Aesop’s Fables needs an urgent new entry to its long list of parables for the future of humankind: That of Arvind Kejriwal and Tampered EVMs.
So, here goes. Once upon a time, there was a wily politician called Kejriwal. One day, driven by ambition, Kejriwal tried to reach electoral grapes hanging high but could not reach them in spite of leaping with all his strength.
As he went away, lips stretched in a forced smile, moustache bristling with dejection, nostrils flaring, Kejriwal remarked: Oh, the democracy isn’t ripe yet. The voting machines are tampered.
The parable needs to be recounted again and again because there is a twist in the classical tale of the Fox and Sour Grapes. Unlike the fox, who was wise enough to give up after just one attempt, Kejriwal keeps having his sour grapes moment. He keeps leaping for grapes way beyond his reach and, after failing, comes up with the same excuse again and again.
Moral of the story: Even a fox knows, when you can’t get the vine, don’t keep repeating the same whine.
But, Kejriwal is different. His repeated whine of elections being fixed due to tampered EVMs makes him look like a walking advertisement of repeated post-facto stupidity, a person who learns his lesson only after repeated mistakes.
Here is why? Kejriwal claim of EVMs susceptible to tampering is as old as the story of sour grapes. He made the same claim after the BJP’s victory in elections to local bodies in Maharashtra and Gujarat, his party’s loss in Punjab and the electoral verdict in Uttar Pradesh.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. PTIDelhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. PTI
So, even when he knew the fruits of electoral win were not yet ripe for him, why did he leap for them in the Delhi Municipal elections? Why did he not demonstrate polls in the Delhi Assembly that EVMs could be tampered before his party was trounced in the MCD polls? If he knew that a loss was a fait-accompli, why did he not hit the streets against EVMs, demonstrating the alleged malfunction, instead of contesting an election he was destined to win?
The answer is simple: The fox wants the vine, but Kejriwal loves just to whine.
One of the good things about Kejriwal is that he has the single-biggest trait for leadership: The ability to always find someone to point his finger at every time he makes a mistake or leaps too high. When faced with fire, like a courageous leader, he has the extraordinary ability to find someone else to hide behind.
Cometh the hour, runneth the man. In 2014, when he lost the Lok Sabha elections, Kejriwal was quick to blame Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan for misguiding the party and sending it to its electoral Waterloo. When he and his knights continued to belt out speeches even when a farmer was hanging from a tree in the background, the Delhi chief minister blamed the media and the police for not allowing him to run to the farmer’s rescue.
When the AAP candidate lost his deposit in the by-polls to the Rajouri Garden Assembly polls, he blamed it on Jarnail Singh’s ‘bhagora act’ — not EVMs, please note, or his own obsession with ambition — of abandoning the constituency for Punjab. And now, true to his principle of ‘will-make mistakes but always cry sour grapes’ he is hiding behind EVMs.
Why did Kejriwal not pre-empt a defeat if it was as certain as Baahubali murder by Kattappa? If his engineers had cracked, like Robert Langdon, Da EVM Code, why did he not grab a few on his own and game them to ensure every vote goes to his jhadoo? Especially when Kejriwal seemed to be aware which EVM would be moved from where and placed at which polling booth? Sounds far-fetched? Well, if he can publicly smuggle one into the Delhi Assembly, what could have stopped his volunteers from surreptitiously hacking a few before the elections? If the BJP and the Congress could do it in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, if the Trinamool Congress could, presumably, do it in West Bengal, why couldn’t Kejriwal swing it his way?
The answer is simple. Kejriwal is trying to conjure a farrago of excuses, lies and fantastic claims to divert attention from charges of personal corruption. He is maligning one of the most sacred institutions of Indian democracy to prevent his image from getting maligned. The malware, obviously, is not in the EVMs but in Kejriwal’s moral values.
It would have helped Kejriwal more if instead of resorting to convoluted theories about voting machines, he would have bravely faced charges of corruption and come out clean. If, instead of “demonstrating” in the Assembly that EVMs could be tampered, he would have proved the Kejriwal conscience, the famed anti-corruption credentials, are tamper proof.
But, Kejriwal has unfortunately failed to learn from Aesop’s Fables and created his own tragicomic parable of old whine in same bottle.
To borrow the title of another classic, Kejriwal would soon taste the bitter grapes of wrath of the public
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