Question: Is this not a publicity stunt? He earns more than 2 lakhs/month, an ex-IRS officer and currently CM of Delhi still he doesn’t have common etiquette to meet a guest who is a president of his nation?
Answer: No, boys & girls! Mr. Kejriwal was at the President’s dinner at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, not a friend’s birthday party in a restaurant in Hauz Khas. Every member of the defence, has to follow strict rules in dressing up. The President is the supreme Commander of all of these forces. He is, for all intents & purposes, above politics & ipso facto, the law. The chair demands some amount of respect.
While dressing as per one’s convenience is a question of personal liberty, some places are above personal preferences. Even the way you tilt your head means a lot in matters of international relations. It’s not the visitor’s prerogative to dress the way he likes. There are very strict protocol for dressing up in certain countries’ state heads’ presence.
Making a display of wealth is perceived wrong, but making an much more blatant display of austerity is much worse. Anyway, I have written a letter to Mr. Kejriwal. Here’s a copy for your reading:
The Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi
3rd Level, Delhi Secretariat
I.P. Estate, New Delhi – 110002
Dear Mr. Kejriwal
I’m a businessman from Visakhapatnam. My city will host the International Fleet Review this weekend. Such events are held to show our capability & build “bridges of friendship” with other nations. The event will be attended by delegates from around 60 countries. Chances are that you might get an invite, too! This thought alarms me, which is the main reason I write to you today.
Sir, we know that the President of France (François Hollande) was India’s guest of honour in the Republic Day this year. I avoid the “Bahut Krantikari!” mainstream media at all costs. So, this Sunday, while scouring the internet for news, I came across an article saying that you met Mr. Hollande at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, in the presence of the Hon’ble President of India, wearing sandals! It broke my heart to see you like this. I’m deeply aggrieved. It’s sad that the Delhi Government does not even provide proper footwear to its employees whereas even micro scale industries (such as mine), with their lifetime budgets far lesser than Delhi Government’s daily budget, provide boots to their labourers free of cost!
Therefore, as a responsible citizen (& prudent businessman), I took it upon myself to rise to the occasion & help you. I initially had plans to contribute some money from my own pocket. However, since I’m against donations to any political party, I decided against it & followed your footsteps instead. I took to the streets to gather money to fund a pair of footwear for you. Due to time constraints, I could only go to every flat in my own & 2 adjacent buildings.
Sir, like you, I’m a Mechanical Engineer too, albeit not from an IIT or other similar reputed institution. Like you, I’m a Marwari (baniya) too. But unlike you, I lack the raw charisma of the common man from the streets. So, despite earnest efforts, I could only gather Rs. 364/- (Three Hundred & Sixty-four Only) for you. Though such a modest amount is not enough for a Chief Minister, I believe any amount is good enough for the someone who claims that he has no shoes despite having a monthly salary of “only” Rs. 2,10,000/-. [refer P.S.]
Sir, I know that this is a very small amount, but it is the result of the effort of an entire Sunday afternoon of hard work. I had initiated the collection with an initial contribution of Rs. 49/- (as a tribute to the number of days in your First Term). Also, I paid the DD commission to the bank to avoid affecting the collections. I humbly request your good self to kindly accept this small contribution & use it to buy a nice pair of black formal shoes. Should you need any more money, kindly write back & I will go around the block (& the entire city if need be) asking for more.
Sir, certain protocols have dictated our democratic set up & international relations since time immemorial. Though you (a self proclaimed proud anarchist) might have no regard for them, it is strongly recommended that you maintain dignity with foreign delegates. Like Hon’ble President (Pranab Da), you too, were representing the country that day at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, not staging a dharna at an Aam Aadmi Party rally at Ramlila Maidan or Jantar Mantar. You’re a grown man. Please act according to the situation & dress for the occasion.
Before I conclude, I feel obligated to remind you that some Presidents (such as Sri KR Narayanan) had mandated dress codes for their guests. If you do not mend your ways, the Rashtrapati Bhavan might revert to invitations such as this one to all of us:
I hope you will honour my humble request. Live Long & Prosper!
P.S. After the recent self awarded 400% hike in your salary, you now draw Rs. 2.1 Lakh from the taxpayer’s exchequer every month – the highest in any state of the country, much higher than even the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India (Sri Narendra Modi), whom you seem to hate with so much passion. While I understand your concern about a hypothetical situation for him when he encounters the President of the USA (Mr. Barak Obama) [“Kal ko Modi Obama se miley toh kya bolenege?”], one can only imagine how embarrassed you will be if the matter comes up during a Centre-State dialogue.
Encl.: DD # 596203 for Rs. 364/- drawn on State Bank of India payable at Delhi.
Receipt # EN320831765IN