Saturday, January 11, 2014

The tough questions that AAP and its supporters need to answer

AAP has become the darling of the media. It has been on the front page of all newspapers and the prime time of all news channels for the past one month. Indeed what they have achieved in such a short span of time deserves this adulation, but I am sorry to note that coverage has been really cosmetic. Let us dig a bit deep into the phenomenon and the promise of the AAP and their performance till date.  
Playing to the gallery – transfer of officers
What is the first thing you do after you come to power? Transfer officers. If you have enough background on them to know that they are corrupt so as to transfer them on the first day of office then why not suspend and prosecute them? Maybe because you just are playing to the galleries and want to “show” rather than “take” action. Officers have been transferred innumerable times in this country and nothing worthwhile has come out of that. No sir, transfer of a few beauracrats does not mean action against corruption. Start from the top, send a couple of big netas to jail. The minnows will then have no courage then to be corrupt. My question is – do you have the courage to take action against them? I am hoping that you will and am watching you, like is most of the country. But if only applause is what you are looking for then other professions are better suited for the same. 
Socialism and subsidies – water, electricity
Socialism has failed across the world, India included. We have been the victims of various socialist experiments of the Congress party. While no person in his right mind is against special benefits for the weaker sections of the society, the problem is the delivery mechanism and targeting of these subsidies. Free water is a terrible idea. So is cheap electricity (where are the environmentalists? Can a scarce resource like water be subsidised for one sixth of the world population?) In fact, free anything is always a terrible idea. Nothing in this world is free, there is a price attached to everything, there should be a price attached to everything. You want to be fair to the customers – create fair competition and let the market forces determine the correct price of the output. What purpose will the audits serve – creating more watchdogs to oversee institutions is a recipe for more corruption.
Congress style – keep promising, not delivering
Congress has said “garibi hataao” for the last 65 years but hasn’t delivered. 
Your poll plank was corruption and the need to tackle the same. Great intentions but I haven’t seen anything till now to see you delivering these promises. I hope that you turn out very different than Congress on this.
What about issues of national importance
Your colleague’s views on Kashmir were quickly dismissed as his personal, although this is the second time in the last year that he has raked up this issue. We are surrounded by hostile countries. What happens in the event or the possibility of war? Or economic crisis? Or a national crisis? We need clarity on these issues and see your performance for at least a full term before seriously considering you for a national level role, no matter what the media says.
Pied Piper
AK is being called the pied piper the way people seem to be blindly following him. Remember, the story ended badly for the rats, the children and the town of Hamlin.
The biggest danger
You targeted corruption and then took support of the most corrupt party to come to power, your opinion poll (an elaborate cover up) notwithstanding. So what has happened? The peoples mandate was decisively anti Congress – it was divided between you and the BJP. By aligning up with the party that the people voted against, have you not gone against the very mandate of the aam aadmi you proudly represent? Your supporters will say that you had to fulfil the promises that you made and you saved the people the entire trouble of re elections. But what about your promise of action against “bhrast netas” Most of them are in the state Congress. I hope you will have the courage to take action against them.
Congress is happy
The nation will vote against Congress this year. The congress is happy that they have a willing partner who will take away some of this vote from their sworn opponent BJP. Now that the “Delhi Model” of a corrupt party supporting a clean party from outside has been established, many in the grand old party are dreaming the same experiment will be played out in Delhi. AAP will hope to win 20 lok sabha seats and the Congress with less than 100 seats will hope to give them and other rag tags an outside support. Keep BJP out at all costs is the strategy that the Congress has adopted and you are being used for the same, I would say willingly. There are no foes in politics, many would say. But you shouldn’t go against your “core” principals. You did claim not to be a normal political party anyway.
What’s the hurry
You need to deliver and then ask for a larger mandate. AK’s favourite dialogue “mai aam aadmi hu, meri koi aukaat nahi hai” seems sincere. You have made your promises, now deliver them, get experience and then ask for a national mandate. Don’t just rush into things, set your house (Delhi) in order first. We hold elections every 5 years in this country so take it one step at a time. Unless you are not sure about yourself and your backers are so worried about NaMo coming to power that they want to keep him out “at all costs” 
I admit that it is too early to pass judgement. They have forced both the large national parties to clean up their act, brought back the spotlight on corruption and encouraged more voter turnout in elections, the candidates now would largely be with a clean background. The expectations are high and I hope that you deliver.
For delivering you will need to focus on Delhi to fulfil your promises. Don’t expend your energies. We Indians are unforgiving and hate being taken for a ride.
Next week I will compare the credentials of NaMo vs RaGa vs AK to see who is the best man to lead the nation.


  1. Comendable & an original effort Kuldeep. Keep writing.
    Lookin fwd to ur NaMo article.
    I think there is need fr comprehensuve research on Gujarat pre & post NaMo era. Both social & industrial development in his term. Facts objectvly analyzed. Both his successess & failure.

    1. Thanks man!!
      I hope i will be able to live up to ur expectations :-)