AAP must stop protesting, start ruling



Bernard Tschumi had once described his minimal, austere apartment as a reflection of his views as an architect: “The architecture does not impose itself upon you. The apartment is a stage for other things to take place.”

Deciphered, Tschumi perhaps meant that in a happening abode austerity cannot be at the expense of the minimal needed for efficiency. In a context more relevant to Arvind Kejriwal, British Premier David Cameron threatened to “send back” any minister that proposed cuts in services rather than efficiency savings. “What you call austerity is what I might call efficiency,” he declared.

A good manager would know that austerity isn’t always about cutting costs; it’s also about getting more out of the same spending. About time then that the Delhi CM stopped fussing over the way he looked or lived. The touchstone for trust in the kind of politics he has come to embody are efficiency and transparency— not as much the public response that’ll never be uniformly supportive in this age of competitive (manipulative) politics.

Here one’s reminded of Aesop’s fable about a man and his son who stumbled and drowned the donkey they carried on a pole instead of riding it to the marketplace: Try pleasing all and you’ll please none including yourself!

So long as he’s able to make Delhi a better place to live, nobody really cares whether the CM has a four room official flat or a five room apartment.

Symbolism is no substitute for substance. Neither are sops. The water and power concessions Kejriwal announced pleased a section of his constituents but triggered an alms race with similar demands and decisions in Maharashtra and Haryana.

As a bonus, it secured for the minority regime the numbers it needed for the trust vote in the Assembly. Nobody topples regimes that start tenures with freebies for the poor.

The oft-replicated tactics barely distinguished the party that rode to power on the promise of a systemic overhaul, leave alone qualifying it to claim power at the Centre. To pose a challenge nationally, the AAP leadership has to first measure up to the task in Delhi.

The promises it made to the people of Delhi are well known: anti-graft, devolved decision-making and service delivery, transparent governance and putting an end to the VIP culture.

But little is known about AAP’s pan-India vision. The country indeed is ruled from Delhi. But ruling India is a way more complex and daunting than ruling Delhi.

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  • Atul8

    AAP has their work cut out.

    The combined provocations from Congress & BJP at various fora will continue to unsettle them for some time.

    Next, their inexperience will lead them to making bloopers in public which will be lapped up with glee by certain sections of the media.

    But the most dangerous adversary, in my view, will be the bureaucracy.

    They should garner national support as it marginally brings the other political parties in line, but cutting their teeth in Delhi to start with is certainly good idea.

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  • Anonymous

    Arwind Kejriwal has made so many u-turns on his promises that it is being rumoured that all the u-turns in Delhi are being renamed as Kejriwal.

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  • AshishC

    Why is Kejriwal’s economics such a surprise? His days rubbing shoulders with the NAC types can not but have done lasting damage.
    And, it is unfair that Haryana and Maharashtra’s joining the “alms race” is being blamed on Kejriwal. on Economic thought, Congress and AAP are in the same loony left corner of spend-o-nomics.

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  • DR SHANTANU GHOSH

    AAP is unravelling at a speed than a comet.A bunch of jokers, and brought shame to india with racist remarks. As they say in calcutta “Kejriwal Fejriwal choley na

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  • vijay !

    Very disappointed with AAP. Thi8s is theatrics which has beaten Mamta

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  • Vinod

    AAP was supported by people because they wanted honesty. Corruption is one form of dishonesty which people waited to get rid off. But the dishonesty AAP is demonstrating is worst then corruption. They are taking support from congress and trying to harm congress is the first dishonesty. Forming a government in Delhi, ignoring governance and indulging in symbolism for lok Sabha elections is the second dishonesty and the most glaring one is illogical and self righteous attitude towards the institutions which have evolved over a period of time.

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  • Anonymous

    AAP : Clear vision on what should not be done. Just that their vision gets blurred, when it comes to what needs to be done.
    Cong : Govt run by Mr. India
    Third Front : Akhilesh’s governance in past years.

    Seculars have to swallow this bitter pill. Their darling TINA has embraced Modi.

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  • Sujoy

    AAP’s motive may be good but they are lacking strategy to meet their vision. You can’t remove corruption etc so quickly which has become a way of life and a part of the system. Resigning from govt and lodging more protest will not help. Everybody knows the problems but AAP should take challenges one by one with a solution. Protest will not help. Instead of resigning over the issue of Jan Lokpal, AAP could have been taken steps to clean the Yamuna. Let’s be productive, creative not destructive or disruptive.

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