It is hard to remain uncorrupt in politics. Despite claims of honesty by Arvind Kejriwal and other megaphones of the Aam Aadmi Party, the truth is that AAP does all that every other party does to win and retain power. It is no different than other political parties. Being relatively new, it is given the benefit of doubt, though there is evidence to prove that AAP too resorts to the usual skulduggery associated with most political parties. In fact, Kejriwal can be far more cynical in the use of devious tricks to hoodwink voters than most other politicians, not relying solely on free-water and free-power plank.
For proof, let us recall how Kejriwal had proclaimed from housetops that AAP is an “honest” party. That it would clean up political finance, that it would not accept a penny in black money, etc. It had promised to put the name and address of each donor, including his PAN number, on its website for the sake of transparency. Of course, it was an empty promise which was meant to fool people.
The lid was first lifted off AAP’s neat little scam by a group of idealistic young men who had joined AAP during the days of the Anna Hazare movement. Soon they got disgusted after witnessing first-hand the sordid goings-on. They left AAP and undertook to expose the dirty doings. They claimed AAP freely accepted huge donations in black money. To buttress the charge, photocopies of four bank pay drafts of Rs 50 lakh each were brandished at a press conference in the run-up to the Delhi Assembly elections. It was black money which AAP had arranged to have deposited in its bank-account after getting the same turned into bank drafts, they had claimed. Having allegedly accepted Rs 2 crore in cash from a couple of donors, the AAP set about making it appear licit political funding, it was claimed.
But should you be surprised? We think not. For, Kejriwal has all along been dubious. He joined government service, never put in an honest day’s work, drawing full pay and perks while doing “social work” with a Ford Foundation-funded NGO and getting paid a substantial sum as “out-of-pocket expenses”. As a social worker, he used someone else’s car, while saving his own money.
When he quit government on becoming a politician, he left without paying nearly Rs 7 lakh, which he had owed it. Again, someone else paid that money for him, though it was his own personal debt. We can go on and on in the same vein. Suffice it to say that he is as worldly-wise as they come. In fact, the AAP boss is neither honest nor democratic. A highly ambitious man, he can do everything which conventional politicians do plus more for the sake of power.
Incidentally, last year following the leak of e-mails of a business group, a couple of journalists were made to resign when it was discovered that they had used the car and/or guesthouse of the said business house for a couple of days. But Kejriwal is honest, though he used someone else’s car and relied on others to pay his personal debt. A case of clear double standards, isn’t it?
REVERSE DISCRIMINATION NEEDS A RELOOK
An interesting debate on social media concerns all of us. It pertains to the pernicious and long-term effect of unbridled reservations in services and educational institutions. And focuses on the need to cap the special privilege of preference in jobs and admissions in educational institutions to one or two generations for each nucleus family. The quality of the all-India services is at stake should caste-based preferences continue to distort the selection process indefinitely.
The case in point is that of the recent IAS “topper”. Curiously, though Tina Dabi barely got 50-odd per cent marks overall, yet she was the topper in this year’s all-India civil services exam. But what is not widely known is that she had failed in the preliminary exam, but using the reservation route still succeeded in sitting for the main examination.
However, what has really rankled a number of aspirants who could not pass the prestigious exam despite having done far better than Dabi in both preliminaries and mains is that she is a third-generation beneficiary of reservations. Her grandfather got into the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research using the reservation route. So did her father in the Indian Telecom Service. Ditto for her mother who joined the Indian Engineering Service through the SC quota.
Also, wonder what will remain of the once much-vaunted steel frame of India if candidates with barely 50% marks can emerge toppers in the IAS. Of course, no sensible person can question the need for affirmative action for the traditionally disadvantaged groups, but to extend it indefinitely is bound to render the system ineffective, especially when they are now insisting on reservations in promotions as well. Merit cannot be sacrificed fully at the altar of political expediency.
BLOOD, SWEAT FOR FAMILY
Apropos of the oath of loyalty to the mother-and-son duo the newly-elected Congress MLAs in Bengal were made to sign on a Rs 100 non-judicial paper. There is a feeling in some quarters that the state Congress chief, Adhir Chowdhury, might have erred slightly. Instead of insisting that each one of the 44 MLAs sign the affidavit in their blood, the don of Murshidabad, as Chowdhury is widely known, allowed them to get away cheaply, letting them scribble their signatures in plain ink. Will someone please tell Chowdhury that loyalty to Soniaji and Rahulji does not come cheap. Bengal MLAs must execute the affidavits of loyalty afresh, but only in blood.