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Arvind Kejriwal is both nationalist and realist
The Party of Commuters and Masons’ (AAP’s) Arvind Kejriwal and six others took their oath on 28 December, 2013 as Chief Minister and various ministers of Delhi city-state respectively. After that Kejriwal delivered an amazingly striking impressive speech which would have made many listeners put their full trust in the newly elected Delhi government.

Kejriwal emphasized on the participation of people of Delhi of all identities and promised that he and his team would provide an effective, clean and inclusive government. He said that if there was political will to control and check negativity of bureaucrats then they would abide by their theoretical obligations but he also added that, by default, majority of bureaucracy in Delhi state was honest.

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He said that it would not be rule of few and not even of a majority but that of all. But being realistic Kejriwal accepted that he did not have any magic wand with him and that all needed to be honest for a very honest and effective Delhi administration.

His speech was full of nostalgia with multiple references to the past. He warned and mildly pleaded with his party workers and newly elected lawmakers not to feel proud about their achievements and also that they should not have egos. He said that the AAP should break the pride of other parties and that he would like to make politics and politicians a bit humbler.

He said that his party workers should not do anything to prompt revivalism against them. Kejriwal also warned his party members and people of Delhi that road to better governance was full of stumbling blocks and many who did not agree with the AAP or were envious of them would obstruct them. But he predicted eventual win for his party and its ideology.

He finished his speech by singing AAP’s anthem which I translate as follows:

Let the bond among us Indian be maintained and extended;
This is our agenda;
Let rich and powerful help and share with those who are not so;
Let India become more inclusive and equal, breaking the class inertia;
Let the great land of India flourish celebrating spirit of love in all its parts;
That’s our agenda; Let the brotherhood expand and extend; This is our permanent agenda.
Victory to Durga; the mother of India! Long live ‘our revolution’! Dedicated salute to the motherland! Victory to mother India!
(We seek mandate for cleaner, freer, fairer, more equal and inclusive India.)

Sure, the speech was very encouraging and a welcome spicy addition to otherwise routine bald lives. But the fact is that Arvind Kejriwal is not as simple person as he appears. He is definitely not as idealist as many people may think or would like him to be. Contrary to common misinterpretation, I have always believed in the sophistry and sophistication of us Indians of all identities.

I too initially misjudged Kejriwal to be a die-hard idealist though still then a very complex person. Complex indeed but not an absolute idealist and he knows politics very well- at least that’s what can be inferred from his maiden speech on Saturday after taking oath- and he may very well be a practical person too.

So if empiricism be the guiding principle then reducing the level of corruption is great feat in itself and Kejriwal and his team may not dream about impractical task of rooting out corruption fully from daily public lives of Delhi people. That’s what he appeared to be conveying in his maiden speech as the Chief Minister of Delhi. He did not attack or criticize much either the Congress or the BJP as he might have concluded beforehand that his ability to make public lives cleaner and civic amenities more accessible and spread successfully would clearly depend on the cooperation from both the national parties.

And that’s where the ultimate demise of the AAP rests with: an eventual split and repositioning between the two national giants, but not before having ability to dictate terms to both the parties. In national interests and in their own both the biggest parties of India may not mind it. Kejriwal is thus trying to raise the standards of public lives for all and both the Congress and the BJP may agree with him and his likes, if not outright approving his campaign.

Both the parties’ upper crest might have been fed up with frequent corruption, communalism and misrule and the AAP provides populist reasons inspired by wish to survive to change the parties for better ones. Therefore, both the Congress and the BJP have the vested interests in segmenting with the AAP. Kejriwal and the senior members of the AAP would then be the guardians of anti-corruption crusade all over India.

After all, they left their previous jobs to serve the people of Delhi. So they may not mind much loosing the present ones to better the standards of Indian public lives: a lesser corrupt Congress and more inclusive BJP after the AAP taking the suicide pills voluntarily. But it would never plead for euthanasia as the party would never wish ending its fight for corruption-free and more inclusive India. That’s a great service indeed and team AAP is indeed very good in nature and in intent.

I think that as long as the INC and the BJP improve their respective positions on corruption and communalism they do not have much to fear from the nascent but influential party. If that be the case then indeed it is a great teaching and Anna Hazare, implicitly or explicitly, appears to be somewhat responsible for this kind of thinking. It appears from the above that ancient Indian wisdom many times can turn out to be very effective.

Personally, I do not think that Kejriwal would be fallible but such could shorten his political stint though he would continue to be always active on social front. He is indeed very nationalist and realist too. On his own Kejriwal should never ever dream about becoming part of any Union government as India Union other than by Hinduism is united by corruption.

This is the stark reality of present day India. Indian society can change to a better one but by consensus of the dominant people and the process would be very slow and gradual.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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hemen parekh
Overwhelming Demands ?You bet !Looking at the crowds shouting their demands outside Arvind Kejriwal's residence , you would think , people of Delhi have unlimited arrears of problemsIndividuals and groups are trooping in from far and wide , demanding :> Better physical services ( Power / Water / Homes / Transport )> Jobs ( Permanency / Removal of Contract System / New jobs )> Reservations / Abolitions / Implementations / Resignations> Admissions / Legalizations / Transfers> Roll back of CNG Prices / Reduction of Vegetable prices> Security / Loans / Pensions The list goes on and onOnly problemWhereas demands are " Unlimited " , resources ( Manpower Money Systems ) are " Limited " !Hence Arvind will need to evolve a simple method to evaluate the " IMPORTANCE " and the " URGENCY " of these demandsHe may want to devise an online form or , like last time , print and distribute 50 lakh forms , which only need to be ticked , as in a multiple choice questionnaire Then , on a scale of 1- 5 , invite people of Delhi to score each demand on the following criteria :How does this problem affect ?> Economic Status ( Rich / Middle Class / Poor )> Geographic Coverage ( Posh Area / Middle class locality / Slums )> Gender ( Male / Female / Both )> Age ( Old people / Middle Age / Children )> Coverage ( Entire population / Majority / One Community only )> Nature ( Political / Social / Economic )> Character ( Establish Equity / Reduce Disparity / Speed up Justice )> Scope ( Job Creation / Health / Education / Corruption Removal )> Time Frame ( Crisis Situation / Urgent / Can wait )Then display the demands in the descending order of " PERCENTILE SCORES " - so people get to know what will get attended to and whenFor AAP , with its inclination for seeking people's opinion through " STRUCTURED STATISTICAL SURVEYS " , devising such a transparent and easily understood " PROCESS " , cannot be a big dealIncidentally , no individual problem / demand should be included in the surveyCarrying out such a pilot , " SOCIO - ECONOMIC - POLITICAL " experiment can take our democracy to the grass-root level and give the people a sense of participation in solving their own problemsAt the same time , people will be made aware that ,> Resources are limited> All demands cannot be attended simultaneously> Injustice of past 15 years cannot be undone in the next 15 days* hemen parekh ( 31 Dec 2013 / Mumbai )
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