Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A 'Victory' or Retreat, Mr. Kejriwal?

It looks eating his own words is the favourite dish Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal relishes the most. He enjoys it the most when sprinkled with the flavour of hypocrisy on it.

Announcing the termination of his 30-hour old dharna near the Railway Bhawan, New Delhi Mr. Kejriwal claimed it a victory of Delhi people. But what for? He was not fighting for a cause dear to the Delhi people. He had staked the prestige and honour of his government and party only for establishing the superiority of his two ministers whose conduct did not behove the office they held. It is not the function of a minister to order raids or conduct the same themselves. Or to catch hold of people, more so women, whom they suspect to be involved in any kind of crime. It is neither the duty of a minister to decide the course and manner of a police operation and command officers to act or not to act in a particular manner. They cannot grab the law in their own hands like a jhadoo, their party election symbol, and instead of using it to sweep the floor start beating people with it. This whole gimmickry has cost the people very dear. It put out of gear the normal life. It disturbed peace and tranquility in the country's national capital.

On the first day he exhorted party workers and supporters to keep off the dharna. Next day when he felt that his whole Cabinet alone was not strong enough to make Union Government bend, he issued a call to his MLAs to bring, in thousands, people to the dharna site. The people of Delhi already suffering the pangs of his dharna because of snarling traffic jams paid no heed to his appeals. Ultimately, as per media reports, Delhi AAP had to 'import' about 400 people from Haryana to give semblance of peoples' support.

Mr. Kejriwal also seems to be suffering from occasional bouts of selective amnesia. He had started off his protest march which culminated into a dharna outside Rail Bhawan with a demand that five police officers should be suspended pending probe for, in the words of AAP leaders, "dereliction of duty" for not acting on the diktat of Law Minister Somnath Bharti etc. Mr. Kejriwqal had accordingly declared that there could be no compromise on this demand under any circumstances. He rejected the advice of Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to maintain the dignity of office he occupies. He also turned down Mr. Shinde's suggestion to shift his dharna to the Jantar Mantar. "It is me", Mr. Kejriwal declared at noon on January 21 to the clapping of his horde, "and not Shinde where should I sit on dharna". He threatened that the dharna would linger on as long as even 10 days till his demands were met. When pointed out that this would hinder the Republic Day celebrations in the national capital, he remained unrelenting. When some political parties accused him of spreading anarchy, he proudly acknowledged himself to be "an anarchist". He retorted: "Politics cannot be played sitting in five-star comforts but sitting on the roads with the people". He forgot that administration cannot be run sitting in dharnas on the roads. Instead of maintaining law & order and obeying the laws of the land Kejriwal himself became a threat to law and order in the city.

But by the afternoon the 'proud anarchist' seemed rattled by lack of public support for his un-public cause, no-nonsense attitude of the Union government and Lt. Governor and, above all, the unkind weather. The solid ice of his arrogance of power melt away even in this bone-chilling cold. He became panicky for a face-saver. He, according to reports, wanted that at least these officers should be transferred, if not suspended, from their posts. The Lt. Governor stood his ground. He was kind enough not to humiliate the chief minister too far and gave a lollypop of sending just two police officers on paid leave for, according to reports, only three-four days. And this, Mr. Kejriwal took as a "great victory" for the Delhi people which for he himself was an ignominious humiliation. Kejriwal & company have let down their own government and Delhi people — those very people who catapulted them to power. The defiant Kejriwal who had the guts to ignore Union Home Minister condescended to relent as a show of respect to the Delhi Lt. Governor.

Kejriwal cabinet took oath of office swearing in the name of God/solemnly affirming that they "will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established" and "will do right to all manner of people in accordance with the Constitution and the law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will."  They violated this oath and the Constitution by sitting on a dharna in defiance of prohibitory orders under section 144 and by calling upon policemen on duty to shed their uniform and join their protest dharna.

Mr. Kejriwal claimed that this 'victory' was a great step forward making Delhi Police hark the voice of the elected government of the people. His assumption is erroneous. On the other hand, his government's unbecoming behaviour has spoiled the case for handing over the reins of Delhi Police and responsibility for law and order to the "elected government of the people". The irresponsible and self-assertive conduct of the Kejriwal government has justified the denial of this right to the Delhi government. One shudders at the very thought of the prospect of what havoc lay in store for the people of Delhi had Kejriwal government full control over Delhi Police and law & order as other State governments have, particularly with the republic day celebrations just a few days ahead. It would have proved — there is no exaggeration to say — to be "a live bomb in the hands of a child".

Mr. Kejriwal's conduct has all the more been depressing for those who were discovering in him the qualities of being a good prime minister. Do these people stand by their impression of him? That is the question.                                                            


Monday, January 20, 2014

SUNDAY SENTIMENT Politics is the Art & Craft of Befooling People


It is politicians themselves alone who have defiled the precept and practice of politics. It is they who have degraded those who are in power today or can be tomorrow.  That is why politics is now being recognized as the art of befooling people. It is called the game scoundrels play. A writer defined politics as "the art of getting votes from the poor and money from the rich on the pretext of protecting each from the other".

Numerous instances can be quoted to support the above description of politics. There is no gainsaying the fact that politicians in India take the people as fools who, like herds of cattle, can be shouted away to any direction they like.  It is generally believed, more so by politicians, that people, nay voters, have a short memory and, therefore, easy and useful to cheat the people for their political and electoral purposes with their glib talk. This has paid dividends to politicians many a time.

But equally wrong is to think that people are fools or they can be befooled at all the occasions for all the time.

Latest in the Congress party's decision not to name its prime ministerial candidate for the coming 2014 parliament elections.  It is the unchallenged privilege of a political party to fight an election or not. Equally is it its right to project its chief ministerial or prime ministerial candidate.

We follow the Westminster form of parliamentary democracy and many of the traditions followed in Great Britain. It has practically a two-party system. Therefore, the person under whose leadership the elections are held is the natural choice for prime ministership. In the alternative, the incumbent prime minister is the person who seeks a fresh mandate for his party.

Only those parties in opposition which do not contest all the seats in parliament do not — and need not — project their prime ministerial candidates because doing so amounts to becoming a laughing stock of the people. If a party that is not contesting that number of seats which can give it a majority and still announces its prime ministerial candidate, it is just kidding itself and the electorate?

In the present context, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has already declared that he will hang his boots after the next election. That means that if Congress-led UPA is returned to power once again, it has to have a person under whom the elections are held and who will be the prime minister if it wins at the hustings. Whenever the Congress went in for elections whether under Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru or Mrs. Indira Gandhi, there was never a doubt in the mind of the party and the people as to who will be the prime minister if the party wins majority. It was never in doubt even when party contested 1984, 1989 or 1991 polls for Parliament under Rajiv Gandhi. It was a different matter when Rajiv Gandhi was killed during election campaign in 1991 elections and Narasimha Rao had to take his place.

The 1996 and 2004 elections to parliament were held under Mrs. Sonia Gandhi's leadership with the electorate never in doubt that if Party wins she and she alone will be the prime minister. It remains a mystery that Mrs. Gandhi who went to meet the President with a claim to majority support in Parlament and to seek an invitation to form a government,  on return surprised everybody saying that she will not be the prime minister and instead nominated Dr. Manmohan Singh.

At the moment there was no shortage of top leadership demanding in a chorus that Rahul should be elevated as prime minister. Some wanted it right now. Even before and after the elections to five State assemblies in December 2013 Rahul Gandhi  being thrown up as the Congress Party's PM candidate were doing the rounds in media and political circles. Endorsing Rahul Gandhi, Dr. Singh on January 3 said that Rahul is an able person with all the "outstanding credentials" needed to be a prime minister.  Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on December 31 wanted Congress to name its prime ministerial candidate.

In an interview to the Hindi daily Bhaskar Rahul himself said, "In the national interest, it is necessary that Congress forms the government at the Centre; and in this direction whatever responsibilities the organisation has given me, I will discharge them with utmost sincerity and honesty." There was a media hype that on January 17 during the AICC meeting Rahul will be nominated the prime ministerial candidate. But Mrs. Sonia Gandhi put her foot down that Rahul will not be projected as party's prime ministerial candidate. Even when there were shouts in his favour, she remained unmoved.

It is a clever move on the part of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. Rahul has been made the chief of the party election campaign committee. In this way both Mrs. Soniga and Rahul wish to eat the cake and have it too. In case the party wins, Rahul will hog all the limelight and emerge the 'natural' candidate for prime ministership. In case it is otherwise, Congress will claim that Rahul was not in the race. If he is made the prime ministerial hopeful and loses, it would amount to sealing Rahul's fate for ever.  This is what Mrs. Gandhi has strategized.

In this connection, BJP prime ministerial candidate, Mr. Narinder Modi's comment is apt: "When defeat is imminent, which mother will sacrifice her son politically. The heart of a mother decided to protect her son".  Congress took no chances; it did not gamble.

But Rahul had different explanation. He enlightened people that it is not the party but the Party MPs who elect a prime minister.   Convinced?                                                      ***

Saturday, January 18, 2014

हास्‍य-व्‍यंग मम्‍मी, मुझे प्रधान मन्‍त्री बना दो।

मम्‍मी, मुझे प्रधान मन्‍त्री बना दो।

एक बच्‍चा उछलता-फुदकता हुआ खेल कर आया और लिप्‍ट कर बोला, ''मम्‍मी, मम्‍मी, मुझे प्रधान मन्‍त्री बना दो।''

मम्‍मी ने उसे बड़े ध्‍यान से देखा और सिर पर हाथ फेरते हुये कहा, ''न बेटा, अभी नहीं।''

''क्‍यों\'' उसने मम्‍मी से अलग होते हुये पूछा।

मम्‍मी ने बड़े प्‍यार से कहा, ''इसलिये कि तुम अभी छोटे हो।''

''पर मम्‍मी,'' उसने कहा, ''मेरे तो सभी हितैषी और दोस्‍त कहते हैं कि तुम में प्रधान मन्‍त्री बनने के सभी गुण हैं।''

''फिर भी'', मम्‍मी ने बड़े दुलार से कहा, ''बेटा, अभी नहीं।''

''अभी क्‍यों नहीं\'' बेटे ने झुंझला कर पूछा, ''मेरे दोस्‍त तो कहते हैं कि तेरी मम्‍मी जब चाहे तुम्‍हें प्रधान मन्‍त्री बना सकती है।''

''ठीक है, बेटा'' मम्‍मी ने उसे फुसलाते हुये कहा, ''अभी नहीं।''

''फिर भी अभी क्‍यों नहीं\'' बेटे ने खीज कर पूछा।

मम्‍मी ने फिर दोहराया, ''तुम अभी बच्‍चे हो, अक्‍़ल के कच्‍चे हो।''

बेटा चुप हो कर रह गया।

Thursday, January 16, 2014

SATIRE A sting on her moral character

A sting on her moral character

Son:            Father.

Father:       Yes, my son.

Son:            Aam Aadmi Party is emerging as a really great political
                   organization with honesty and transparency as its hallmark.

Father:       Yes, my son. This party never comprises on principles.

Son             AAP chief and Delhi CM has taken a very principled stand on the
                   adverse judgement of a court on his Law Minister.

Father:       What's that son? I don't know.

Son:            A CBI judge had indicted the conduct of the Law Minister when as a                      lawyer he was defending an employee charged with graft. Law 
                   Minister explained his case to the CM who has held that "the court's
                   observations were wrong…A sting operation has been called
                   tampering of evidence."  

Father:       What is bad in it? Sting operations are order of the day. Even
                   courts have given credence to such operations.

Son:            Father, I am too much impressed by the acumen of this great legal
                   eagle. I am greatly moved by the stand. It has also given me a very
                   useful tip to prove my innocence — an advice my own lawyer
                   would not have given me at a hefty fee.

Father:       What advice?

Son:            You know, I am facing a very serious charge of assaulting a

Father:       Yes, I know. That's very shameful. We are all very upset at it.
Son:            Cheer up, father, cheer up. I shall now be honourably acquitted by
                   the court.

Father:       What will you do?

Son:            I will tell the court that people waged tongues about my victim    
                   that she was a woman of easy virtue. I wanted to prove them
                   wrong. So I conducted a sting operation not for a negative design
                   to expose an honest person as corrupt but with a pious wish to tell
                   the world that she is a woman of virtue. With tears in my eyes I
                   would beg of the custodian of law and justice not to misconstrue
                   as crime a sting operation with an innocent intention to prove
                   the integrity and chastity of a woman. It will be miscarriage of
justice, I will plead. Nobody will, I will warn, then take the risk, as I did, to prove a woman pure and pious.   I will claim that I did not — and had no intention to — assault her. I had no bad intentions on her. Today I can vouchsafe with conviction that she is a lady pure and simple. Otherwise, she would have succumbed to my flirtatious behavior.

Father:       Will the court believe you?

Son:            Father, when a highly honest and moral Kejriwal could feel
convinced by his lawyer Law Minister and certify that there is nothing bad in a sting operation, I too did it in innocence with honest intentions. How will the court not accept my defence?

Father:       I am too ignorant to say anything. Ask them, my son.                     ***                                                                                            

Sunday, January 12, 2014

SUNDAY SENTIMENT Time to learn from Pakistan and Bangladesh Neutral administration during election time

Time to learn from Pakistan and Bangladesh
Neutral administration during election time

On January 7 the Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs Jitendra Singh declared that the UPA government will soon come out with a new Youth Policy 2014 to replace the present Youth Policy 2003. “The priority areas", approved by the Union cabinet chaired by Dr. Manmohan Singh "are education, skill development and employment, entrepreneurship, health and healthy lifestyle, sports, promotion of social values, community engagement, participation in politics and governance, youth engagement, inclusion and social justice.”

Both the houses of Parliament are likely to be convened in mid-February primarily for a vote-on-account because there will be no regular budget as per the practice. This is done because a regular budget can only be populist and the ruling party could play ducks and drakes with public exchequer for sectarian electoral gains. But, as per reports, the Manmohan government has in its kitty a number of Bills it proposes to introduce and try to push through, like the Communal Violence Bill, etc. Ironically, Congress wishes to sleep over the Women's Reservation Bill which stands approved by the Rajya Sabha for which Congress President, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi gleefully accepted credit. Why Mrs. Gandhi does not wish to repeat that in Lok Sabha remains unexplained.

There is no explanation why did the Congress not think of changing the 2003 Youth Policy for more than nine years. Why did the Congress wait for the last year of its second term to get the Food Security Bill passed? Obviously, it hoped to reap electoral gains that the National Employment Guarantee Act gave it in the last parliamentary elections.

Such intentions make it clear that our rulers firmly believe that people, nay the electorate, have a very short memory. That is why they wish to strike only when the iron of elections is hot. It is only a few months before the polling schedule that they wake up from their slumber generated by luxuriating at the fruits of power to spring into action to motivate the voter at the right moment when he is ready to go to the polling booth. In Rajasthan, the Congress chief minister Ashok Gehlot opened the cash boxes of the State exchequer on the eve of elections to shower numerous freebies to win the assembly election. But that seems to have boomeranged. Congress suffered the worst electoral defeat.

In a democracy elections should be fought by various political parties and individuals from an equal platform. None should be at the advantageous position and the political party in power should not have the key of public money to influence the voter. The elections need not only be free and fair but also appear to be so.

India, no doubt, is a great and strong democracy. We have been able to sustain the parliamentary system of government for more than 66 years while democracy crumbled in those parts which before August 1947 were very much a part of this great country. It is a matter of great satisfaction that both Pakistan and Bangladesh are today democracies. Whatever the strength and weakness of the democracies in these two countries, they have one great tradition. Pakistan's constitution provides that six months before the due date of elections the duly elected party government makes way for a neutral regime which oversees the conduct of a free and fair election. In Bangladesh too, the recent elections were held under a non-party impartial administration. It is besides the point that fingers are being raised at its being free and fair.

Our parliamentary democracy hinges on the Westminster style of parliamentary government. Our constitution has borrowed many of the good features and provisions in other constitutions. We have followed many traditions and good precedents in other countries. Is it not a time that we adopt this good example of a political government making way for a non-political administration aligned with none to ensure free and fair elections to ensure that these genuinely reflect the will of the people.

If we cannot do that, our Election Commission (EC) could, at least, step in to enforce the Model Code of Conduct for Political Parties six months before the date on which the new Parliament or the State assembly has to be constituted. Any violation of the Code should be a cognizable criminal offence attracting deterrent punishment. Otherwise, things will not improve. Political parties and government leaders will continue to take the EC for a ride. EC will continue to issue notices whenever the Code is violated; defaulters will give their explanations and ultimately, the matter will end with, at the most, a censure of the 'guilty' and the matter would end there. Violation of the Model Code and the 'punishment' given by the EC is at the moment being taken as a loving rebuke by a mother to its recalcitrant children.                                                                                         ***

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The truth now looks fiction

The truth now looks fiction

The truth about old times now looks unbelievable, a fiction.

In 1957-58 in the north, the rates in a dhaba, then nicknamed hotel, your bill was determined by the number of rotis (chapattis) one consumed as the rate was per roti. The charge was only for the number of chapattis one ate, dal and one vegetable dish was served free of cost. This situation sparked a joke too. A villager went to a town and asked the dhaba owner the rate for the meal. The owner replied, "One aana (six naya paisa) per roti". "And dal-subzi?" he asked. "It's free", told the owner. "Then give me only dal-subzi and no roti", the simpleton ordered.
Three of we friends had a habit. We must have our meals in the night even if we were not hungry. Once we three had our dinner in a dhabba. We ate one roti each and our bill was three aana (eighteen paise). Can you believe it?

At that time, one rupee was too much for tea and snacks for two people. Tea cost 10 paisa, samosa 10 paisa and barfi piece 15 paisa. So two teas, two samosas and two barfi pieces cost only 70 paisa. If you felt still hungry, taking two more samosas could take the bill to only 90 paise and not rupee one.

For regular customers, the dhabas charged Rs. 14, then 16 and Rs. 18 per month. In 1958 the dhabas increased the monthly charges by Rs. 2. There was a strike by students and the monthly consumers. In monthly charges, the dhabawallas served a sweet dish on Sundays and curd or raita on Wednesdays.

In 1972-73 I used to get a little more than three litres plus mobile oil for my scooter for just Rs. 10.

We used to purchase moongphali weighing roughly about 100 grams for 10 paisa. Once at about 10 in the morning, I gave a 10-rupee note and asked the vendor to give me moongphali worth 10 paisa. The vendor innocently said, "Babuji, what joke are you playing with me? I won't sell moongphali worth Rs. 10 the whole day and you are asking me to return Rs. 9.90 to you."

In 1973 I stayed in a Nainital hotel right on the lake for Rs. 20 per day for a room with attached bathroom, drawing and dressing room.

In about 1983-84 I travelled in an Indian Airlines flight from New Delhi to Bangalore, then to Cochin, to Trivandrum, to Madurai, to Madras (now Chennai), to Tirupati and back to Madras and then to Mumbai. It cost me just about Rs. 3500.
I was just a student in school when I was told that the then Union Food Minister Rafi Ahmad Kidwai ordered raids on hoarders and profiteers and prices of essential commodities fell. I remember the rate of sarson oil then was Rs. 0.75, for desi ghee Rs. 1.25, pakoras at Rs. 0.75 and barfi Rs. 1.25 each per ser (a little less than one Kg).

In 1973 the price of 5 Kilogrammes of peas (matter) was Re. 1 in wholesale market in Chandigarh. Even in 1978 sarson oil was sold at Rs. 7/8 per Kg.

In Chandigarh around 1968 the rate for one Kg of bhuna chana (roasted gram) and grapes was `2 each. It then sparked the comment: Andher nagri chaupat raja, take ser bhaji, take ser khaja.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

News Analysis Badle badle meri (AAP) sarkar nazar aate hain, ghar ki…

News Analysis
Badle badle meri (AAP) sarkar nazar aate hain, ghar ki…

By Amba Charan Vashishth

Great Britain has no written constitution. The monarchical Westminster form of parliamentary democracy there hinges on its great traditions and precedents. The British take pride in being strict sticklers to the law, traditions and precedents. But, on the contrary, in our form of parliamentary democracy where we claim to be following the Westminster style, we take pride in breaking the traditions and precedents.  We do swear by the Constitution but, at the same time, the ruling political party does everything to tame it to realize party’s narrow political ambitions and sectarian electoral goals in which the interest of the nation, invariably, stand isolated.

A new political outfit named Aam Aadmi Party  (AAP) composed mostly of novices in the field in just one year of its existence succeeded to catch the imagination of the metro city of Delhi to capture 28 out of 70 seats and also to defeat the chief minister Mrs. Sheila Dixit by a huge margin of about 26 thousand votes. It is an unusual happening in the electoral history of India. Though BJP emerged as the single largest party with 32 seats, four short of absolute majority, yet it preferred not to form a government than indulge in horse-trading. The ruling Congress stood reduced to paltry 8 seats. JD(U) won one seat and one went to an independent.

Even a day before declaration of results, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal swore by his children (God, save them!) stressing that his party would neither seek nor extend support to either BJP or Congress. Initially, it looked as if Delhi would have to suffer the travail of being denied a representative government with president’s rule being imposed in the State for six months. That is why for a fortnight Delhi virtually remained without a government as the incumbent ministry had resigned and, as per tradition, the Lt. Government had asked Sheila government to continue till alternative arrangement was made. 

After haggling and bargaining the Congress decided to extend ‘unconditional’ support of its 8-member group from outside to AAP government
It was the miracle of this parliamentary democracy that a ruling party badly mauled at the hustings could still be on the right side of power enjoying all the privileges of a ruling party except government bungalows, red beacon lights fitted luxury cars and staff. It provides fuse to the AAP government and luxuriates at the cost of government without accountability.

The ‘honest’ AAP stooped down to accept support from ‘corrupt’ Congress — the same Congress most of whose ministers, till the declaration of election results, the party had been vowing to throw in jail for ‘corruption’.

Finally, AAP government with Arvind Kejriwal as chief minister took oath on December 23. It was asked to prove majority in the house by January 3. In the process many unusual happenings took place. Many of the great traditions and precedents got crashed into rubble.

Since India won independence, it had been a tradition that the senior most MLA belonging to any party was nominated by the governor to function as pro-tem speaker to administer oath to newly elected MLAs. When Lt. Governor nominated the senior most MLA belonging to BJP as pro-tem speaker, the latter declined the offer. Congress followed suit. Ultimately, an AAP MLA was nominated as pro-tem speaker. After oath of MLAs, the pro-tem speaker used to conduct the election of the speaker. Thereafter the Governor/Lt. Governor addressed the newly elected assembly in which the future programmes and policies of the new government were enunciated.  It was only after that the house ccould conduct its normal business and take up the vote of confidence. In fact, the election of speaker itself is the virtual floor test of the strength of the incumbent government. All this was dispensed with.

Two days before the confidence vote Kejriwal himself said: “He has only 48 hours left with him”.  He claimed that his government may continue or be defeated in the house, he is not bothered. He wished to fulfill some of the promises made to the electorate. It was a political ploy and electoral game plan. In the event of his losing the vote of confidence, he wished to present the successor with fait accompli. If his government was defeated, he could shout from the house top: Look my government did what it could and should; it was defeated by vested interests because his government took these people-friendly decisions.

It is beside the point that many point out that neither the electricity relief is fifty percent nor the water supply concession is as promised because about half the population does not have electric and water connections in their houses and they are the real aam aadmi. Congress claimed that only subsidy had been increased.
But the question arises: Is a government which has yet to prove its majority and consequently its legitimacy constitutionally by tradition and by law empowered to do so? 

AS a rule, a vote of confidence is moved by the chief minister or the prime minister. It is he who replies on the conclusion of the debate and seeks approval of the house. This practice too was dispensed with. The motion was not moved by chief minister Kejriwal but by one of his colleagues. Both the opposition BJP and ally Congress made certain points, sought certain clarifications and made certain allegations during the debate. Congress declared that their support will continue as long as the AAP government took people-friendly decisions and adopted policies which were, in the opinion of Congress, helping the aam aadmi. The discussion was not wound up and replied by the mover of the resolution but by the chief minister Kejriwal. It was also for the first time that a chief minister chose to completely ignore all the points raised and allegations made during the debate. He preferred to keep silent on controversial issues as he felt convinced that silence was gold in the circumstances. He forgot his pre-result brave words that “corrupt” Congress leaders would be behind bars immediately after AAP government took over and that a strong Lokpal shall be passed on December 29 at Ramlila Maidan. He did vow a Lokpal within a fortnight. He did kept the hope alive that corruption will not be tolerated at any level by any individual to whichever party he/she may belong. But nothing new. Similar words have repeatedly been reiterated by Congress leadership too. Then what is different? 

What was starkly eloquent and piercing the ears of the viewers was the absence of the sharpness of Kejriwal's determination and commitment to stand by each and every word he gave to the people.

Kejriwal made name for coming out with specific allegations of corruption and malpractices against the then chief minister Mrs. Sheila Dixit and her government. For the last about one year he had been branding Congress and CM Sheila Dixit as “corrupt” and claiming himself to be “honest” on posters pasted on the back of hundreds of auto-rickshaws plying in Delhi. Ironically today, he is challenging the opposition to come out with proof against Sheila government.
This reminds us of the scene before 1989 Lok Sabha elections when in public meetings V. P. Singh used to boldly take out a piece of paper from his pocket saying it contains the names of those who received the Bofors kickbacks. But after he became Prime Minister he forgot everything and that piece of paper too disappeared.

 V. P. Singh history seems to be repeating in the case of Kejriwal. Now one only recalls a popular Hindi film song: Ab to badle badle (AAP) sarkar nazar aate hain, ghar ki………..   

Also published in the weekly ORGANISER, weekly UDAYINDIA.                                                                                                     ***