Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Khaadi Ki Poornima

खाड़ी कि पूर्णिमा आज नयनों से ओझल है
यूँ तो सदैव ही आकर देख जाती थी मुझे
पर आज वो अदृश्य है

पूर्णिमा मेघ का घूंघट
आज जाने क्यों पहन बैठी है
कौन प्रीतम है जिससे वो
यूं स्वयं को छुपाये  बैठी है

सागर का जल भी आज
काली चादर ओढ़े सो गया है
ये कैसी विडम्बना है कवी की
ये कौन सी अबूझ  पहेली है

अंधकार में देखूं तो
सब कुछ भावहीन, रंगहीन है
स्वप्न भाँति यह मरीचिका सा पल
स्मृति में क्यों अंकुरित है

खाड़ी कि पूर्णिमा आज नयनों से ओझल है

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Delusion of Aam Aadmi Party



तुझसे पहले वो जो एक शख्स यहाँ तख्तनशीं था 
उसको भी अपने ख़ुदा होने पे इतना ही यकीन था

Roughly tanslated, this couplet in Urdu would implore the ruler that the one before him had the same grand delusions about himself .


https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-FPW0fMEqlG8/Ut9Ppb7NheI/AAAAAAAAPgg/4F3zj7zjH18/w480-h500-k/22JAN14%2B%25281%2529.jpg
Arvind Kejriwal's full circle by Sudhir Tailang
So, the 48 day drama has come to an end. Here was a Chief Minister who was found everywhere but in his office. Much like the principal character of Sanskrit one-act play  Duta-Vakyam by Bhaasa, Sri Krishna, Arvind Kejriwal could he seen here, there everywhere. Only he wasn't interested in issuing any paeans for peace. Instead, sowing the seeds of fiscal impropriety and upholding the unbelievable, he and his party just wrecked havoc in Delhi much like the Communists did in Kerala and West Bengal's early years of dalliance with them. Money that was meant to be given to the municipal bodies for their functioning was diverted towards BSES to 'provide subsidy' on electricity tariffs. Did they even think the consequences of a cash starved municipal body in turn increasing property tax rates to make up for this shortfall? Who will be responsible for this financial burden, the additional tax that is being imposed on the residents of Delhi? As comes to water - more than 30% of Delhi does not even have meters. Additionally, when you make 667 liters/day of water free, more than 90% of the metered connections would get excluded. How will the Delhi Jal Board then upgrade the infrastructure and plug leakages? Why did he not focus on reducing the unaccounted for water (UfW), which stands at 40%, the highest in the world? Instead of addressing the issues of Delhi in civilized ways, he kept defending the indefensible, such as the very presence of Somnath Bharti. Despite the complaints, no one wanted to understand that there were severl undercurrents of racism, as is evidenced in the circular of the Khirkee Extension RWA reproduced here.

Khirkee Extension RWA Circular calling Nigerians and Eunuchs a mess
Realizing that he and his government were losing much face and esteem in the middle class for their actions, the party decided to introduce the much vaunted 'Jan Lokpal' Bill to 'end corruption in Delhi'. The failure to introduce it despite claiming favourable opinion on similar bills from eminent Constitutional experts like Soli Sorabjee, major unconstituionalities were committed by the government of Delhi in tabling the bill without prior introduction as required. Also, it turned out that Mr Sorabjee was in reality critical of the Aam Aadmi Party's sparring with the Lieutenant Governor Mr. Najeeb Jung and their mangled interpretation.

Any how, the truth of the matter is that the party's central leadership, much like the political parties it despises, is not willing to acknowledge fundamental limitations that it possesses, and instead is focused on how to form the government at the Centre. For all the bravado on Jan Lokpal, truth was there was a lot of pressure on Mr. Kejriwal to contest Lok Sabha elections and lead the party's campaign, something not allowed by his commitments towards Delhi as it's Chief Minister.

Mr. Arvind Kejriwal and his world view are highly unimpressive for those who can see him with a critical eye. Just reading his critique in the Pakistani media is proof of just how starry eyed our media has been about him. Moreover, his prognosis of India's challenges on all fronts is highly dangerous and anarchic in nature, as Shekhar Gupta pointed out in his edit in the Indian Express. In a country that is rife with continued discrimination, what is the guarantee that the 'sabha' system shall not become tools of repression and discrimination. In the much vaunted Swiss model that is exemplified by the Aam Aadmi Party supporters and sympathizers, one must remember that women in Switzerland got the right to vote in their government only in 1971. The delusion of 'large enrollments' in membership has been punctured in a big way by many of the 'rightwing nuts' on Twitter, when it highlighted pictures of such people as Jawaharlal Nehru, Atal Behari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi among others enlisting themselves in the party. These claims have been punctured beyond the Delhi-Mumbai circle, so thoughts of an AAP wave have to be taken with not a pinch but at least one kilo of salt. Even in states like Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, where their influence may occur, the fact remains that they shall remain essentially restricted to select urban pockets like Simla and Gurgaon. To then go ahead and contest 300 seats is nothing short of political suicide. But then, a party that thinks of itself as nothing less than the fabled 300 fighting against the 10,000 strong army of Persia can continue to live in delusions about itself.

The Economic Slowdown Needs Immediate Address

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