the comet that once took the capital by storm, the person who is just not vocal against the Congress atrocities, namely, the leader of AAP. I’d further like to call him the messiah of aam admi empowerment.

The string that connects these two men is Mr. Narendra Modi. Both of them are contesting against this BJP powerhouse. One from Baroda, the other from Varanasi. Even in naked eyes the battles look of different characters.

Battleground Baroda

Mr. Mistry’s fight is against Modi. In every sense, the battle is against Narendra Modi. It’s a simple equation of forces. With Modi and his pan India image,  the electoral contention looks terribly one sided. So be it. The INC has maintained the dignity of their prime opposition by selecting a decent name.

Battleground Varanasi

Kejriwal VaranasiVaranasi is the inflexion point of this 2014 LS election. No wonder. The story has taken a new twist with the intrusion of The Aam Admi. Mr. Kejriwal arrives in a train. He looks calm, composed, and confident. He shyly waits for Varanasi to invite him to contest against Narendra Modi.

This is where all the power equations stop working. Election time is a strange time for India. We see new allies emerge, old guards fade away, ionic bonds turn into covalent ones. In this context, Mr. Kejriwal has asked us questions; he has taken the electoral battle to a new threshold level which cannot be merely encompassed by David vs. Goliath allegories.

It is obvious that BJP has not been able to move away from their notion of communal politics. Modi sees the Hindutva in Varanasi. On the other hand, Kejriwal doesn’t explicitly avow Hinduism, he succeeds the more liberal Hindutva. He invokes holiness, but not in the sense the RSS would.

There is a silent battle going on between the said and the unsaid. “Modi se chunao larna, woh toh ek chhoti cheez hya”, these were Kejriwal’s first words in Varanasi. And these words not just answers the curious reporters, it also raises a fundamental question. Who is this common man of Varanasi that he seeks to empower? Is it that chaiwala who carries saffron flag in a BJP rally? May be Modi and Kejriwal are unimportant names. Modi has stormed into Varanasi with the confidence that his Gujarat oozes. Kejriwal, on the other hand, poses the threat for a closer inspection of Modi, his politics, his credentials as a PM candidate. Kejriwal’s candidature is thus purely symbolical. Let us not be naive. Modi’s organisation is like a fortress in Varanasi. Kejriwal’s Varanasi journey is merely a pilgrimage. But this journey is a new dimension in this electoral democracy. Does power remain frozen at the top or it melts to coat an entire hierarchy? These remain unanswered.  And the choice stays open to India, what sort of decent socio-political ideas India chooses to live with. This is what happens when a billion votes, with the twinge of dramatic turns.

Mr.  Arvind Kejriwal has chosen the correct node, if there exists an alternate political doctrine against Modi’s school of politics, the examination has to start at the origin. If Modi is the one to be defeated, he has to lose on his own turf, namely, Varanasi.

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