Is the IAC’s Robin Hood act the answer?

I’ve always held that Arvind Kejriwal is a good pathologist insofar as problems confronting the common man are concerned. But his solutions to issues agitating the people are too simplistic and almost border on the dramatic.

His language is colloquial and his imagery wholly filmy. He’s adept at appropriating national icons, at times invoking Gandhi, the pacifist and Bhagat Singh, the revolutionary through immortal Bollywood numbers like “mera rang de basanti chola…”

Kejriwal undoubtedly is good at conceiving campaigns that touch a chord or capture popular imagination. But that at once makes him a bad physician whose prescriptions entail dangerous side effects.

Take for instance his protest lapped up by mobs against exorbitant electricity bills. He has no qualms about playing the savior by restoring connections snapped for non-payment. He has asked people at large to reach out to him for help when power companies act against consumers defaulting in payment of bills raised by them.

Now that’s plain and simple playing to the gallery. Nobody knows what long term solution Kejriwal has for the problem that’s indeed worrying the people of Delhi. Will he replace private distribution companies that allegedly over bill? How does he intend bringing down the power tariff linked at it is to the prices of coal.

I raise these questions because politics cannot merely be a game for changing faces in the power setup. It has to present alternative policy options. Or else, the country will slide into anarchy.

Associated with India Against Corruption, political analyst Yogendra Yadav is right when he justifies Kejriwal’s actions as protest against policy. But that again brings one to the question as to what’s the IAC’s economics for the power sector when clamor is growing that coal blocks be auctioned to highest bidders.

About time the IAC delineates its policies on issues it takes up to win popular sympathy and support. Or else they run the risk of being branded urban guerillas out to set people against institutions and established practices, howsoever pernicious they might be from a populist standpoint.

The country needs alternative politics grounded in sound socio- economic and world vision. Inflaming passions or exploiting inflamed passions isn’t the answer to a tainted system run by a set of discredited leaders. The choice lies between the rhetoric of BJP’s Ram Rajya and Kejriwal’s act of Robin Hood Raj.

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