Aam Arrogant Party – Part 2

Nearly a year ago, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stressed this time-immemorial saying, ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees,’ little did he know that his bitter-most critic Arvind Kejriwal will come to learn that lesson. As his nascent government completes a month, Kejriwal is finding out that not only does money not grow on tress, that governance is not as easy as coining slogans in Ram-Leela grounds.
First off, if everything goes wrong, looks like they will, a part of New Delhi is going to experience power shutdown they have not seen in years. Secondly, some of Sheila Dixit’s infra-structural projects are going to be shelved, as the government simply doesn’t have money for them, because, you see, all the subsidies of the AAP are eating away the available funds. Thirdly, the revenue officials forecast deficit of almost 3,000 crores shortfall this financial year. And, finally, the best of all, AAP’s main flagship programme of anti-corruption isn’t playing out well either. ‘Corruption has come down in one month,’ says Kejriwal, although he doesn’t have clear data back up as to how much corruption was there when AAP took over and how much it is now. He goes simply by hearsay. ‘I do not have a scientific study to show that corruption has been reduced but people have told me random incidents that they were not asked for money to get their work done.’
Fair enough. But how do we, ordinary citizens, in other words, the aam aadmis, find out whether the corruption has gone down or is going down? How about Kejriwal give us some data? It shouldn’t be very difficult I guess. They indeed did set up a call centre for people to report instances of corruption, didn’t they? Say, why not furnish the data on how many complaints were registered, what actions were taken, how many people have been prosecuted, suspended or dismissed, what is the conviction ratio, and, finally, whether the number of calls are going up or down?

I’m not sure they have this data. I don’t even know what’s happening to those call centres. I know as much that call centres can eradicate corruption in films, but in real life they need much more efforts.

A mere call centre or a mere proclamation of commitment or oath-taking does not make people clean. A sustained effort, follow up, education, systems, and political will all combined will make an impact. Not tomorrow, not in a month, but over a period of months and even years, people will begin to see your point of view. A few convictions may hasten the process, but will not ensure it. It’s as lame or naïve as believing that one death sentence will dramatically reduce instances of rape in this country.

And to make things more complicated, the AAP government is busy making enemies. First they called all politicians corrupt, then they called all policemen corrupt, and now they are calling all power companies corrupt. In the end, it will look like only a handful of AAP legislators who will be incorruptible. It’s not just that. When you call me corrupt, I won’t be very happy to co-operate with you. And regardless of whether I’m corrupt or not, I will strive to make life difficult for you. The power authorities and the power companies are making life difficult for the AAP government. The police and the media are bracing to make it difficult for them. And the other politicians are booking the ringside seats.