Why is Arvind Kejriwal angry at Modi

The hero of the Indian media threatens censorship

Arvind Kejriwal, the once celebrated anti-corruption campaigner in India, is losing support. Confronted with critical questions, Kejriwal recently broke the collar.

Arvind Kejriwal's steep political rise in India would not have been possible without the support of the media. TV reporters and newspaper commentators had enthusiastically sung about the anti-corruption campaign of social activist Anna Hazare and his colleague Kejriwal. The media hype contributed to the fact that the newly founded “Simple Man's Party” did surprisingly well in regional elections in Delhi in December and Kejriwal became chief minister. But the former tax officer quickly disappointed not only many of his voters, but also the journalists' guild. He showed himself incapable of tackling the problems he had denounced as an activist as a politician. Instead of ruling, he continued to threaten protests and hunger strikes, and declared war on the police and the electricity authorities.

Kejriwal resigned after six weeks. His party is now focused on the general election campaign and hopes to win votes across the country. The media are no longer blindly following their former darling and are starting to ask unpleasant questions. How does Kejriwal want to cut electricity prices in half and still guarantee a better supply? How does he intend to ensure law and order when his people silence opponents with clubs? Kejriwal is not used to such criticism. The 45-year-old recently said furiously that all media are being paid to praise the Hindu nationalists and their top candidate Narendra Modi. When his party comes to power, he will put all journalists behind bars.

Indeed, India's media are repeatedly paid for by entrepreneurs or influenced by political parties. Yet today they are more free than ever and Indians are rightly proud of the freedom of expression in their country. Since the state of emergency under Indira Gandhi, no politician has dared openly threaten journalists. Gandhi was voted out of office in 1977 for her authoritarian antics, and Kejriwal shouldn't get very far with that either.