Pehle Aap

Faraz Ahmad

Pehle Aap!

Renunciation or betrayal of people’s trust?

It’s a silly season of renunciation. Everyone is saying ‘I don’t.’ Everyone is saying ‘Pehle Aap (No pun meant), meaning ‘you first.’

Arvind Kejriwal, who roared from Jantar Mantar, India Gate and the rooftops of the Youth for Equality crowd to alter Delhi in no time, halve our electricity bill, provide free water supply and police Delhi well enough to prevent any rape or molestation in the national capital, when elected, was the first to announce, he would sit in the Opposition, since he did not quite like the idea of taking outside support, never mind that both the Congress and the BJP have offered support to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to form a government and urged prospective Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to fulfill his electoral promises.

But then Kejriwal is not used to doing any work. For nine years he collected a fat salary and all kinds of fantastic perks from the Government of India as an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer and did every other thing except what he was paid for. It is also a reflection on our bureaucratic system where you can get away and in fact be feted for not doing your assigned work. We don’t know how many more Arvind Kejriwals are being fattened among the elite service lot. He became an activist and teamed up with Aurna Roy, (who had resigned her position as an IAS officer before becoming an activist) to agitate for Right to Information (RTI), got it thanks to the pressure built up by the National Advisory Council (NAC) led by Sonia Gandhi and then went abroad with all expenses paid by the Government of India, not to train himself for his primary task of revenue collection but about RTI and finally returned with the most questionable Ramon Magsaysay Award, which has gone mostly to right wing activists like Arun Shourie, Kiran Bedi et al.

Kejriwal’s election symbol was Jhadu (the broom) and he and his fellow travelers are all anti-reservation. But thanks to the Jahdu symbol, he succeeded in fooling the entire anti-BJP constituency and some foolish BJP types as well along with naïve anti corruption variety. The Jhadu swept aside the Congress and the BSP too, which was making considerable inroads into the subaltern sections of Delhi’s slum dwellers. His purpose served, why should  he now expose himself to the vagaries of administration when that was never his intention, never mind that both the BJP and the Congress have offered him support to govern and prove what he promised.

Then we have Dr Harsh Vardhan, the ENT specialist who was chosen last minute by the BJP only to spite Vijay Goel, because he had foolishly assumed that he will be the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate. How dare anyone, but Narendra Modi assume anything in the Fascist BJP when everyone in the BJP including now the tired and retired L K Advani is screaming at the top of his voice ‘Hail Modi’ lest Modi does a Haren Pandya or Mansi Soni upon them when he sits on the high chair. The BJP has 32 MLAs in Delhi assembly, just short of four for a majority. This is not the first time the BJP is called upon to form a minority government. In 2008 B S Yeddyurappa was short of six MLAs in Karnataka assembly but he did not just form a government but ran it till the then Lokayukta of Karnataka Santosh Hegde, “done him in.”

Before the BJP announced Harsh Vardhan as CM its candidate, very little was known about him. The BJP went around giving him credit for making a success of the UN countrywide programme of polio eradication. Fact of the matter is that the credit or blame for however the BJP performed in Delhi till 1998 goes first to the veteran Madan Lal Khurana and then Sahib Singh Verma, least of all the non entity Dr Harsh Vardhan. More people knew poor Vijay Goel in Delhi than the doctor.

The BJP did not get a majority in the earlier Uttarakhand elections either, but it was anxious to form the Government though the Congress outwitted the BJP because of infighting within the saffron party. The BJP naturally has long term plans. It is looking at the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and is therefore more intent upon keeping the anti-Congress tempo high and not loose it by administering Delhi through a faltering bumbling Harsh Vardhan.

Former Delhi Mayor Arti Mehra has been sending text messages to all in her constituency thanking the voters for electing her and promising to serve them well. But how?  Is it fair on the elected representatives to first come to your home to seek your vote and then say, “I am sorry, I am out.” Be it the BJP or AAP, implement what you promised. Reduce our power bills, give us water make Delhi safe for our children. And if you cant, then step aside and make way for the others, don’t come back to seek our votes again.

I am not through yet. Taking a cue from these worthies the Prince Rahul Gandhi also seems to be traversing the same path. He is always a little confused and befuddled and this time again his reaction to the Congress rout is that he would rather sit in the Opposition post 2014 general elections than lead from the front. And Mani Shankar Aiyar, the good Brahmin, who anyway has no chance of getting elected from Tamil Nadu this time either, for Jayalalitha’s AIADMK is likely to sweep, has happily patted Rahul on the back for this remarkable insight. Mani, a former Foreign Service officer makes some sense when he talks of international affairs, in particular about Pakistan, but he better leave national affairs to those who have spent a lifetime and still survived in the quick sand of Indian politics.

Age seems to be catching up with Mani for he seems to be forgetting that even in 1999 when his partymen became unsure of Sonia Gandhi’s ability to deliver them power, Sharad Pawar and company split and formed the NCP. He himself had abandoned the Congress in bad time and gone with Mamata Banerjee. Any perceptive analyst can see that with Sonia having receded to the back ground already and once Rahul is unable to deliver, another round of mass desertions are staring the Congress party in the face.

It’s a bleak scenario, for as my friend Rahul Verma pointed out, we are hurtling surely towards Proto Fascism. Jhadu swept Delhi for Modi now it will sweep and scrub India for Narendra Modi.






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