There is no room for doubters, haters and baiters in the Kingdom of the Messiah. Ever since he emerged on the political firmament, first as the Man Behind Anna during the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement, Arvind Kejriwal has sparked extreme opinions. This slight, simply dressed man, with a disarmingly,There is no room for doubters, haters and baiters in the Kingdom of the Messiah. Ever since he emerged on the political firmament, first as the Man Behind Anna during the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement, Arvind Kejriwal has sparked extreme opinions. This slight, simply dressed man, with a disarmingly direct way of speaking, has singlehandedly created what his biographer and IIT Kharagpur classmate Pran Kurup calls India’s most successful start-up. Kejri, as his IIT friends used to call him, is earnest, quietly forceful and unbelievably virtuous. Understandably, that is upsetting to a country used to the tall poppy syndrome-if you can’t beat him, discredit him.So it is with pleasure one notes that Kurup has not shied away from addressing the problems inherent in the Aam Aadmi Party, which emerged in full public view like a pillow fight gone mad after the party returned to power in Delhi last year. He outlines the reasons. The Bhushans, who gave the seed money for the start-up, wanted hands-on control-to the extent of criticising Kejriwal’s choices and trying to “manage” the chaos in a party that is built from the ground up by volunteers, many of them young and idealistic, never a very longlasting combination in a country made cynical by its venal politics. Kurup points out Kejriwal’s lack of communication with his two key stars, Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, allowing differences to fester and grow. He notes AAP’s trigger happy social media team which often spares little time or effort in vilifying anyone who speaks their mind. And he highlights Kejriwal’s hands-off style of management, where work is delegated to trusted aides and attended to only in crises, of which there have been several.He also offers a road map for survival, constantly invoking the Silicon Valley jargon he seems familiar with, complete with corporatespeak from CEO gurus like Andy Grove (let chaos reign, then rein in the chaos). AAP, he says, is a start-up which has now entered its growth phase, and having been built from open source politics, has to continue to innovate to thrive. Their mantra isn’t easy to follow-direct transparent funding, open candidate selection process, decentralised decision making and strict rule of law.advertisementIt isn’t easy in India, especially if you believe in the George W. Bush logic that those who are not with you are against you. Kurup shares his friend’s distaste for the media, which he feels has been unfair to AAP, a trait Kejriwal has in common with Narendra Modi. This imagined victimhood of those in power is a political tactic most used by Indira Gandhi, and for two leaders in the 21st century who promised positive politics, seems most out of place.Kurup doesn’t tell us much about IAC’s often controversial associates and less than immaculate conception, but it does humanise the Delhi chief minister. Who knew the future member of the Technology Drama Society at IIT Kharagpur first showed his acting smarts when asked to play Gabbar Singh while being ragged. Or that he can be quite a sport when it comes to being ribbed by former classmates at a weekend in Goa. Or that while he was working in a slum during his Parivartan days, he actually lived there for a while to better understand the environment.Kurup’s book is as much a tribute to Kejriwal’s charisma as it is to the volunteers drawn to his anti-corruption crusade. As elections to Punjab, AAP’s next hunting ground, draw near, there is much to learn from a man who fears nothing and embraces everything. For a politics hobbled by predictability, it is good to have the hope and possibility of an unknown unknown.