Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Arvind Kejriwal is the new Socialist on the political horizon. I was happy that the era of the economy-killing Socialists got over in 1991, when the Congress party dumped Socialism that kept India poor ever since independence. At least the two major political parties, Congress and BJP, came to appreciate that subsidy was not the way to raise people's standard of living even in the medium term. One by one, the deficit-causing subsidies were getting removed. Unfortunately, this trend will now get reversed, with the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party. The party is headed by left of centre - oriented Kejriwal. Prashant Bhushan, the billionaire Lawyer who is an important leader of the party mouths Socialism of the extreme kind. Yogendra Yadav, the intellectual face of the party leans substantially to the left. Others like Kumar Vishwas, Sanjay Singh etc. do not seem to have any definite views on economy, but they will go along with the populist direction the party is taking. Political decisions such as halving the electricity tariff and subsidizing the distribution companies is old style Socialism and is not good for economic progress. Aam Aadmi Party is more dangerous to the economic health of the country than the old Socialists of the bygone era were, since the Aam Aadmi Party leaders are men of financial integrity and have credibility as politicians since they are not corrupt. Therein lies the danger of people condoning the party's senseless rush on the socialist road. I wish that non-Socialists like Kiran Bedi had joined the party to function as brake on the left-tilt of Kejriwal, Bhushan and Yadav.