AAP-brand anarchism

The debacle of the first janata durbar by Aam Admi Party (AAP) government was along expected lines. When public remedies are reduced to the street level and solutions become a matter of rendering instant satisfaction the processes of government, however viscousy and laborious, become moot and soon so will the administrative structures of govt as well. Was it feigned innocence the AAP Chief Minister Arving Kejriwal adopted when he said that his ministerial cohort was surprised by the crowds that had congregated seeking speedy resolution of their problems and a gratified public’s instant approbation? As a former Indian Revenue Service officer is he that much of an innocent? In which case, Delhi will have hell to pay.

The three main problems people came to him with are in the order he stated: conversion of temporary/contract workers and labourers to permanent govt service status, water and power. The first issue will be the most difficult to tackle. The nub of the problem is that those on permanent public rolls — all the class III and class IV workers — sign the musters in the morning, do sporadic work, before taking off for moonlighting jobs, thus having a double income, and the govt work of road and permanent structures upkeep falling by the wayside. It has led moreover to ghost musters where a whole bunch of people are ostensibly drawing pay from the treasury, which money is in fact being pocketed by the “thekedars” (work contractors) from within the ranks of the permanent staff. To fill the work shortage, contracted or temporary workers are hired — an army of which type of workers has grown over the years to a point when appointing them formally will at once empty the exchequer. But Kejriwal and Co. seem committed to it, and we will all witness the mess the Delhi govt will soon reduce itself to.

This is the anarchic system of mob-rule and arbitrary decisions AAP in embryo means to extend to the country? Well, good luck India!! We’ll all need it.

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
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6 Responses to AAP-brand anarchism

  1. Shetty says:

    Indira Gandhi mastered the art of winning elections by policies that benifit a defined segment. She nationalised banks. This got her access to loans to distribute to her favoured. She nationalised companies to control a large section of the voting public. Nationalaisation also destroyed her opponents access to funds. She brought in the rent control laws, wherein the tenant became de facto owner. Each one of these policies has been a drag on our economy. Bank nationalisation ensured that capital was allocated not on an economic basis, but political grounds. Industry nationalisation destroyed the innovations that companies are capable of and actually stunted expansion. Rent control laws ensured that today there is a severe shortage of accomodation both residential and commercial in city centres creating artificaly shortage pushing up flat and office values. But then who cares for a better India tomorrow. So long as todays elections are won. The people suffer in the long run, but then the aam aadmi still votes for this. Indira Gandhi knew this. And looks like Shanti Bhushan under Jayprakash Narayan realised why they could not defeat her electorally. But then Shanti Bhushan has taught Kejriwal exactly how to win elections. If our economy is destroyed in the process, who cares. Kejriwal is doing a Indira Gandhi with the aam aadmi. Populist policies. This wins elections. The aam junta loves a leader who claims to represent them, just like Indira gandhi. And also Indira is congress, congress is Indira. Kejriwal is the aam admi party and aam admi party is Kejriwal. Ha Ha Ha Ha. the biggest looser in this will be the aam admi, when all this ends.

  2. Shaurya says:

    Bharat ji: On the issue of AAP, do not look at them from a logical efficacy angle. The crux of the issue is they enjoy the public trust. Street level issues have street level appeal and are likely to translate to votes a lot faster than well thought through programs that an emotional public does not understand or appreciate.

    Case in point: The anti corruption hot line. Yes, other governments also have had it, but no chief minister has made an announcement that folks, go ahead, record these turds who ask for bribes and report them to the hot line, who shall assist you. The instant success at the street level for such a venture – regardless of the risks and issues of such a process is understandable by the AAM Aadmi far better than the archaic processes of the traditional anti corruption bureaus.

    • One election success and that too in the small UT of Delhiu doesn’t a national party make! Too many people are reading too much into Kejriwal and Co’s frenetic and mindless people-pleasing activity and that too ended, as expected in a near riot, with AAP supremo speedily repairing to the terrace of the Sectt bldg to apologize for the bad arrangements of the durbar!. Delhi tactics cannot be replicated in a sustained manner in other states. Surely, that much is obvious.

  3. Shaurya says:

    No doubt. They do not have to sustain anything, only run these gimmicks for another 6 months in all the urban centers of India, get 20-30 seats in national elections and act as a spoiler for Modi. That is the only thing they will achieve. If they achieve this, which they have a shot at, Modi’s chances are in danger. This is the challenge, Modi has to answer to.

  4. satyaki says:

    Bharat Sir,

    We may be overlooking one possibility: that of leftist NGOs (along with the party machineries of left parties) across the country providing large cadre support (even in rural areas) to the AAP. Besides, the INC could also provide such support in constituencies where it is itself ruled out (take urban constituencies).

    We therefore have a national party controlled by leftist elements which is far more winnable than the original left parties are (since they are better packaged). Add to this their massive media backing. Along with the fact that most voters are gullible. Young first time voters especially so.

    I find it extremely disturbing when extreme leftists are enthusiastically queueing up for AAP membership. This includes all those who demand that India strip herself of her nuclear weapons.
    The following questions make me sleepless.

    1. What happens if an AAP govt backed by regional parties and the INC comes to power in 2014 (or worse, they sweep to power nationwide in a 2016-17 midterm election that follows a 2014 hung parliament) ? Will they undo our nuclear weaponization ?

    2. Is it reasonable to view the AAP as a foreign plant meant to denuclearize India via political action and take us down an ultra-liberal “banana republic variant of an EU-country” like path ?

  5. Nobody seems to know, even within the party, what AAP’s position is on various public issues with everybody looking to the party’s fount of wisdom — Arun Kejriwal who has shown no keen understanding beyond his Manichean world view (of us vs them) and simplistic solutions. But as I anticipated things are unraveling for AAP. Better sooner than later.

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