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.
After watching the TV and reading newspapers for the last four weeks, I wonder who really won the last month's mini-general elections. I am confused. The headlines and the detailed reports speak only about the Aam Aadmi Party . I thought that the BJP won majority in the three of the four states and emerged as the party with the highest number of seats in Delhi. But the media has completely side-lined this fact and has been talking only about the AAP. In Delhi, the AAP came a close second to the BJP. That is all. It did not win a majority. With the support of the Congress Party , AAP has formed the Govt. But the fact remains that AAP came second. The media hype is a complete negation of and total distortion of the election results. Let us forget the media's mischief and move on. How different is the AAP from other political parties? AAP wants to decide all major issues on the basis of the opinion of the vocal section of the population. Those who will assemble on the road and shout 'Yes' or 'No' to Kejriwal's questions ( whether decision A should be taken or decision B) will decide how the Govt. will be run. They call this as real Democracy. They refuse to answer if you ask them what then is the role of the MLA-s elected. Why is a Democracy in which MLA-s within the legislature represent the people outside is inferior to AAP's participative Democracy which is vague and has space only for those who assemble on the roads in the various mohallas for a voice vote and those who keep sending sms messages saying yes or no? AAP ministers will travel by auto-rickshas to the secretariat, particularly if the TV cameras follow them. Fine. AAP leaders will abuse every other party and claim that the only non-corrupt leaders in the entire country are they themselves. Are Modi, Jaitley, Sushma, Advani, Karat, Patnaik, Nitish Kumar, Shivraj Chauhan, Raman Singh, Prithviraj Chouhan , Mamta etc. corrupt ? Never mind. But what are the AAP leaders' economic policies? They are one step behind the communists in this respect. They are more like Lohia-style socialists. They want to give every thing free. Water, Power, houses. They accuse all industrialists as looters. AAP is not much worried about how wealth can be generated. The party wants the existing wealth distributed equitably. They will be happy if they can do just that and nothing more productive. It wants to have a say how the industry should price its products. Good, but who will have the courage to invest in any industry if the Govt. fixes the price of its output ? For eg. electricity. AAP might change politics positively in aspects related to austerity, listening to people, transparency etc. But the party will take the country to disaster through its socialist , near-ultra leftist economic policies.All the gains made in the last 23 years since liberalization will be wiped out by the by-now notorious brooms. It is too big a price to pay for transparency in public life and checking corruption. There are better ways, better parties to achieve such objectives without destroying the economy. Is any one listening or are all of you busy shouting yes or no to questions of AAP's surveys in various mohallas?