Wednesday 30 December 2015

Kejriwal and Tughlaq

 I find striking similarities between Arvind Kejriwal and the Delhi Sultan Muhammed bin Tughlaq ( 1300-1351).

 Like Tughluq, Kejriwal appears to be personally honest and well intentioned. But like him, he seems to be totally unrealistic, capricious and quixotic.

 Tughlaq whimsically transferred the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, causing untold suffering to the people, and debased the currency, causing economic chaos.

 Siimilarly, Kejriwal resorts to stunts like car free day, driving a bicycle, lokpal ( which some have called jokepal ), etc. His latest odd even car scheme to be introduced from 1st January, 2016, though well intentioned ( to reduce air pollution in Delhi ), is a chimerical brainwave which is bound to be a flop, causing immense chaos, and a new source of corruption. One hears that in Delhi there are already bogus license plates with a sliding final odd/even digit for sale at Rs 400.

 When the Aam Admi Party was started, tens of thousands of people, in India and NRIs abroad,  voluntarily joined it and financially and otherwise contributed to it, thinking it will herald a new era, a new hope and alternative to our corrupt politics. But now this hope has largely dissipated, after the unceremonious and undemocratic expulsion of some of its co-founders, allocation of Rs.536 crores ( 21 times last year's amount ) in the Delhi budget for Kejriwal's self propaganda, drastic increase of salaries of Dehi's MLAs, stunts, etc. I have received scores of facebook messages and emails from persons who had joined AAP enthusiastically, but are now totally disillusioned.

When AAP won 67 of the 70 seats in the Delhi legislature Kejriwal had a splendid opportunity for doing good work for Delhi. The first thing he should have done was to have appointed competent and experienced advisers. Kautilya has written in the ' Arthashastra ', and Tiruvalluvar in 'Tirukkural ', that for success, a king must have good advisers who can fearlessly give him advice, which may even be against his views and even unpleasant to him

Thus, in Tirukkural, Tiruvalluvar writes :
 " Sevikkaippach solporukkum panpudai ventan kavikaikkezhttankum ulaku "
" The patience to hear bitter truth and bold advice ( from his Ministers ) is the umbrella which protects a wise ruler "

Emperor Akbar's success was to a large measure because of his outstanding navratnas, e.g. Abdul Rahim Khankhana, Todarmal, Abul Fazl, Faizi, Man Singh, Birbal etc.

But Kejriwal has wasted that opportunity. He has surrounded himself with chamchas, a chandaal chaukdi ( gang of four, as in China after Mao's death ) who are non entities, yes men and Sancho Panzas who cannot or dare not stand up to him even when they feel he is wrong. The expulsion of the Bhushans and Yogendra Yadav from AAP have sent a message that ' billee oonth le gayi, to haanji haanji kehna '. ( if the king says that a cat took away a camel, just nod your head and say " Yes sir, yes sir ).
My own assessment is that unless Kejriwal develops some maturity and sagacity soon, and replaces his 'gang of four' ( who are proving to be his ' bhasmaasurs ' ),by competent and experienced advisers, he will, like Muhammed binTughlaq, soon meet his Waterloo.. An administration cannot be run long on whims, stunts and capers

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