Kejriwal is the last politician standing between Indian politics and rampant corruption
A couple of years ago, Sadanand Dhume had written a piece titled ‘Arvind Kejriwal: The most dangerous man in India.’ The title was as catchy as it was misleading, if not subversive. The ensuing ‘analysis’ was sadly not borne out by facts, but relied on obfuscation and rhetoric. On the whole, the article was an anti-Kejriwal diatribe disguised as an intellectual treatise.
Fast forward a couple of years and Mr. Dhume is at it again, this time with another catchy title, ‘India’s Anticorruption Mirage.’ Once again, this article, like the previous one, is full of sweeping generalizations not backed by any facts whatsoever.
Dhume opines that Arun Jaitley cannot be accused of any foul play anywhere – simply because his admirers see him as ‘one of the cleanest figures in Indian politics.’ And the PM says he’s ‘pure.’ No doubt, whatever the PM says is gospel truth! And by failing to mention Kirti Azad and Bishen Singh Bedi, and skimming over the details of the DDCA scandal, Dhume makes the case look like a Kejriwal vs. Jaitley joust, when this is hardly the case. Ironically, to back his clean chit to Mr. Jaitley, he quotes from Mr. Jaitley’s facebook post! (OMG!).
And now some facts for Mr. Dhume:
- Kejriwal fired a minister on grounds of corruption. This is the first time this has ever happened in India’s political history.
- The Central government is not giving the democratically elected government of Delhi control over the state’s anti-corruption bureau. Without this, the state government has severe limitations in fighting corruption. If the BJP stands for anti-corruption, why is it afraid of ceding control of the state’s ACB to the state government where it rightfully belongs?
- The BJP suspended Kirti Azad for making revelations against the DDCA – was the ruling party tackling corruption or covering up corruption?
- Remember black money and the 15 lakhs promised to each Indian by none other than the PM himself during the 2014 election campaign? Why hasn’t there been any movement on this front? Why does the BJP government ignore the allegations of someone of the stature of Ram Jethmalani on this issue? Can an aam aadmi be faulted for feeling that the BJP is not serious about recovering black money stashed away abroad?
- Before passing judgment on Kejriwal’s administrative track record, one would have expected at least a modicum of research. The Delhi government has fulfilled its ‘water and electricity’ election promises. The 1021 corruption hotline is an outstanding success with over 1.25 lakh calls in the first month. Delhi is the first state to launch an e-ration card service, linking ration and Aadhaar cards with a view to increasing transparency and curbing corruption. Anybody having an Aadhaar card can apply online for a ration card, and take a printout of the card, which will be valid like an e-ticket. The AAP government introduced the system of self-attestation and did away with over 200 categories of affidavits that were previously necessary for getting various certificates. They also rolled out an impressive solar policy which the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has suggested be adopted across the country. The Delhi Government followed through on its commitment to women’s safety by deploying one thousand home guards in Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses as a first step. Two hundred buses in Delhi now have CCTV cameras installed. Lastly, the Kejriwal government’s battle against pollution has united the residents of Delhi like never before, and what’s more, the PM’s home state of Gujarat is on its way to adopting the same measures! The track record of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Haryana and other newly elected state governments pale in comparison to the achievements of the AAP government in Delhi.
- Ever heard of a CM’s office being raided by sleuths on the flimsy pretext of investigating corruption charges against a senior bureaucrat? Corrupt bureaucrats are everywhere. Why was Kejriwal’s office chosen for this historic honour?
- The Congress party’s track record on corruption needs no elaboration. The BJP rode to power on the back of Kejriwal’s anti-corruption crusade. But two years into its term its anti-corruption credentials (Vyapam scam, Lalitgate, DDCA, Chattisgarh’s tape-gate) stand completely exposed. While this might not be apparent to Mr. Dhume who has been singing the BJP’s praises for some time now, the state electorates of Delhi and Bihar have seen through the charade as is apparent in the election results.
Fault him for his politics, his direct in-your-face style, but today, Kejriwal is the only politician standing between Indian politics and corruption – battling the politics of roadblocks practiced on a daily basis by the BJP through the LG, the ACB and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) – yet persisting and marching along in pursuit of a seemingly elusive dream of brashtachar-mukt-Bharat.
After Dhume’s first attack on Kejriwal, the AAP won a sweeping 67 out of 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly.
Hopefully, he will time his next piece for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections!
Pran Kurup is an entrepreneur, technology enthusiast and keen follower of politics.