Thoughts on economics and liberty

Justice Katju’s post on Arvind Kejriwal has disappeared from his blog. Here’s a copy.

I posted a comment on Justice Katju's blog post on AK but I now that post itself has disappeared

[ADDENDUM: It has apparently come back on slightly different URL.

==THIS IS NO LONGER RELEVENT==]

I'm posting a cached copy from Google along with image, AND my comment. For the record. 

MY COMMENT FIRST

Justice Katju, you are 1/4th of the way on the right track. You are right to say that "Kejriwal has no scientific ideas about how to solve the massive problems facing the Indian people."

You are wrong to suggest that MREGA is a good scheme that is corrupted by the bureaucracy. This is pretty much the same "unscientific" socialist nonsense that has ruined India.

Third, you have neither bothered to read Sone Ki Chidiya agenda nor are into offering any genuine alternative blueprint for change that is "scientific". And working to make it happen.

While Kejriwal gets 0 out of 10 for his policies and approach, you get 3 out of 10.

JUSTICE KATJU'S POST

The Reality about Arvind Kejriwal

It took only 9 months for Narendra Modi from being very popular in India in May 2014 to becoming extremely unpopular ( as the Delhi Assembly elections have conclusively proved ) in February 2015. I submit that it will take an even lesser time for Arvind Kejriwal from being very popular to becoming highly unpopular.
 
Why do I say this ? For the same reason as applied to Modi, that is, promising the moon, but delivering little.
 
 Kejriwal's main plank, borrowed from Anna Hazare's agitation, was honesty. Leaving aside Mr. Shanti Bhushan's allegation against him, Kejriwal, apart from taking some superficial measures like suspending some babus, will never be able to implement his programme of integrity in administration ( see my article ' India in Transition and Corrupt ' on my blog ).
 
 This is because politicians can only make schemes and policies, but it is the bureaucracy which has to implement them, and unfortunately the bureaucracy in India has largely become corrupt. So even good schemes like MNREGA become sources of making money.
 
Kejriwal is not stupid. He knows that if he seriously tries to eliminate corruption he will create so many enemies that they will gang up against him and destroy him. So he will do nothing of the sort. He will pay only lip service to eliminating corruption, and take only a few cosmetic, superficial steps in that direction, knowing that if he goes beyond that he will certainly land up in deep trouble.
But then people of Delhi will ask : what has happened to your promise to eliminate corruption ? And this will soon start making him unpopular. Public opinion is fickle.
 
 Of course Kejriwal may make some slight dent in the electricity and water problems of the people of Delhi, which is indeed a major problem for them, and one of the main reasons why they voted for him. But here too it will not be smooth sailing. After all, electricity is supplied by private companies, which work for profit, not charity. If electricity bills are halved, as Kejriwal has promised, will they run on losses ?
 
 Moreover, even assuming Kejriwal is personally honest, where is the guarantee that the other AAP MLAs and other partymen will also be the same ?
 
 As regards the major problems of poverty, unemployment, price rise, malnutrition, healthcare and good education, I am afraid Kejriwal has no clue how to solve them. Of course he has promised many more schools and hospitals, but which politician does not promise the moon ?
 
 I have carefully studied Kejriwal's speeches and writings, and have come to the conclusion that there is nothing in the man, just as there is nothing in Rahul Gandhi or Modi. Kejriwal has no scientific ideas about how to solve the massive problems facing the Indian people.
 
 People of Delhi voted for AAP in February, 2015  because they were disgusted with BJP and Modi and wanted a change, just as Indians voted for Modi in May 2014 because they were disgusted with Congress and wanted a change.
 
It took just 9 months, from May 2014 to February 2015, for the public mood to swing from one extreme to another for Modi. I predict that the pendulum will take even lesser time for Kejriwal
 
 What is there in Kejriwal ? I think he is only a demagogue, who has no real solution to the peoples' problems, as people will themselves realize after some time. They have only exchanged one Sapnon ka Saudagar ( seller of dreams ) for another.
 
 I read Kejriwal's book ' Swaraj '. In that book Kejriwal says that we must transfer power from Delhi to the gram panchayats and mohalla panchayats. This is sentimental nonsense. Everyone with even a little knowledge of realities knows that most of such panchayats are hotbeds of petty caste politics and centres of corruption. It is general knowledge that officials ( or their kith and kin ) of gram panchayats have illegally grabbed most of the gram sabha land, which was meant for public use of the villagers ( as pointed out by me in my judgment in the Supreme Court in Jagpal Singh vs. State of Punjab, 2011, which may be seen online ), and often do all kinds of other misdeeds for the benefit of themselves or their kith and kin..
 
Screen shot from cached copy (click for larger copy)

 

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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