Kejriwal denied entry, Kiran Bedi flaunted in Republic Day parade
By Faraz Ahmad
So Kiran Bedi has invoked the “Protocol” to justify the denial of invitation to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to witness the Republic Day parade yesterday January 26, 2015.
She’s mocked Kejriwal for being a “sob, sob” boy for crying over not being invited to rub shoulders with the high and mighty of the World, namely US President Barrack Husain Obama and a suitably suited booted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Damodradas Modi, with his name embedded in the fabric all across his 56” chest, lest someone may mistake him for Barrack Obama and vice versa, while the long retired Delhi Police officer turned out in a similar ensemble and sat among the Hoi Polloi demonstrating her preeminence amidst the Who’s Who of Delhi.
That also reminds me of Modi’s only sermon to the media at BJP headquarters on October 25, much hyped and lapped up by my colleagues as an interaction where I and the newspaper I was working for Lokmat of Nagpur, were pointedly denied entry to 11, Ashoka Road and when I wrote about Modi’s so-called interaction with the aspiring hacks, confined only to taking selfies starting with a TV channel anchor facing criminal charges of blackmail, my friends mocked my piece as sour grapes over being denied the opportunity to break bread with Chhappan Chhati. But we are currently on BJP’s chief ministerial candidate for Delhi.
Bedi is right in pointing out that the invitations are (or at least were) sent out in accordance with the protocol and perhaps in Modi’s scheme of things Kejriwal’s 49 day tenure as a former chief minister of Delhi was too short to be considered protocol worthy to sit in the VIP enclosure. Or perhaps Modi didn’t consider Kejriwal safe enough, after the AAP leader identified himself too strongly with the common man, to be allowed entry into the VIP enclosure. After all Modi has already pronounced Kejriwal a Naxalite and thereby declared him a threat to national security. It is another thing that by calling Kejriwal a Maoist, Modi has only exposed his own ignorance of political science. But who cares? He still has a huge following here in India and abroad including those semi-literate Sanghi boys from IITs sitting in the US of A frenetically posting on the social media the” wonderful achievements” of Narendrabhai.
But I have digressed again. We are on Kiran Bedi. So while she may have a point about ‘Protocol’ one wonders what protocol came into play when the invitation was extended to her. As a former Delhi Police Officer? Well there are thousands of retired Delhi Police officers, some highly decorated. Are they all sent invitations to the VIP enclosure? Definitely not for if that were to happen there wouldn’t be space left for even the Prime Minister, the President and the Chief Guest, leave alone the ministers and other VIPs.
Were they suddenly reminded of Ms Bedi’s Magsaysay Award? If that be the case, then Kejriwal deserved the invite as much as the one time IPS officer. Was she invited because she was a woman police officer and Modi wanted to flaunt before Obama how India showcased its women in the services, while denying them all the while a Permanent Commission, reserving this privilege only for their male counterparts. But if that be true, what about other well -known women Police officers from Delhi like Kanwalajit Deol and Vimla Mehra. No one saw them in that crowd.
No, it was Modi’s sly and surreptitious attempt to use the prime national event to publicise and showcase his chief ministerial candidate for Delhi, what with the polling due barely 11 days from January 26. That’s Modi’s ingenuous style of election campaign. And Narendrabhai has mastered that art, as no one else has.
And Kiran Bedi is using that to mock Kejriwal, saying, “See I have reached here even before the polling day, while you little wretch are still struggling trying to persuade those unwashed masses to vote for you.” Just shows how shallow this first Indian woman Police Officer has turned out to be. Must be an eye opener for my friends who lionized her when she stood along side Anna Hazare waving vigorously the Indian tricolor.