Arvind Kejriwal has founded the “Aam Aadmi” Party. However, what Kejriwal has come to symbolize is so distant from the average Indian that it is difficult to see him as an “Aam Aadmi”. On the other hand, Narendra Modi is a lot closer to the average Indian, and this is not just because of his OBC-Chaiwala background (though they are also significant) but more to what he has come to symbolize and his dealing with the emotive conflicts of the present day Indian Identity. Thus while Kejriwal may evoke a lot more admiration and reverence, Modi is a lot easier to identify with and hence conveys the impression that he is not just an idealist but a practical man who knows what he is dealing with and has demonstrated some ability of doing so. One of the significant struggles for the present day Indian is the conflict between sectoral leanings and larger Indian identity.
Thought I will take a break from my travellogue of China and tell you another story. I met a very dear and old friend the other day who I met some 22 years ago. We worked in the same organisation and in the same function for more than ten years. There was no particular purpose in the meeting, except to catch up with each other after a long time. We sat down with tall glasses of chilled ice tea in the Bangalore afternoon, in a laid back coffee place, watching people passing us by in a languid pace. After a bit of chit-chat, my friend looked at my face and said: “your eyes are looking rather sad, how come”? I was taken aback; for multiple reasons; first I did not think that my eyes were sad and secondly, my friend was never in a habit of being intimate either for himself or towards others.