But he has never criticized, leave alone oppose, the communal incidents such as the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992, the state-sponsored genocide of Muslims in Gujrat in 2002, attacks on Christian in Orissa or even the more recent riots in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts of Uttar Pradesh where more than 60 people were killed and 60,000 people uprooted from 185 villages.
Prashant Bhushan, projected as secular leader from AAP, advocated the formation of a government with the support of the BJP instead of the Congress in Delhi. He has also made the ‘grand comment’ calling the CPM corrupt. Yogendra Yadav, another secular leader of AAP, has termed the CPM as opportunist. They refused to make an alliance even with Samajwadi Jan Parishad (SJP).
Kejriwal himself has ridiculed the idea of a third front on several occasions with which an alliance cannot be made. The point I would like to make is that a neo-liberal person or party can never be truly secular.
The ‘truth’ about Gujarat’s development, upon which Kejriwal has based his criticism against Modi, has been enumerated time and again by several scholars and activists. The RSS was very much involved in the making of India Against Corruption (IAC) and the anti-corruption movement held under its aegis.
Kejriwal’s guru Anna Hazare had first heaped praise on Modi. ‘Holymen’ like Ramdev and Shri Shri Ravishankar have been his counterparts. Furthermore, Kejriwal is emulating the same mish-mash of religion and politics that Modi is practicing in Varanasi.
If, despite all this, certain secularists are proclaiming Kejriwal as their leader, it is because they need a new leader to protect their class interests just like the Congress has done till today. The social and economic elite do not like the parties or the leaders of what is considered to be the third force in Indian politics.
Some of them do wish for the communist parties to come to power, however they see no real possibility of it; but neither do they want to work towards a communist revolution. They merely want to be in control of various institutions as they were earlier. Kejriwal, therefore, is the new political hero of the self-seeking middle class.
About the author: Dr. Prem Singh is a former fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, teacher of Hindi at Delhi University and General Secretary of Socialist Party (India).