Wednesday, 17 October 2012

AK 47 and His Guerrilla Tactics

A post that starts with such a wacky title should have some justification for it. But this is not my own invention I have merely borrowed what I have heard being spoken about one Mr Arvind Kejriwal. Today India Against Corruption came out all guns blazing against the BJP. It must be remembered that Ms Kiran Bedi separated from Mr Kejriwal on his decision to target all parties not just the ruling Congress on their corruption record. Ms Bedi's difference may have been that of tactics rather than any particular favouritism but that just proves the fact that while Ms Bedi wanted to snipe at the ruling Congress for the time being Mr Kejriwal had made the decision to assault everyone who was suspect across the political spectrum.

The assault has so far been successful in hitting anyone who hasn't been adequately protected. But then who could possibly be adequately protected? The only protection that existed was the unwritten rule that goes "you scratch my back and I will scratch yours". Mr Kejriwal is an outsider who perhaps did not receive favours from anyone in particular and so can shoot whoever he wishes whenever he wishes and  at whatever pace he wishes. The pace can be fast because the targets are many and the evidence is probably ready pickings with so many disgruntled individuals willing to provide them. This makes him as deadly as the famous 'Avtomat Kalashnikova' assault weapon.

Now with the question of his lethality settled lets visit the aspect of his tactics. He has been employing what has been widely described as a 'shoot and scoot' or 'hit and run' tactics. With the limited resources he has at his possession he cannot be expected to organize large rallies in the hinterland of the country. He cannot fly his members cross country in helicopters, distribute printed material or use any of the traditional means of spreading political message that the political parties use. He had to reinvent his tactics to suit the size of the problem he is facing and keeping in mind the limited resources he has at his disposal. IAC is incapable of getting hold of one issue and taking it to its logical conclusion. Conventional methods did not work for them. They tried to get lokpal bill implemented but they failed at that. Now he need not take anything to its logical conclusion. He simply has to fight a war of attrition with the established players by using the guerrilla tactics which are at the least cost to him and IAC, and cause discomfort to his political opponents which are in fact, the entire political establishment.

The medium of his attacks is the news media. Sensational exposures are the bullet he fires. His target of choice are the public figures with questionable records of probity and that explains the title of this post.

PS: Here is an interesting cartoon that appeared in the Hindu on 18th/Oct just a day after I wrote this post. It is very much on the lines of what some people are saying about Mr Kejriwal: AK-47

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