There is a lot of energy right now around Aam Aadmi Party. Political atmosphere is largely chaotic. If Delhi State Assembly Elections had not brought the results they did, then Political Atmosphere in India would have been a lot more stable, predictable and in the direction of Optimism.
Today, people & political analysts are still trying too hard to make sense. The country is divided in two over views on AAP. Those in favor and those against it. That is a very natural thing as well.
AAP’s considerable newness does make people uncomfortable, not only with its presence, but also the support it has received. That is natural too.
Amongst those opposed to AAP, again there are two groups. One who take it seriously, amongst whom some are quite baffled by them, and then those who rubbish them, even today write them off and look forward to a completely different result in General Elections.
Media’s undue and extremely favorable coverage has done little to throw light on this AAP Phenomena. From the point of view of volunteered political bias towards AAP, media has done a fine job, but from the point of expected neutrality from media houses, whose very reason for existence is to show light on the dark alleys of Indian Public Life, Media has done a pathetic job.
As a matter of fact, Media’s conduct in post independent India has been a mixed bag, with more undesirable conduct than the desirable one and there is every reason to take away their Right to Operate under a Fundamental Right that actually belongs to Citizens of the Country and has been loaned to Press for the purpose of expressing Collective Voice of the Nation and sharing with the nation the information about the Public Affairs of the Country in an unbiased manner. Press Commission’s 1952 Report will shed more light on this expectation.
In such a Scenario, it only makes sense to share a personal view about this AAP Phenomena. My views are not only aimed at shedding some light but also at directing some sunlight on AAP. After all, Sunlight is considered a great disinfectant.
The Rot within the Country – The Infection
In 2004, when BJP scored badly in General Elections, due to multiple reasons, Congress took charge. What is now known as UPA 1, was Congress’ led Coalition Govt that ran the show between 2004-2009.
In 2007 & 2008, NP Durga of TDP, SS Ahluwalia of BJP, RC Singh of CPI questioned Govt on 2G Spectrum Sale.
After the Election in 2009, BJP tried to raise the matter of 2G Scam. On 23rd July 2009, Ganga Charan of BSP, Dr. V Maitreyan of AIADMK, Chandan Mitra, Rajiv Chandrashekhar & Arun Jaitley from BJP raised the issue of 2G Spectrum Scam.
In 2010, a conflict over business interest between Suresh Kalmadi & Times of India Group, led to disclosures on Scam in Commonwealth Games. Since, a media house was itself an adversely affected party, due coverage was given to the CWG Scam. Soon the CAG reported Rs.70,000cr Corruption in these games.
Thereafter, CAG brought out one scam after another – 2G Scam at Rs.1.76 Lakh Crore, Coal Scam at over Rs.10 Lakh Crore, Air India Scam, K-G Basin Scam, so on and so forth.
In 2010 itself, on the issue of Price Rise & Corruption, under Nitin Gadkari’s President-ship, BJP opened fronts against the Govt in the Parliament. With a compliant Speaker in Loksabha and compliant Chairman in Rajyasabha, BJP could make little headway in the Parliament. Eventually, BJP was left with only one option to mark its protest and attract the attention of the Nation to failure of Govt machinery, Price Rise & staggering size of Corruption.
The protest started to spill out. Nitin Gadkari led roadshows in various parts of India. BJP started putting details of Scams one after the other in the public domain. During this period, apart from roadshows attended by 1000s of people in every city, BJP released booklets that carried details of various scams uncovered by then.
In the meanwhile, BJP also released the 2nd Report of the Taskforce on Blackmoney stashed in Swiss Banks, prepared by a formidable team of S Gurumurthi, Ajit Doval, Prof R Vaidyanathan & Mahesh Jethmalani.
The entire country felt the Rot in Governance in India. On one side, Inflation was eating up savings and making life unaffordable, Govt’s taxation policy was adding to public’s pocket from one side and extracting double from the other side, petrol prices were continuously peaking up (more on surcharges rather than price of Petrol), on the other, the news of mega-corruption in 2G Spectrum sale, CWG, S-Band (Rs.2 Lakh Crore) etc. and Govt’s refusal to act on offer of cooperation from Germany etc on tracking Corruption Money stashed in Swiss Banks was totally demoralizing the Country.
Demoralization of a country is a very big thing. It means there is a huge trust deficit between the Citizens of the Country and the Govt of the Day. It is a sign of extreme weakness in the Country and creates a fertile ground for enemies of the Nation to act against such a country’s National Interest.
During this period, Dr. Subramanian Swamy took the matter of 2G Spectrum to the Court and the high-profile arrests that followed attracted media’s entire attention to the goings-on in 2G Scam. Public memory being short, BJP’s struggle against Price Rise & Corruption were soon forgotten and an impression was created that BJP played the role of a Weak Opposition.
The fact however was that when blocked in the Parliament from raising its voice, BJP refused to give in and brought the attention of the nation to the matters of Corruption through jamming of Parliament Sessions. That was the only way BJP could get “some” attention from media on these issues.
Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi led Public Account’s Committee and faced severe opposition going to the extent of alleged man-handling by Manish Tewary and his ilk, when Dr. Joshi refused to give-in and made the submission of a damning Report on 2G Spectrum Scam & Recommendations, at grave personal risk.
Public also forgot about BJP’s hardwork because a feeling of victory was setting in, on account of high-profile arrests in 2G Spectrum Scam case, as well as later, in CWG Case. So, while BJP did everything to bring people’s attention, it was seen weak on account of getting such high-profile arrests made. This was a very natural reaction.
Over the years, all these high profile arrests resulted into nothing. All those arrested under preventive custody have been released and live a fairly peaceful life.
Birth of Diversion, the Vehicle for Worms – Lokpal Bill
Anyway, public was agitated, arrests were happening, Congress & its corrupt allies were under severe attack. Congress tried various tricks from its Century & a Quarter old book to quell this anger. Aruna Roy, in NAC, proposed an Old proposed-law that proposed an office of Ombudsman to look into cases of corruption. Since its conception in 1963, recommendation by 1st Administrative Reforms Committee in 1966 and first introduction in 1968, Lokpal Bill, in its various avatars had failed to be enacted and ended up lapsing everytime with the end of tenure of Lok Sabha. Its final and possibly the most powerful shape was given by BJP in its 2001 Draft. The Bill was however sent to Standing Committee and then met the same fate of lapsing.
Lokpal Bill was a masterstroke. In one single stroke, the Country bought the idea of a ram-baan ilaaj (one medicine for all the illnesses). Public was tired of public scrutiny. Congress on the other hand succeeded in getting public’s attention off the details that were being poured into the upright CAG of the time, Shri. Vinod Rai.
As public started to miss out on specific, detailed and gory details of corruption, the discussion around corruption became more misdirected, vague and therefore, ineffective. What else did Congress want?
So much so, that in spite of Lokayukta Report on misuse of money by Sheila Dikshit Govt, in spite of Shunglu Committee Report, in spite of CAG Report on CWG, Congress managed to set aside all investigation in to CWG, along with the 2G Spectrum Scam investigation.
Public in turn was busy singing the song for Office of Lokpal, conveniently forgetting that anti-corruption bureau, CVC etc had all been brought in with similar fan-fare and ultimately, been so dependent on the person in the Chair, that they were effectively rendered ineffective. Compliant folks found way into such offices.
For e.g., while Pratyush Sinha was a tough CVC who made some serious investigation into 2G Spectrum Scam during his tenure, Congress tried to place a pliant Officer P J Thomas who was himself an accused in an old Palm Oil Scam case, as the next CVC.
Public conveniently forgot that it was all the way BJP’s Opposition to P J Thomas’ appointment as CVC, including sharing details of his own corruption with Indian Public, that led to ouster of that shameless man.
Wriggling worms take birth – Arvind Kejriwal
Arvind Kejriwal, an ex-IRS Officer, who has a psychological disorder that disallows him from focusing and concluding on any single task that he undertakes, took leave from Income-Tax Dept, seemingly to campaign for RTI. Harsh Mander & Aruna Roy were his mentor.
The urgency for RTI cannot be understood. But yes, before he participated in RTI, he does seem to have received some favor from Sonia Gandhi. This was about staying within Delhi NCR Circle of Income-Tax Dept.
The urgency for RTI is difficult to understand because a Law called Freedom of Information Act, 2002, enacted by BJP already existed and under this notification for Voluntary Disclosure of Information were already in place with various Ministries & Depts. Of course, Sonia Gandhi wanted to steal credit for Ground Breaking Laws, to hide her own incompetence and this she did through her fiefdom called NAC.
Kejriwal never went back to Income Tax Dept, after his leave got over. Not only did Kejriwal start an NGO, which he was barred to do as per Rules for Govt employees, and raised money, reportedy & allegedly amounting to Rs. 2cr through contacts of one of his mentors Harsh Mander, but also now he was refusing to report to work while still drawing salary. Clearly a sign of the Psychological Disorder of an otherwise sharp mind, which had now found fun & challenge in Social Activism.
Repeal fo Freedom of Information Act & Replacement of its near carbon-copy RTI Act was handled almost single-handedly by Kejriwal’s other mentor Aruna Roy. All of them were part of another NGO called NCPRI. Aruna was in NAC.
So, when the time came for diverting public’s attention from specific details of individual corruption cases, so that no pressure was felt for prosecution of corrupt ministers of Congress & its Allies, Aruna Roy naturally, considered using Kejriwal.
Details are unavailable, sketchy and therefore not worth going into, but Kejriwal & Aruna Roy seemingly fell out over details of the Draft of Lokpal. At least so they say. How far all these gossips are true is immaterial. That is a scenery.
The detail is, that Lokpal was the center of attraction, details of specific corruption cases put into public domain, follow-up on prosecution of individual corruption cases, was now history. Nobody knew what was follow-up on 2G Spectrum Scam, in Courts. Nobody bothered about Kalmadi in Jail over CWG. Everyone looked for one-stop shop of Lokpal.
Avatar 1 – India Against Corruption
Kejriwal’s psychological disorder also makes him destructive, parasitic & therefore, predatorial. He nearly ignores what he possesses without losing the possessiveness, gets obsessed with what he doesn’t have, uses his determination, sharp mind to bring along people who’ll not over power him but fit well within his larger scheme and once their utility is over, as far as his personal scheme is concerned, and then looks for next person.
Kejriwal, reportedly, approached many people. Many refused to be co-opted but sympathized with the cause he espoused. Afterall, almost everyone was fed-up with Corruption. The alarming scale it had assumed, pinched even the most willing businessmen.
Then, he managed to get the sympathies and full cooperation of Baba Ramdev, who was then scheming his own political initiative, Bharat Swabhimaan.
At a function organized by Baba Ramdev in Feb 2010, Kejriwal, an unknown figure spoke passionately against corruption, spoke passionately in favor of Maoism and invited people to join him and Anna Hazare at Jantar Mantar. Few people knew Anna Hazare outside Maharashtra, but everyone knew Corruption. And public was willing to join anything that looked even remotely designed to fight corruption.
As the crowd poured in at Jantar Mantar, India Against Corruption took birth, and bid bye-bye to Baba Ramdev.
RSS, however, in its usual unsung style backed this anti-corruption crusade. Kejriwal waved Jan Lokpal Bill draft at folks. As I went through details, I laughed at them because there was no way his draft was making sense and was clearly non-compliant with the Constitutional Requirements.
Where there is crowd, there is media and entertainers. All kinds of people, who didn’t need education on Corruption, were already fed-up and were looking to back anything that gave illusion of fighting corruption, joined IAC at Jantar Mantar. But no seasoned anti-Corruption Crusader ever joined IAC.
Anyone who has ever fought corruption could immediately see that the methods suggested by Kejriwal will never end corruption. Corruption is bred through faulty processes in Administration. They are born out of loopholes in laws, in procedures etc. I distinctly remember requesting some of my affected friends to ask Kejriwal & IAC Members to invite other established anti-Corruption Crusaders to their Team and the current team looked short on knowledge and Old Champions will get a strong platform which Kejriwal had received from active participation of People.
But then where did Kejriwal require people better than him and more dedicated to Corruption? That was never the idea anyway.
Distrubances within the Country, agitations and revolutions outside the Country, especially Tehrir Square, Egypt tc were giving romantic ideas about revolutions to Youth. That is all that Kejriwal was interested in. That is all that was necessary to keep people talking of Corruption, which was on their mind, and yet never get a single case prosecuted.
Avatar 2 – Team Anna
Baba Ramdev was gone. Anna Hazare was the new Gandhi, or Jayaprakash Narayan. They equated it with new Emergency Days. Third wave of Nation Freedom.
Parliamentary System was ridiculed. Public was motivated against Democratic institutions by giving an impression that 120bn people will rule themselves. Political Leaders, who had little credibility anyway, were ridiculed liberally. No distinction was made between good leaders and bad ones. All were painted with same brush.
Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan, Justice Hegde & Kiran Bedi were other key members. Allegations of Corruption and Audio Recordings of Discussions by Bhushan Family were suppressed and ignored. Right on the very face of it, anti-Corruption Crusade of Kejriwal was refusing to take cognizance of charges of corruption against its own prominent Team Members.
While some of them participated in Joint Deliberations on Draft of the Bill with the Govt, other held fort on stage. A career IPS Officer like Kiran Bedi embarrassed herself and her more decent admirers with shameful dramas and acts on the stage ridiculing even those political leaders against whom there are no corruption charges and have an extremely clean image.
Socially, battle-lines were drawn. If you are not with Team Anna, you are with Corruption.
Large parts of crowd, food & water to crowd etc were still managed by RSS members, on a voluntary basis, out of goodwill for a seemingly noble cause.
Drama ended, with introduction of a shoddy copy of Lokpal Draft prepared by Govt. BJP backed many provisions of Jan Lokpal Draft that could stand scrutiny of Constitutional Benches. They were easy for BJP also because they were part of BJP’s own 2001 Draft.
BJP got the shock, when in spite of overwhelming support given to Kejriwal’s Team Anna, at the end of the agitation, Kejriwal refused to thank BJP and warmly hugged Sandeep Dikshit, right on the stage, in the middle of all the media attention. That stab from Kejriwal may have been extremely painful for BJP. It disenchanted many rightwingers. The Predator had again found the Prey…
Avatar 3 – Aam Aadmi Party
Right after a very successful agitation under Team Anna, during media interviews, on practically no provocation, Kejriwal disowned Kiran Bedi, who appeared closer to Anna Hazare.
Soon thereafter, Kejriwal “revealed” his plans to float Political Party. This was against Anna Hazare’s repeated advice since April 2011. Political Parties were strictly advised to stay away from the stage of either India Against Corruption & Team Anna. Kejriwal knew the old man won’t agree. Nor did he care for that. His problem was, Anna Hazare had considerably large goodwill.
Anna Hazare’s goodwill has been so much that even his most bitter critics and enemies speak respectfully to him, even though he may have spewed venom against them publicly sometime back. No political leader was harsh to him. He was Anna ji to them all. Kejriwal was too small an insect then. Dismissing Anna Hazare, to run his Political Outfit, would have meant a serious wrath too early in his career.
Kejriwal kept is graceful with Anna Hazare. Never letting him know how he despises him. Old man is shrewd himself. Going out of line against his instructions is enough for him to know how much someone respects him. But without necessary provocation, Anna Hazare would have caused his own goodwill some unnecessary injury. Both remained graceful to each other, agreeing to disagree with each other.
Predator had now thrown out Justice Hegde, Kiran Bedi & Anna Hazare out of his camp.
Aam Aadmi Party – Worm gives Freebie
Aam Aadmi Party was launched. Kejriwal, who is a Crorepati, lives in a 4 Bedroom House, has plots of land at various places, owns 2300sft flat in Gurgaon, managed a carefully cultivated look. He seemed to have taken tuitions on this from nothing less than Laloo Prasad Yadav.
Possibly Kejriwal should wear size 39 Shirt, but he would Wear Size 44 shirt. He can afford, good shoes etc. but he would wear worn out chappals. Giving impression to common people that he is one amongst them and believes in Simple Living & High Thinking.
You might think he fought his elections on an anti-Corruption Platform. Nothing is farther from Truth.
Kerjiwal & his Aam Aadmi Party, fought the elections on Populist Demands and not anti-Corruption Platform. Yes, he did link each of his Populist Promise with economic possibility of those promises because everyone else apart from him, is Corrupt. Using crass language against Political Leaders, he promised action against Sheila Dikshit, if he was brought to power.
He supported unauthorized colonies, encroachments. He supported unauthorized Electricity connections. Backed non-payment of Electricity Bills, illegal reconnections of Electricity connections of people who lost connection due to non-payment of Bills.
As elections approached, Kejriwal made one unrealistic, populist policy after another. People of Delhi lapped it. No political party thought that public would do this. Certainly not the Right wing. They forgot that Freebies like 700 ltr free-water, 50% reduction in Electricity is AAP’s version of Liquor, Egg-Biryani & Cash Payouts. This was White-Collared execution of Blue-Collared Political Ideas to Voters.
Yogendra Yadav was co-opted. With that attention of media was co-opted again. Pre-poll Surveys appeared. Doctored surveys played on another known weakness of Indian Voters. Speculation and betting on a Winning Horse. Everything possible was done to create a perception that AAP has a winning chance.
During this entire period, allegations of corruption against many AAP members kept surfacing. Anjali Damania, Mayank Gandhi, Sting videos on Kumar Vishwas and others and what not. AAP never subjected even one member to Law & Order of the Land. Everyone was exonerated after a jokeful Internal Lokpal Inquiry.
After elections, even though BJP was the single largest party, the political alliance between Congress & AAP looked imminent. Had to be. And finally it did become a truth.
Kejriwal was salivating. He got what he didn’t think was possible even remotely, irrespective of his statements of bravado. But he had postured strongly against Congress in public, to get public’s favor for his own Party. Public’s real anger was directed at Congress, who they saw was mainly responsible for Corruption & Price Rise.
Kejriwal threw up his last drama of Referendum, wasted time from December 8, 2013, when results were announced, to December 21-22nd, 2013, or so. As an icing on cake, Kejriwal travelled by Delhi Metro to his Oath-taking Ceremony Extravaganza.
Finally, Kejriwal shook the Indian Politics and all the speculation for General Elections 2014.
What is Kejriwal upto now?
Kerjiwal is least interested in either Delhi State Govt or Delhi Lok Sabha Elections. He has conquered Delhi already. He is already bored with his victory. His psychological disorder has taken him to a new pursuit - General Elections.
Kerjiwal had nothing to offer on Free-Water and 50% Cheaper Electricity promise. The prices of Water & Electricity were not due to any Corruption of Politicians. Kejriwal could beat nothing in the System. Since he could make no Economic Sense, he loaded Delhi State Govt with an additional Rs.960 cr Subsidy.
The most interesting part is, Free-Water will reach 8.5 Lakh Families only out of nearly 30 Lakh Families in Delhi, all well-to-do.
Electricity too is poised to benefit the rich.
Who will face the brunt of these bad economic policies of Kejriwal? Delhiites. But what will media project and therefore create a Positive Perception, will, expectedly, bring votes to Kejriwal in other non-Delhi areas. What does Kejriwal lose? 7 Lok Sabha Seats.
Two days back, Kejriwal decided to allot himself a 10 Bedroom twin-bungalow unit. Public scrutiny, bad public perception, made him retrace his steps. Till a day back, Kejriwal was personally justifying his decision, but his friends in media portrayed retracing of this decision as Kejriwal’s “refusal” to occupy the Plush Bungalow in Lutyen’s Delhi.
Now you imagine the extent of co-operation and perception management targeted on General Elections.
Has this story been repeated in the past?
Yes. In 1876, under Lord Lytton, India had similarly bad economy. Peasants and workers were planning to rise against British Raj. In 1883, after retirement, a loyal British Civil Servant Allan Octavian Hume, invited people to join Indian National Congress, to protect the British Raj in India. Loyalty to British Monarch was the most important pledge for the members of Indian National Congress then.
In 2010-11, under Sonia Gandhi aka Antonia Maino, India again has a horribly bad economy & corruption. Common Man was agitated enough to rise against Congress-raj. A retired Civil Servant Arvind Kejriwal, attracted & invited people to join Aam Aadmi Party, to protect Congress-raj in India.
So loyal is Kejriwal, that he even played a similar “sacrifice drama” as did Sonia Gandhi in 2004 and many times earlier & later. And now, like his Idol, Kejriwal is planning an extra-constitutional Body of Unaccountable Advisors. A body on the lines of National Advisory Council.
How should we look at Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party?
We should always remember. Corruption and Bad Economy are Infections that a Country suffers. Infections breed Worms & Germs. Kejriwal & Aam Aadmi Party are those Worms & Germs. What do Worms & Germs do? They grow initially, in that conducive, infected atmosphere, worsen situation further. That is exactly what Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi Party are doing.
Kejriwal & Aam Aadmi Party have made a push for Economic Policy that we left behind in 1991. i.e. Policy of Subsidies. They offer no fresh, meaningful, productive idea. They have none, can offer none. They have Zero Experience of Governance. They stand to lose nothing. Only India stands to lose because of such Worms & Germs.
Do Worms & Germs go away from an infected body on their own? No, never. Untreated, they’ll flourish. Ultimately, they kill the body. Doctor’s prescribe antibiotics. Unless patient takes antibiotics and shows the willingness to cure himself, none can save.
It is same with Kejriwal & Aam Aadmi Party. We have to take pro-active steps. We have to take initiatives that act as antibiotic. We have to throw Sun-light, because there is no disinfectant like Sun-Light.