After the 16 December Delhi gangrape, for a whole afternoon, TV channels went beserk with a video clip playing on loop -- that of Kejriwal being dragged away by the Delhi Police from outside 10 Janpath, the residence of Sonia Gandhi. After a year, a successful election run and upon assuming the chair of Delhi's Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal has again descended on the streets of Delhi. He is back to his avatar of a defiant Opposition.
Announcing a 10-day sit-in protest in front of North Block, Kejriwal on Monday lashed out at Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and the top brass of the Delhi Police.
The fiery speech that started out with bashing the police in general, at once changed tune for the simple fact that the foot soldiers are aam aadmi too. And the result was visible. The personnel who were surrounding him with grumpy faces chuckled and smiled as soon as Kejriwal made it clear that it's a protest against the corrupt.
"There are honest men in the police force. One personnel died a few days ago while tackling an illicit liquor selling group. The Delhi government will pay one crore rupees to his family. All the honest policemen should come join this protest," he said. The crowd swelled.
But beyond cap wearing AAP supporters, the messages of Kejriwal and the dharna did not bring much happiness to the aam aadmi of Delhi.
Central Delhi was on a standstill throughout the day causing much harassment to commuters. "How can a responsible chief minister do this? If he is protesting for the rights of the aam aadmi, then what am I?" said Rashmi Yadav, who was stuck at the Central Secretariat Station with her three-year-old child for an hour.
The protest venue, being the location of most government offices and ministries, made thousand of commuters travel on foot today for more than three to four kilometers, because both, the Patel Chowk and Central Secretariat Metro stations, were closed for hours. And those who suffered unanimously expressed their displeasure.
"Why are the common people being subjected to inconvenience for a parties effort to stay politically relevant?" Asked Manit Sharma, a commuter on the Delhi Metro.