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If I can just give to the world more than I take from it, I will be a very happy man. For there is no greater joy in life than to give. Motto : Live, Laugh and Love. You can follow me on Twitter too . My handle is @Raja_Sw.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The @ArvindKejriwal interview at @abpnewstv - My thoughts (written on 26/07/2015)

  1. (This was originally posted on Storify and has been copied here due to Storify shutting down its content creation and access services).

    I've always found interviews of Arvind Kejriwal interesting. I've watched many of them, on various channels, in English and Hindi, at different points in time - and have always been impressed. You may, or may not, agree with his point of view, but he does seem to me to be a compelling interviewee.

    It was therefore with great interest and anticipation, that I watched his interview last night on a new show "Press Conference" with ABP News. The format of the show was that he had to face questions from a bunch of journalists, instead of just one anchor. These journalists were with assorted media affiliations, so it was, in a sense, like a typical press conference.

    It was a 1 hr 4 min show, anchored by Dibang of ABP News. It started with an introduction of Kejriwal, one that had a few snippets that I wasn't aware of. For example, I didn't know Kejriwal was inspired by Mother Teresa and had spent two months at her Kalighat ashram.

    Anyway, as the interview went on, I got the impression - yet again - that Kejriwal was doing what he does best in interviews. Answer each question with a straight bat, not beating around the bush. To his credit, Dibang, as anchor, gave him sufficient time to answer - something we rarely see in one-on-one interviews (and something that really annoys me!).

    I tweeted a bit after watching the show. Although my tweets were random, I thought I'd compile them here in a Storify series. Here's the video, followed by my tweets. And then, some thoughts.



  2. One thing bothers me. In a ONE hr intw, not one QN abt women? e.g. nobody asked @ArvindKejriwal why his cabinet has no women? @abpnewstv

  3. Many women see @ArvindKejriwal & as perpetuating India's age-old patriarchal mindset. Would've liked a question on this. @abpnewstv

  4. While I give @ArvindKejriwal full credit for how he answered the qns put to him, I think the questions could've been better. @abpnewstv

  5. Interestingly @ArvindKejriwal himself requested to be asked abt Delhi's DEVELOPMENT topics. But interviewers chose not to. @abpnewstv

  6. Also, got to give credit to @ArvindKejriwal for doing this with @abpnewstv at all. Channel ran a biased story on his govt a few days ago.

  7. Good qn to @ArvindKejriwal was on the 526cr publicity budget. IMO, he answered it well though critics will be unconvinced.:-) @abpnewstv

  8. Glad @ArvindKejriwal clarified the "thulla" comment and apologised to any honest police force who might have got offended. @abpnewstv

  9. For me, the most significant part of the interview was at 15:30 in the video. 

    Dibang : "Arvind, what you are saying is nothing new. This is how the system is. And you have not been voted into power to change the system. If you had, that should have happened during Lok Sabha elections. That is where change happens".

    (ASIDE: I found this a rather strange observation - that the "system" can be changed only through Lok Sabha elections. In my opinion, a "system" can ALWAYS be changed if there's commitment to do so. Put differently, you can have the same "system" with different governments in power. Or you can have a different "system" with the same government, if it really believes in change).

    Kejriwal's reply was clear: "We have to change the system." 

    YES. I can't agree more.

    I believe this is also a big reason for resistance to Kejriwal. He's fighting a system, one that's been embedded for decades and has been hostage to several powerful vested interests. These are not going to just sit quietly and allow him to do his thing. They will do all in their power to destroy him.

    This is probably THE biggest reason I still admire and support Kejriwal. For sure, he has his weaknesses - but then, who doesn't? Most of us sit as armchair critics and expound on all that is wrong - how many of us have got into the muddy waters of politics and taken on the powers-that-be? Tried to change the system?

    He might not be successful in his efforts. Only time will tell. The "system" is SO strong that it might consume or, even subsume him. He might become laughing stock for those who already have sharpened knives and don't miss any opportunity to mock him. Some of these were once his supporters but are now disillusioned for various reasons. Who knows, his entire support base might get eroded if he fails in his efforts.

    As for me, after seeing decades of traditional, non-accountable, politics, I am happy to back Kejriwal for now, though I do feel pain when he makes mistakes. And he will continue to make them. Everyone does. But I haven't reached a stage of disillusionment yet. I tend to give people a long rope - especially when they take on challenges of this magnitude.

    The one thing I feel Kejriwal could really do with, is a set of wise advisors. Currently his team might be enthusiastic and even sincere - but wisdom is a critical (and sadly, rare) attribute. The most enthusiastic and sincere people could take the most disastrous decisions if they lack wisdom to guide them along the way. Just an observation.

    Even if Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) do end up letting me down (as many have told me, is bound to happen), I will take it on the chin. It wouldn't be the first time - the Janata Party already did that to me in the late 70s. But just because that MIGHT happen in the future, is no reason to not back him now.

    Besides (and I keep asking myself this), if not Kejriwal and AAP, who can I expect a change in the "system" from? The entrenched parties? Congress? BJP? From the evidence so far....sorry!

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