If Dr Sigmund Freud had been around, he would have probably put Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on the couch.
Yesterday (15 December), Delhi’s Dr Fraud (sorry, that was a Freudian slip, we meant Dr Freud) put on his waistcoat and jacket and pronounced the Prime Minister a “psychopath”. Soon the word was the most used in media – both old and new, including social media.
The dictionary defines “psychopath” as “a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behaviour.”
To the best of our knowledge, few politicians can really fit this definition, but if one were to extend the meaning to “abnormal or violent verbal behaviour” in social media, the cap would fit Arvind Kejriwal reasonably well. Modi’s social media behaviour – though not that of his bhakts – has been exemplary to the point of being boring. Not so Delhi’s Dr Freud. He has been aggressively hitting out in all directions on social media and on TV, when given the chance. Wild accusations come to him naturally.
We can also consider the appropriateness of applying more psychological terms to the Delhi CM. Two, in particular, come to mind: megalomania and paranoia.
The Wikipedia meaning of the word megalomania describes it as a “psychopathogical condition characterised by fantasies of power, relevance, omnipotence and by inflated self-esteem.” While some of these could apply to almost all politicians in the public domain, it is obvious that Kejriwal fantasises more about power than Rahul or Modi, for whom the power is already real. Kejriwal sees himself as the next messiah after Mahatma Gandhi, which is why he likes to paint himself as the last honest man in India where everyone else is crooked. It is why he used and then discarded Anna Hazare, once seen as another Gandhian. It is why he talks of showing “kis mitti ka bana hoon”.
He thinks nothing of calling everyone names or branding them corrupt, but tut-tuts when the compliment is returned. In the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, when Modi jokingly referred to AK-47 and AK-49 in a speech in J&K (the AK-49 being a reference to Arvind Kejrwal’s decision to quit after 49 days as CM), Kejriwal suddenly turned holier-than-thou. The Hindustan Times quoted Kejriwal’s tweet-
Did Modiji call me an agent of Pakistan and AK-49? Kya PM ke daawedar ko ye bhasha use karna shobha deta hai? (Does it behoove of the PM candidate of using such language?)
It didn’t occur to him that calling the PM a “psychopath” does not do credit to a sitting Chief Minister either.True megalomania begins with thinking you are god’s chosen one to end sin on earth and considering the rest as sinners. Then consider the word paranoia. It is a “thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the pint of irrationality and delusion. Paranoid thinking typically includes persecutory beliefs, or beliefs of conspiracy concerning a perceived threat towards oneself” (Wikipedia’s words).
Now who goes around saying “sab mile huey hain” about the media? Who regularly accuses the Prime Minister or the Home minister of targeting him? At one point, Kejriwal accused Delhi’s Lt Governor or being an Ambani man, but when, at another point, a BJP MP demanded Jung’s ouster, Kejriwal batted for Jung, saying he is a good man with bad bosses. The real solution, said Kejriwal, was to get the PM to stop interfering in Delhi’s affairs.
Kejriwal, famously, claimed during his fast for the Lokpal Bill in 2012 that if he was taken to the hospital, he would be killed. He said-
Whenever the government tries to take someone to hospital while they are fasting, they die. I suspect a conspiracy by the government.
We can’t vouch for Kejriwal’s pronouncements on the mental health of the PM, but Dr Freud surely would have found many reasons to put Kejriwal on the couch.