Arvind Kejriwal has given an interview on NDTV channel to Barkha Dutt, which I have seen. I would like to give my comments on the same.
Before commenting on it, however, I would like to say a few words about how AAP got a phenomenal 67 out of 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly elections.
The victory of AAP can be attributed to the following factors :
1. Delhi has a substantial number of small and middle level businessmen, i.e. shopkeepers, traders, etc.
Earlier, Congress was the party representing big business, while BJP represented the small and middle businessmen in many parts of India. Now Congress has been decimated ( thanks to its own misdeeds ), and BJP has been transformed into the party representing big business. The vacuum for representing small and middle businessmen has been filled by the AAP. Therefore many Delhiites voted for AAP.
2. Modi had won the May, 2014 Lok Sabha electons largely on the slogan of 'vikas', which to the Indian youth meant that millions of jobs will be created. The voting age in India had been reduced from 21 to 18, and the youth, cutting through caste and communal lines, voted en masse for Modi, thinking that now they will all get jobs. It may be mentioned that there is massive unemployment in India ( see my blog ' Unemployment in India ' on justicekatju.blogspot.in ), and so the youth were desparate to get jobs. The slogan of 'vikas' was thus the bait with which BJP led by Modi hooked the Indian youth in May, 2014.
However, after coming to power, the dream of job creation has vanished, and far from more jobs being created there are lay offs( see my blog ' The Dream has Evaporated '), and the Indian youth realized that they were taken for a ride by Modi and left high and dry. Thus the Indian youth felt cheated, and, to let out their anger, in the Delhi Assembly elections decided to give a strong rebuff to Modi,by voting for AAP.
3. Delhi has a substantial Muslim population, and Muslims were feeling insecure due to ghar wapasi, love jihad, speeches of BJP MPs like Adityanath, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti ( haramzadas ), etc.
Now Muslims in India vote usually for the strongest non-BJP candidate ( as they perceive BJP as their strongest threat ). Since Congress had been all but demolished, that left only AAP in the fray as the only alternative, and they voted solidly for it.
4. A major problem for Delhiites is electricity and water bills, and AAP promised to seriously address this problem.
The above are the real reasons for AAP's fantastic victory in February, 2015.
Now coming to the interview.
1. At the beginning, Kejriwal mentions about the achievement's of AAP in its 100 days in power---reduction of electricity bills, providing free water to the poorer sections, suppression of corruption and the 'transfer industry', etc.
So far as I could gather ( from America ), to some extent the claim is correct, and the Delhi public is feeling some relief.
But these are early days. I remember when Emergency was imposed in 1975 for a few months there were ' Gains of Emergency ' ( as they were called ). Trains started running on time, prices of essential commodities dropped, officials stopped taking bribes ( out of fear ), etc. But after 4-6 months all this euphoria evaporated, and it was again ' business as usual '. So I would request people to wait for another 100 days before making up their minds.
2. Kejriwal then blames the Lt. Governor for creating all kinds of obstacles. On this issue, I have already expressed my view that from the Constitutional point of view Kejriwal is correct ( see my blog ' Who is correct--Najeeb Jung or Kejriwal ?' ). How can a government run if it cannot have officers in whom it has confidence ? Of course Najeeb Jung is only acting as His Master's Voice, otherwise he would be sacked ( as have other Governors ). But the BJP leaders ( Najeeb Jung's masters) have made a stupid mistake in harrassing Kejriwal, thus making him a martyr in the eyes of the Delhi public, who are viewing the confrontation as a fight between David and Goliath. If the BJP leaders had not behaved so stupidly, by now AAP and Kejriwal would have started becoming unpopular ( as they can obviously not fulfil most of their election promises ), but their silly behaviour, and Najeeb Jung's misuse of his official position, has given an additional lease of life to Kejriwal's popularity.
3. The interview then goes into some other issues e.g. Gajendra ( who committed suicide in an AAP rally ), the media, Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, corruption, air pollution,etc.
My comments on the interview are as follows :
The real problems of India are massive poverty, massive unemployment ( see my blog ' Unemployment in India ' in which I have mentioned that 10 million Indian youth are coming into the job market every year, while only half a million jobs are being created annually in the organized sector of the economy ), massive malnutrition ( see my blog ' Malnutrition in India ' in which I have mentioned that half the children in India are malnourished ), almost total lack of healthcare and good education for the masses ( see my blog Healthcare in India '), farmers suicides, discrimination against, women, dalits, minorities, etc
Kejriwal has no solution to these problems ( see my blog ' The Reality about Arvind Kejriwal ', ' Have no illusions about Arvind Kejriwal ' and my other blogs about him ), and is only a ' Sapnon ka Saudagar' ( seller of dreams), like Rahul Gandhi, Modi, etc.
In fact the solutions to India's massive problems lie outside the system, which has to be radically altered. Kejriwal, like Rahul and Modi, are very much within the system.
In his book ' Swaraj', Kejriwal suggests ( like Gandhi ) that India's problems can be solved by devolving power to the village panchayats and mohalla panchayats. But anyone with even a little knowledge of the social realities of India knows that these panchayats are hotbeds of casteism and centres of corruption. Almost all the gaon sabha land, which was meant to be for the common use of the villagers, have been grabbed by the pradhan and other officials of these bodies ( see my judgment in the Supreme Court, Jagpal Singh vs. State of Punjab, 2011. It can be seen online )
The interview, intentionally or unintentionally, avoids focussing on the above, and only deals with periphery and minor issues.
I can safely predict that in 6 months time Arvind Kejriwal will become extremely unpopular, like Congress and Modi