The Aam Aadmi Party would like to believe that the ‘ink attack’ on Arvind Kejriwal at Chatrasal stadium on Sunday is part of a much larger conspiracy.
“Aap log iss baat ka intajar kar rahen hai ki Arvindji ka katal ho jaye?...bada rehearsal kiya ja raha hai. Test kiya ja raha hai” (Are you guys are waiting that Arvind Kejriwal is killed?...Big rehearsals are taking place , tests are conducted), AAP leader Ashutosh told the media today. He added that's the way big assassinations have taken place.
So, what could be Bhavna Arora’s motive? Prime facie, she, like many other youngsters, appears to be inspired by the idea of transparency and probity in public life. Looks and initial ideas about anyone can be deceptive but her mode of public protest at Chatrasal stadium doesn't put her in the bracket AAP spokespersons want to place her. Is it Ashutosh's intention to let people speculate, all negatively, about the girl in her early or mid-20s?
The provocation for the alarmist statement was a question at his media conference as to why AAP was making such big fuss about the supposed lapse in Kejriwal's security when it had earlier opposed the security paraphernalia for him. The party now wants a highest level of security protocol for the Delhi chief minister. Though it's not saying it in as many words, elaborate statements ranging from Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia downward make it clear. It's true that it is the job of the security agencies to protect a public personality, an occupant of high constitutional post, or for that matter any ordinary citizen but why resort to such tactic to seek enhanced security for the Delhi chief minister?
The AAP leaders, what has by now become a settled practice for them, would not settle for anything less than a response from the prime minister. It doesn't matter that they have already blamed prime minister for the "security lapse". The AAP wants heads to roll in Delhi Police and the security establishment. But for that someone must explain for what crime or what kind of dereliction of duty. AAP says what if she was a terrorist? It linked the incident to Pathankot incident and so on.
That's, of course, an absurd argument to make. The AAP and Delhi chief minister are getting paranoid over a simple minor incident of ink-throwing. The question now is why?
Before anyone could ask questions about who the lady was and what were her grievances – she claims she was not allowed to meet the powers that be in the AAP establishment in Delhi – the party’s think tank decided to give the incident a spin. A conspiracy angle was found; the BJP was blamed for conspiring and conniving with the girl; and then it went to an absurd limit of a "rehearsal" for possible assassination of Delhi chief minister. Post the incident, the AAP is looking at a pattern, a conspiracy of sorts, by claiming that Kejriwal was not attacked during his journey to Punjab or on return from there after addressing a public rally.
Calling an incident of ink throwing as "ink attack" gives the impression that some kind of crime has been committed as in case of an acid attack. Ink-throwing gets status of an attack, which is suggestive of some kind of an act intended to cause hurt and violence. The IPC or CrPC does not have any provision to bracket it as attack and accordingly, book the person under existing provisions of the law who throws ink on another person of whatever stature.
Ink-throwing is an attention-seeking mode of protest, perhaps a step ahead of waving a black flag or shouting ‘murdabad’. Whether or not this should be taken as yet another mode of non-violent public protest is a matter of debate.
The AAP should remember that it chose Jarnail Singh, who hurled a shoe at then finance minister P Chidambaram at a press conference at AICC headquarters way back in April 2009, as its official candidate for 2014 parliamentary elections.