Who is the Kim Kardashian of India?
My answer will surprise you. It’s Yogendra Yadav.
No one knows what he is famous for. He is supposed to be an expert in predicting elections but is typically outperformed by a parrot in a cage by the name of Meethu. For some time, he became part of AAP’s band of revolutionaries, but there is only so much holier than thou posturing even Kejriwal can tolerate, and he found himself like Robin Uthappa let go by his franchise, for the very same reason: swinging his bat too much without making a connection.
He now is found in every discussion on NDTV, wearing a costume last seen being worn by Nana Patekar in Ghulam e Mustafa, standing in front of a banner of a party called Swaraj Party, a party whose only member is himself, the political equivalent of a male engineering student’s romantic circle. His voice is very soft and buttery, like a compounder telling you the tetanus shot won’t hurt, and he peddles solutions which can be summed up as “Let’s tax the middle class more” and the government should spend more and that this country is intolerant.
In a recent declaration (he and his fellow intellectuals love declarations and manifestos, more than someone with project manager certification loves making project plans) penned with worthies that include India’s premier Nehru family fan fiction writer, he went full Mao and proposed that the government be given the right to take over private property in a post covid world . This seemed like a honest mistake of being honest, a galti se Freudian slip, which he corrected by rephrasing it as government should look at revenue streams other than taxation, which to be honest, isn’t much different, given that you already revealed what your true intent was.
But I give him this. He was possibly not referring to coming over and taking your money. His sights were higher. He was talking about forcibly grabbing away things his ilk want to be grabbed away: temple funds which the government does have control over, corporate profits made by those he thinks finance BJP, sapping their capitalist mojo through the instrument of nationalization ( these guys hate nationalism but love nationalization in the way I hate Manish Tewari but love Manisha Koirala), and by doing this, taking away the power of those he considers the “enemies of the people”.
The tragedy is not what Yadav feels, after all everyone is entitled to their opinions, their prejudices, and in his case his fantasies. The tragedy is that this man is consistently provided a platform. And that itself grants him the validation he needs to continue as a public intellectual, the mutually recursive authority argument: he is famous because he is on TV and he is on TV because he is famous.