Mr Arvind Kejriwal of India Against Corruption (IAC) has to be complimented for drawing the attention of the public to the alleged wrong-doings of Mr Robert Vadra, the husband of Ms Priyanka Gandhi and the son-in-law of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, the Congress President. By doing so, he has shown that in the fight against corruption, there cannot and should not be any sacred cow.
At the same time, all right-thinking people of this country have to be concerned over some of his political tactics in order to give himself size and shape as one of the future political leaders of India determined to give the country a clean administration and corruption-free governance.
It is clear he is a man with political ambitions and a political agenda, who imagines himself as the Moses of India leading the people of this country to their Promised Land. How intensely he pursues his political ambitions and agenda would be evident from the fact that in pursuit of his agenda, he decided to break even with Anna Hazare, his mentor, but for whom many of us would not have heard of Mr Kejriwal and his hangers-on. He used Anna as a ladder to climb to public prominence and then kicked the ladder away.
Simultaneously with his campaign against corruption in high places in which he enjoys considerable public support, he has launched a campaign for contesting the next elections to the Delhi Assembly. He has every right to do so and one wishes him well in his efforts to seek political pastures.
At the same time, any well-informed person will be worried over some of the tactics adopted by him and his hangers-on in Delhi to seek public support. One would have expected them to draw up an alternative programme of development and corruption-free administration and place it before the people for approval.
Instead of doing so, he has embarked on a highly dramatic and high profile agitation to instigate people not to pay their electricity bills on the ground that the electricity charges are unfriendly to the poor. He and his hangers-on have also been unilaterally restoring the power connections of poor people cut off by the Administration for non-payment of Bills.
His tactics disturbingly remind one of the tactics adopted by the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and other Kashmiri separatists, at the instigation of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), from 1989 onwards. These organisations instigated the Kashmiris not to pay their electricity and water charges on the grounds that the rates were exorbitant and that the Government in Srinagar, which allegedly did not represent the people, had no authority to collect these charges. Millions of rupees worth of utility charges remained unpaid and uncollected.
The separatist elements, whether in J&K or in the North-East, and the Maoists in Central India will be carefully watching the tactics adopted by Mr Kejriwal and his hangers-on. If tomorrow they do a copy-cat of Mr Kejriwal and appeal to the people not to pay their charges, what will happen to this country? There will be fiscal anarchy.
While supporting Mr Kejriwal’s campaign against corruption, the public has to be cautious about his inflated political aspirations and his tendency to see himself as ten-feet tall. An over-ambitious political aspirant, however well-intentioned, can prove destabilising for the country.
Mr Kejriwal is a Moses in a hurry. He should be brought down to earth.
B. Raman is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies.
A new farce showing on your favorite TV news channel - Political Power ke liye kuch bhi karega!
But does this clown realise that when he supports the Jan Lokpal body,He is just another guy in indian politics that favours big institutions with huge power,a monopoly on almost everything & very little accountability that is supposed to know what is in our best interests-Like the govt?
I am not sure to call Arvind Kejeriwal as Moses in hurry ,but one thing is sure Robert Vadra has killed whatever little chance Priyanka Gandhi had to occupy the chair of PM, despite the support of the family faithful’s people are not going to like it! civil disobedience is a very different topic and Sir with all humbleness I differ !
I agree, its a stupid idea.
All the Congress Party has to do is wait out people like Kejriwal. They will collapse out of their own mistakes
Whatever it is one must appreciate the courage of Mr.Aravind Kejriwal. I do not think the call for non-payment of electricity bills is such a serious one. What I mean is, it may not catch fire nor has any potential to become a storm. It can stay only as a token one to defy civil authority.
People have become insensitive to greed and graft of politicians and extra-political authorities like for example Jagan Reddy or Gali brothers in A.P and presently Robert Vadhera. The proof is Jagan's landslide victories in elections in his area and the chase he gave for one seat even in Telengana ,Parkal constituency. So, winng elections are different ball game altogether ,otherwise Dr.Manmohan singh would not have lost an election from Delhi much before public could know that he would turn out to be a “silent” prime minister.
People at this stage should support Kejriwal as there is no other option against this broad day loot that has been going on . How far he could go is only a big question and I do not think he would go any far.
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