- No more 'janta darbar', Arvind Kejriwal's AAP govt to open call centre to register grievancesCM Arvind Kejriwal invokes Wal-Mart, Tesco, axes Sheila Dikshit nod to FDI in multi-brand retail in DelhiBoost for Arvind Kejriwal as Medha Patkar declares 'complete' support to AAPNow, Nitish Kumar skirmishes with Arvind Kejriwal over 'janata durbar'
Given the huge crowds Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwals janata darbar drew, and the manner in which roads had to be cordoned off to accommodate them, its obvious the capitals citizenry continues to be very angry. The question is whether the fire will spread to other parts of the country. If credit-rating agency Crisils latest projections are anything to go by, and 12 million people will have to go and seek employment in agricultureas industry and services cant absorb themover the next five years, chances are the anger will spread, indeed, it already has.
Its not as if those who have jobs are less angry and those in Delhi, last Saturday, probably had other problems on their mind as well like the plethora of scams, or excessive electricity and water billsthis columnist has unsuccessfully been battling a R65,000 water bill for a few months now. If the 2G-type scams arent bad enough, the R1-1.25 lakh crore annual increase in dodgy assetsNPAs plus restructuredof banks are seen as yet another sign of private skulduggery. Indeed, when columnists describe as anarchic Kejriwals decision to waive off dues of those who have not paid their electricity bills since he began his civil disobedience movementthere appears to be some re-think on this by the chief ministerthis is seen as hypocrisy; when the Congress waived off R70,000 crore of farm loans, critics justifiably ask, wasnt that anarchic? In fact, if Kejriwal sticks to his decision, he will pay the dues from the states budget while the agriculture dues were written off by PSU banks.
Much of the anger looks justifiable, more so when you look at the way the lal battis, the palatial bungalows and the gun-toting in-your-face security separate the ruled from the rulers, but there is another truth that needs to be kept in mind. Though this risks the likelihood of being seen as condoning corruption, the larger point is that corruption can be tackled only through greater reforms, though it may seem a lot more satisfying, even patriotic, to be slashing away at corruption in the manner Kejriwal is.
Take the airports, a subject in the news since the new T2 terminal in Mumbai has just been inaugurated. When it was inaugurated some years ago, Delhis T3, the equivalent of Mumbais T2, was in the news for a different reason. Though the GMR Group had promised to pay Airports Authority of India (AAI) 46% of