Irony commits a million suicides every time Arvind Kejriwal speaks or tweets.
The Delhi chief minister has turned into a skillful exponent of selective amnesia, exclusive outrage and about turns. Such is his penchant for quickly forgetting his own words and deeds that it is a miracle that Kejriwal has not yet been recommended him for a role in a sequel of Ghajini or Memento.
On Tuesday, Kejriwal added another opportunistic hyperbole to his already impressive list when he called Dalit student Rohith Vemula's suicide a murder and blamed, like always, Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the tragedy on the Hyderabad campus.
“It’s not suicide. It’s murder. It’s murder of democracy, social justice n equality.Modi ji shd sack ministers n aplogoize to the nation,” the Delhi CM tweeted early on Tuesday.
His 'suicide-not-murder' routine is almost an encore of the AAP's theatrics after the death of a girl during an anti-encroachment drive by the Railways in Delhi's Shakoor Basti in 2015, which, again, was blamed on Modi and his government.
Compare the Delhi CM's outrage and Sunny Deolesque pronouncement of tabadtod (instant) verdict with his reaction to the suicide of Rajasthan farmer Gajendra Chauhan at an AAP rally in August 2015.
When the farmer hanged himself in full view of Kejriwal & Co, did the Delhi CM break into a bout of self-flagellation, blaming himself for the 'murder', hanging his head in apologetic shame? No, Kejriwal instead belted out a rousing speech in the backdrop of the dangling corpse. Later, he ordered a magisterial enquiry into the death in a bid to deflect the blame to Delhi police and the Centre's policies.
This is not to argue that Kejriwal was responsible for Chauhan's suicide. By all indications, the farmer's death was an accident and at best Kejriwal could have been accused of insensitivity for continuing with his rally in spite of the tragic incident. And it is poetic justice for those who had wanted Kejriwal's head to roll then to be standing in the dock for Rohith's death now.
But, Kejriwal's instant verdict on Modi and his government reeks of hypocrisy and opportunism, two traits that are turning into synonyms for AAP brand of politics.
Consider for instance the breast-beating within the AAP after a woman threw ink at the Delhi CM. Attacking, humiliating anybody is a reprehensible act and deserves condemnation and punishment. As senior journalist Shekhar Gupta tweeted, ink/shoe throwing is the acid attack of public life. And tougher laws are needed to deter thugs and vandals from perpetrating such violence.
But, the AAP should have looked at its own glass house before casting stones at others. After all, wasn't it the AAP that made such vandalism politically rewarding when it gave Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha tickets to journalist Jarnail Singh, whose only claim to fame was arguably his act of throwing a shoe at former home minister P Chidambaram?
Mr Kejriwal, you can't run with ink throwers and hunt with shoe hurlers without exposing yourself as a Janus-faced politician with multiple ideologies and philosophies that sway with the political wind.
It is true that most politicians wear several masks and are masters of multiplespeak. But, the flaws that could be easily forgiven and ignored in others look ugly on Kejriwal because he professes to own the high moral ground and claims to be holier-than-thou.
It is a pity that Kejriwal routinely hangs his own own image on the long rope of opportunism and hypocrisy.