Of Aam Aadmi, their party and its practices

When Justice Katju said about a year back that more than 90% of the Indians are idiots, he was backfired from all circles. Every morning, I take the newspaper to learn about the happenings in and around the world. After reading news articles since the last few days, I am convinced to believe that a majority of Indian population is stupid. The kind of issues that are being discussed as the top news, be it a five bedroom house of a leader or his mode of transport or his continuous persistence on avoiding security, which have no effect whatsoever on the daily life of an average Delhite or an average Indian clearly supplements my hypothesis.

The Aam Aadmi party or the AAP was started with a mission, a great mission of eradicating corruption in the public services and thereby promising a better government. The aim of providing excellent governance shouldn’t be neglected at the cost of maintaining a simple life. For me as a citizen, it doesn’t matter if someone lives in a 5 BHK house or a lavish bungalow. I want an efficient mechanism to get my driving license, voter card in time and without bribe. I want a transparent policing of various schemes of the government.

Sarojini Naidu said it rightly that “It costs the nation a fortune to keep Gandhi living in poverty.”  The same would apply for the leaders of the AAP. It may inspire you to see Arvind Kejriwal travel in a metro instead of a car. But about 1700 police personnel were involved for smooth travel of Arvind Kejriwal and associates on his metro ride from Kaushambi to Ramlila Maidan. Kejriwal taking up all the praise from media and the great Indian middle class at the cost of so many extra police personnel than required is nothing but mismanagement of government resources.

I keep reiterating it in my friend circle and I repeat it here too, being a saint in politics should be an individual’s choice. There should be no need to enforce and publicize ones simplicity. By populating the culture of very simple living, there will be an increasing restriction on the number of people joining the movement. The AAP movement or for that matter, any political movement will flourish only when individuality is respected. For people to actually enter competitive politics, it should be looked upon as just another profession, where people join in, do their job, draw their salary, and maintain a decent standard of living.

The people in government sector are literally paid peanuts as compared to their corporate counterparts. To compensate a little for the small salaries, certain perks and privileges, like housing, transport is provided. My simple point is when one does the work assigned to him; why not use the salary and perks? And even if one does want to use the salary, why publicize the saintly deeds?

In a country where 600 million people are directly dependent on agriculture and there has been no job creation in that sector since the past few decades or so, where 40 percent of the people earn less than 50 rupees a day, where poverty and unemployment are accepted truths, it is the work of the government and not the way of life that will improve the standard of living of the people. A few months from today, it won’t matter if you wore plain shirts and traveled using public transport. The next time a person votes, it’ll be purely based on your delivery of services. To all the AAP ministers, your time is precious, stop being such a staunch Gandhian and focus all your energy on a better, accountable and efficient government.

Posted on January 6, 2014, in Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. “For people to actually enter competitive politics, it should be looked upon as just another profession, where people join in, do their job, draw their salary, and maintain a decent standard of living.”
    I believe that is the crux of the problem on Indian politics. Say I would want to enter politics, I would not want any hassles. It has to be just an another profession to me.
    I have noticed here in other countries, it is just an another respected profession.

    As usual Brilliant PP bhai!
    Keep it coming😀 !

    • Thank you!😀
      In Indian context, we consider our leaders to be some kind of divine personality and idiolize them. The moment we start treating them just another person in the crowd and start questioning, that is when the change will happen. Hope it happens soon!

  2. There is one more point of view. Do you think that Gandhiji would have been able to inspire so many people if he himself would not have given 2 hours daily for Khadi? Not really.

    You have to agree that there are people like Manohar Parikar and Manik Sarkar whi are living a simple life but being cautious that to in the process of making it simple, they are not spending more money than the luxury lifestyle It surely affects me that how much is my leader spending my money (taxpayers) on his own luxury and at the same time, I do not consider his travel in car (even with red beacon) a luxury to him because I know that it will enable him to devote more time for his duties as a CM.

    • I am all for Manohar Parikar and Manik Sarkar’s dedication towards public life. I never heard them publicize their way of simple living. The point that I am trying to make is of AAP’s policy to focus on glorifying their simple living. This makes politics a really difficult domain for a person like me, who would work efficiently and at the same time, want to live decently.
      Regarding Gandhiji’s point, I am very against the notion of embracing poverty. Gandhiji accepted khadi because he wanted to live like any other Indian. I am more impressed by personalities like Ambedkar, who wore 3 piece suits and set an example for the fellow people to follow. Their fight was against a common cause, the upliftment of people, but the methods were completely opposite. One has to understand that Poverty is an evil. The government of this country has failed bigtime to solve this problem.The sooner we get rid of it, the better.

      • I too agree that if I am becoming politician and I am asked to live a simple life, it would be difficult for me and I may drop the idea of entering into politics but yes, if I can live the simple, there is no doubt that I would have an edge over others due to this thing.

        My main point is there are things which may look luxurious to a common people, that may at the same time be necessary for ministers to work efficiently and effectively. But yes, if they are not really adding to ministers work, they should avoid it because of many reasons some of them are

        1. They would be able to understand the life of common people in a better way.
        2. They will inspire people and people will have faith on them.
        3. Corruption will decrease because luxury drags you towards corruption.

        All said that, we have example of Mr. Baijayanta Panda who may travel in BMW at Delhi but when it comes to visiting constituency, he prefers bike and even barefoot rallies so your luxurious history and present is not the obstacle if you have will to change the system but beware, arrogance comes with power so there are high chances of you loosing the track.

  3. Siddhartha Ayyagari

    perfectly said Pranay, I couldnt have agreed more. Not taking the given perks and calling it austerity does not make any sense to me. I believe the work should talk not these stuff which are only daily fodder for the hungry media.

  4. When do you plan to start your stint in politics, sir?
    Or can we assume you will just sit backstage and let your blog do all the talking, as is some other wannabe sitting somewhere else on his system, trying to push an opinion because thats all he can do, when there is some honest and courageous fools, trying to make amends to the country’s democracy, which has gone to the dogs off late!
    He might be a fool, but can you give me another instance of such a person in indian ‘politics’, who has made such an impact with his political debut???

    • I wrote this piece because I sincerely believe that AAP provides an excellent political platform for any honest and deserving person to enter into competitive politics. Winning without money and muscle power was unimaginable a year back. They did it and I highly commend it. But the publicity of their simple living is setting a trademark for the people to do the same is what bothers me. The movement is still is in nascent stage and they can afford to twist and update their policies and actions. The sooner they let their work do all the talking, the better for them and for the people of this country.

      • Well, if people like you are so much influenced by the living ways of a common man-turned-politician, as are so many others (Read: http://www.firstpost.com/politics/aap-recruitment-drive-marks-triumph-of-indian-democracy-1324175.html ), then it gives that person enough liberty to experiment with his public ways and be politically incorrect, for that is one of the calculated risks he has to take to make it Large.

        Your criticizing these well measured moves and writing a satire on it makes sense then…for to the common man, he gets an opportunity to point out his flaws and gain acceptance among his readers, rather than acknowledge the fact that AAP has already inspired many Indians to think the unthinkable, to imagine elections as a means not to power but to democracy.

  5. Great post PP. But unfortunately politics in India atleast is a play of perception not performance. And good governments have fallen because of improper communication. Case in point is the NDA government, which was better in many ways than the ones before or after it (not a BJP supporter btw). So even Kejriwal will be forced to play this game until he hopefully gets to power in the center, when he might with foresight do something about it.

  6. a politicians who is positive in approach and really has a vision should focus on real issues and not gimmicks. the stunt that is being going on in Delhi since the “Tajposhi” of AAP now seems to be a boring movie. I still have hopes that my vote will be of some value and AAP will deliver something concrete. Giving free water and electricity or taking a Janata Darbaar is what all politicians had been doing. I am okay if Arvind Kejriwal takes a 10000 sq ft of bungalow and organizes everything properly there instead of a road show. That will really help people. Anyhow, the only thing that haven’t changed is the Indian media. They were fools, are fools and I don’t see any improvement and I am sure that they will still act stupid. They are more concerned about TRP whether it is from Modi, AK or Rahul or Priyanka or even Rakhi Sawant rubbish utterance. Nation is not in their agenda.

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