From what I've heard about Arvind Kejriwal's personal style (from those who know him personally) he is an extremely undemocratic person. In particular, once he has made up his mind, no one can change his mind. He makes a sham of "listening". A pretence. In particular, he does NOT engage with anyone who questions his approach.
I don't know how far these allegations are true, but this much is 100 per cent true, that Arvind Kejriwal – despite his promise to reply to my emails and to read my book – after I made the effort to go and meet him, has not responded even once to my emails.
He has surely been busy but it is IMPOSSIBLE for someone to be so busy that he can't reply to at least 10 emails over the course of over four months. That too, after promising to engage through email!
It does appear that Arvind Kejriwal is STUDIOUSLY AVOIDING me, since I am honest and clear enough to question his approach.
Had I fawned over his ideas, he would have surely been keen to get me on board.
At least that's the tentative conclusion I've drawn. That's not a good look, Arvind.
Under these circumstances, it is hard to stomach his alleged "appeal":
"Arvind Kejriwal asked the public to suggest a name for their political party, its structure and manifesto" [Source].
Is this an HONEST appeal? I'm not sure.
I've already explained to Arvind a NUMBER of things over email and through blog posts (apart from the 20 minute meeting I had with him in February).
In brief, he should NOT talk about forming a party without making clear what it might stand for. And Lok Satta already exists. There are others, as well.
Party means NOTHING. Only ideas matter.
I'm going to send this blog post by email to Arvind, and suggest that:
a) He commit publicly to only ONE goal: liberty, with accountability
b) He commit to INTERNAL DEMOCRACY (i.e. he will ONLY have ONE vote and his competence will determine how far he rises in the "party")
c) He commit to philosophical agreements and detailed policy being agreed by ALL those who'll contest elections under the banner of liberty.
That, by the way, is precisely what FTI is doing. It is a 100 per cent democratic body, committed entirely to liberty and good governance, and is working out (among its members, being those who'll contest elections) the relevant philosophical agreements and policies.
This is hard work, Arvind. It is not as simple as saying: "I've written a book Swaraj, now you all just follow me".
Sorry, Arvind, you and I can (along with 1000s of others) actually reform India's governance, but not if you are going to make a PRETENCE of consultation.
I don't think you are serious. You have NOT BOTHERED TO EVEN RESPOND ONCE! How can that be!
I've been in this space of political reforms in India since February 1998, nearly 14 1/2 years now, and have seen one failure after the other due to shabby strategic thinking.
Your attempt to bulldoze your "Swaraj" on India will fail.
You MUST begin this journey by realising that you have virtually NO IDEA about good governance and good policy. You haven't spent thirty years studying this subject. You are a novice. Admit it. Humility is the first step.
Then learn. Then debate. Ask questions.
I'm NOT asking you to accept my ideas uncritically. Challenge my ideas. Make me prove why they are relevant and sensible. Then make up your mind.
In any event, you must not rush into this business of politics, at pain of failure. You will fail. Even I will oppose you if you continue down the socialist, undemocratic path you seem to have chosen.
You must pause and undertake a serious DEBATE.
If you are HONEST about your stated goals for India (not for yourself!) then you'll respond now, to this blog post (email) and will stop talking about starting a new political party till the basics have been hammered out and organised.
Are you HONEST, that is the key question now.
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