My son, you belong to me..
45 years young, Arvind Kejriwal became the 7th chief minister of Delhi State in India as the head of the 13 month old Aam Admi party (The common man's party). People are full of hope for at last they see a glimmer of change for the better.
Many people call him a maverick and a significant majority of Indians are in awe of Kejriwal. Sadly his former mentor Anna Hazare does not appear to be one of the awestruck.
It is true that two years ago not many Indians knew of Arvind Kejriwal, when he became a member of the core team of Anna Hazare during the nation wide agitation and fight against rampant corruption.
Kejriwal's principled and courageous yet dignified approach propelled him into the limelight earning him nationwide admiration and support. It also exposed him to the world of seedy politics as practiced by many Indian political parties and leaders.
Anna Hazare, amazing in his own way seeks to influence change through the existing political players seeking to only tweak the current system. Kejriwal believes that most of the existing political parties and their leaders are incorrigible and therefore cannot be changed by appealing to their goodness if any.
Kejriwal believes that the bureaucracy and government functioning needs a complete overhaul. Change according to Kejriwal has to be brought about from within and not from the outside of the political setup, so participation in the political process is a compulsion.
Anna continues to protest and raise awareness and Kejriwal much against Anna's firm opposition has spurred the people beyond thoughts and words into action and thus plunged into politics. Anna and Kejriwal have parted ways, both seeking the same holy grail of a better future for India and Indians but by different routes.
Kejriwal has always been gracious and respectful of his former mentor, but sadly Anna who demonstrated great heat and passion for political change remains cool towards Kejriwal and his achievements.
Anna even accepted the lokpal bill as proposed by the Congress led UPA government in the same form to which he and his team were vehemently opposed earlier. His endorsement has given a desperately sought fig leaf credibility and lifeline to the Congress party, thus saving the Congress party from almost total political annihilation. They now thump their chests as the shining example of virtue and integrity.
Anna claimed that Kejriwal was no less than a son, should logically feel proud and happy that his protege has evolved so brilliantly effective in delivering on the cause that Anna himself has championed.
Mentors invariably symathise with a protege's failures but it requires a great mentor to symathise with a protege's success.
Many people believe Anna accepted the watered down bill just to spite Kejriwal, who wanted a lokpal bill which would have more teeth. Had Anna supported Kejriwal and stuck to his own beliefs, would have driven the stake right through the hearts of corrupt politicians and government servants. Anna's actions have unwittingly given strength and undeserved respectability to the tainted and the unscrupulous while weakening the appeal of Kejriwal to the people.
History is replete with great people who commit blunders many of them fatal for a movement. Could it be that Anna allowed his displeasure with Kejriwal and his own ego to blind him to reason and thus done a great disservice to India after contributing so much to the people? Only time will tell if Anna has been wise and the half measure Lokpal bill will cage the beast of corruption which is devouring India from the inside.
In all this there is a lesson for us to learn on parenting and mentoring and I draw upon the wise words of the noble Lebanese philosopher and poet Khalil Gibran.
"Your children are not your children.
They come through you but not from you. And though they are with you they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday."