Skip to main content

Refusing to support Kejriwal dharna in Delhi against "undemocratic" ways of Modi govt, Congress stands isolated

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*
I have never liked the rhetorical politics of Arvind Kejriwal. In fact, the seed that they sowed in 2011 resulted in the fascist takeover of this country. Kejriwal wanted the country to become a gram panchayat at the Ramleela maidan, and decisions were taken on the voice vote. All the power elite of the upper caste suddenly turned revolutionary.
The patrakars, babus, professional activists, academics, lawyers, suddenly found that there is a 'space' for them to grab in the political parties. Anna Hazare wanted to be a 'Gandhi' while Kejriwal carefully was moving to fulfill his nurtured ambition. Though for a shorter period, media was even looking for him as Prime Minister of India, a new 'revolutionary' leader but we all know the damage was done.
Modi is not Manmohan Singh and that is the thing. It is RSS that planted Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), but it went out of their hand because they had tested the popularity. There is not a big difference between the AAP cadre and that of the BJP-RSS. AAP became a party on a platform that was called India Against Corruption funded by the corrupt elite of this country, whose sympathy were first towards the Sangh Parivar.
AAP was mandated to run the Delhi government, and it was huge, perhaps one of the biggest one. But it is also a fact that the Modi government did not want it to function independently. It was humiliated, and files were not being cleared. The Delhi chief minister along with his other ministers was sitting on dharna at the Lt Governor's house but he refuse to meet them.
While we may disagree the politics of AAP, we have to acknowledge several factors. AAP has put tremendous pressure on political leaders to make their polity pro-people but it has also helped to create a golden halo around Narenda Modi, who is not bothered about people. He preaches, pontificates and refuses to speak to common people, but that is how Hindutvavadis would like him to be. They will criticise everyone else but Modi is their demigod.
For Modi, it is easier to fight against Congress, accuse Rahul Gandhi for 60 years’ misrule and dynasty, but Modi can’t really face Arvind Kejriwal, who is perhaps more vociferous and can trash Modi on any given day. Those who want a Modi-Rahul debate live on TV should ask for Modi-Kejriwal debate or Modi-Lalu, Modi Mamta, Modi-Tejasvi or Modi-Akhilesh Yadav debate.
Rahul Gandhi came to politics from a elite back ground, and it has a plus point and a negative point, as he might not be too familiar with “sadak kee politics”, in which these are experts. Another plus point is that Modi can’t accuse Kejriwal of dynasty or even of being a bad administrator.
I think two modules of Delhi government need to be appreciated in the past few years. They are, the attempt to improve the schooling and make it accessible to students from poor background, and the Mohalla clinic. Both are definitely appreciable.
Vidya Bhushan Rawat
The Aam Aadmi Party has a solid network of dedicated activists and that is why it is still able to hold Delhi at any point of time. Congress unfortunately neither has these kind of activists who can stall Delhi for a day. The silence on the part of the Congress on the whole issue of the governance of Delhi is damaging. Rahul Gandhi should have issued a statement related to the issue of democratic right of a government to function. He may not agree and should not agree with AAP but he should clearly stand for democracy.
Congress cannot be selective in its approach. We all agree that Arvind Kejriwal has not done many things to be liked by all, and the biggest damage of the current regime is that it is highly undemocratic, yet in politics one must learn from mistakes, even as speaking on issue and not on individuals. If Congress had supported the Kejriwal dharna against the undemocratic way of handling by the central government, it would have helped them gain some respect. They have isolated themselves.
It is true that the Modi government has demolished all the institutions. It is strange to see how Congress treats Kejriwal's equations with the IAS lobby. I can’t believe that a chief minister will beat up the chief secretary. This is utterly farcical. The Modi government has muzzled the bureaucracy, and make it surrender, changing its ideological positions; but we have not heard a single press conference or a statement against unwanted and undue interferences by the government.
We had all wanted that bureaucracy and other related services like IFS and IPS must remain under political control but without interfering in their working pattern or trying to instill communal ideology. That makes India in sharp contrast with America where even the intelligence agencies are independent and are investigating the Russian link of President Trump.
Congress should not have ignored the plight of its chief minister V Narayanswamy in Pondicherry who is being humiliated by the Lt governor Kiran Bedi who could not win a single election, yet has the grudge for not being able to become chief minister of Delhi. Kiran Bedi has not allowed an elected government to function independently. It is surprising that Congress remains quiet on the Puducherry issue, which is almost same as that of Delhi as both the state are Union territories.
The crisis in Delhi is bigger in nature. It about the issue federal structure of our country. Will an elected government be allowed to work independently or not? Should a chief minister function as the stooge of the Central government or work independently? Long ago many political parties wanted the post of governors should be abrogated as it is a useless position wasting millions of rupees in their 'shan-shaukat'. Just abolish them and ask them to live in smaller houses.
Our democracy cannot be an instrument to strengthen the feudal system yet, this is happening by 'reviving' the fortunes of 'dedicated' cadres who can't be taken as ministers but can be placed to disturb the elected governments from working independently.
The Centre must initiate the process of negotiations and allow the government to function. Arvind Kejriwal is good with his cadres. His popularity was shrinking but this incident has provided him an opportunity to revive his clout or jadu, as his bhakts say. Modi has not brought any positive values to him with this episode.
In fact, Delhi's protest in 2012 and 2013 became the reason for the downfall of the Manmohan Singh government. We blamed Arvind Kejriwal for bringing Modi. Will he be paying his debt now by becoming instrumental in downfall of the Modi government in 2019? It looks possible, given the nature of political parties reacting to his dharna. Congress should show magnanimity as well as statesmanship – that the issue here in Delhi is not personal but autonomy of the institution.
Do they support the autonomy of the institution of the Chief Minister or not? Arvind Kejriwal may have misbehaved with the Chief Secretary or vice versa, and an investigation can be done for that, but people of Delhi cannot be allowed to suffer due to this.
Let Congress rise above the narrow partisan interests and strengthen the forces opposing BJP and its vicious communal agenda to defeat them in 2019. Delhi will rise up again and ignite the people's movement against onslaught on our autonomous institutions, including the federal structure of the country. Some time, a small defeat help you win the bigger cause. Congress must learn that as it has bigger responsibility to unite all the opposition parties and defeat the BJP. Will it be able to rise up from its narrow partisan interest?
---
*Human rights defender. Source: Author's Facebook timeline

Comments

TRENDING

You promised 50 lakh houses, give us one: Ahmedabad migrant women's plea to Modi

Women display letters containing rakhi for PM    By Hirabhai Solanki, Bhartiben Dantani, Ramesh Shrivastav*  Poor labouring families, including seasonal or long-term migrants of nearly 15 squatter settlements -- working as construction and casual workers and petty vendors, providing cheap but critically important labour for Ahmedabad city, living under plastic sheetings -- have reminded the Gujarat and Central Governments about the promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of building 50 lakh dwellings, wherein every pavement dweller and homeless would be given a decent home by the end of 2022. Holding a meeting in Ahmedabad under the aegis of the Majur Adhikaar Manch, they also referred to the appeal of the Prime Minister to poor and labouring women, seeking his support as brother by sending rakhis to protect their humble basti dwellings and provide them with decent housing, which is secure for them and their families. So far, about 300 women have posted rakhis to the Prime Ministe

A tale of horror and fraud: Profits in trillions of dollars for vaccine manufacturers?

By Aruna Rodrigues*  John Leake is a best-selling and “experienced non-fiction, true crime author”. Having just read what must be described as an extraordinary ‘telling’ of the Covid-19 saga, his book “The Courage to Face Covid-19: Preventing Hospitalization and Death While Battling the Bio-Pharmaceutical Complex”, co-authored with Peter A McCullough, MD, MPH, is the narration of true crime on a scale that could top the list in the history of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’. The book chronicles the unique role of national governments across the world and their health agencies, led by the USA and WHO, which followed an agenda that led to completely avoidable fatalities numbering several million. The question is why? The usual culprits are money and power. But to ascribe cause to these two is woefully insufficient. The sheer magnitude of the ‘dark agenda’ – coordinated and played out by governments, health agencies, the medical establishment (hospitals, doctors and chemists) and the massive a

A countdown to disaster: Breach in fly-ash bunds of Nagpur's thermal power plants

Fly-ash dyke, Koradi thermal power plant  By Dhwani Shah, Deepmala Patel*  Last month the residents of several villages of Nagpur district woke up to the nightmare of being inundated with fly-ash. Located in the north of Nagpur city are Koradi and Khaparkheda thermal power stations which have their ash dykes in the vicinity. On July 10, 2022 at 3 am, the ash dyke of the Khaparkheda thermal power station broke, leading to ash contaminating the Kanhan river. Though the authorities claimed to have acted quickly and the fly ash dumping in the river was stopped, the claim stood to be misleading and false. Even today, the Kanhan river continues to be polluted with fly-ash, and the water supply to the city is affected. Not only did ash dyke of the Khaparkheda power station break, on July 16, 2022, the ash bund of the Koradi thermal power plant also broke. Fly-ash and water stored in the dyke gushed downstream to six villages -- drowning houses, water bodies and farmlands. With such large-

Kailash Satyarthi NGO floats new centre in Delhi to 'empower' underprivileged children

By Our Representative  A voluntary organisation linked with Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi-supported NGO has floated a unique children’s resource centre at Sanjay Camp, Chankyapuri, New Delhi, in order to facilitate in imparting remedial education, recreational training and holistic development of children of around 2,500 under-privileged slum-dwelling families. Virender Singh Kadian, MLA of Delhi Cantonment, inaugurated the centre, which is called Shaheed Kalu Bal Vikas Kendra. The resource centre is in memory of Kalu Kumar, who died at an young age serving and working towards the development of under-privileged children, said an NGO source. A firebrand activist, Kalu Kumar was trafficked from Bihar to the carpet manufacturing belt of Allahabad when he was six. He was rescued by the Bachpan Bachao Andolan at the age of 10. A bright student, Kalu he covered up the lost ground very quickly and grew up to become a leader fighting for the rights of other child slaves at Bal Ashram. In

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

Multi-crore NRC updation scam? Awaited: Assam media's self-cleaning mechanism

By Nava Thakuria  If some editor-journalists are allegedly involved in a financial scam, shouldn't the people get an opportunity to identify them? As the mainstream newspapers and news channels of Assam are avoiding the issue in their coverage, how come the actual picture will come to the public domain? If the mainstream media outlets intentionally kill the news, reasons best known to the editors, should the social media users take a lead? By now a number of senior journalists (with experience in print journalism for many decades) have highlighted the issue in social media. Their message is loud and clear- identify the corrupt television journalists who grabbed a huge amount of money which is actually meant for thousands of Assamese professionals. It all began when a second first information report (FIR) was filed by the outgoing State coordinator of National Register of Citizens (NRC) against his predecessor alleging corruption and money laundering while updating the 1951 NRC in A

RSS, Sangh Parivar consider tricolour as "state flag" and not "national flag"

By Teesta Setalvad* Today, when the nation has been independent for 67 years, the Sangh Parivar is set to launch ‘Tiranga yatras’ and Satyagrahas to defend the honour of the flag and the nation. Yet when the Indian people were involved in the decades-long struggle for freedom against British imperialism, the RSS was conspicuous by its absence in the struggle. When thousands of people faced lathis, bullets and jail sentences for hoisting the tiranga and participated all over the country in satyagraha during the Civil Disobedience and Quit India movements against the British Raj, the Sangh publicly took the stand that it would not take part in the movement and seldom missed the opportunity of assuring the British rulers that they would keep to the right side of colonial law and avoid any clash with the authorities. Of course the reason given for this was that the Sangh was secretly strengthening itself and would take on British imperialism only when it was strong enough to do so! A simil

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

'Grossly inadequate': NREGA allocation 0.29% of GDP, World Bank recommended 1.6%

By Rajiv Shah  A civil society tracker, seeking to periodically analyse the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA), has said that NREGA budgetary allocation is only 0.29% of GDP and 1.85% of the total government expenditure of the financial year 2022-23, which is grossly inadequate. Thus, “As per estimates of researchers of the World Bank, for NREGA to run robustly, its allocation must at least be 1.6% of the GDP.” Prepared by the People’s Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), a group of activists, academics and members of people’s organizations, who came together to advocate for NREGA in 2004 in order to catalyse discussion and strengthen the top Government of India rural jobs guarantee scheme, the tracker states, the NREGA budget as percentage of the total government expenditure has also decreased -- it stands at 1.85% for FY 2022-23, just about half the level in FY 2020-21 (3.65%). The tracker, titled “Meagre Funds and Unlawfully Low Wages: How

Since 2015 Govt of India didn't allocate single rupee to Gujarat for RTI training, awareness

By Pankti Jog*  The Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India (GoI) has allocated Rs 8.7 crore to Maharashtra for conducting Right to Information (RTI) training and awareness between 2015 to 2022. Of this, Rs 5.9 crore has gone to the Maharashtra State Training Institute, YASHADA, and Rs 3.01 crore have gone to the State Information Commission, Maharashtra. Gujarat, on the other hand, has not received even a single rupee over the last seven years for RTI programmes. Even Gujarat’s State Information Commission too has not not received any funds since 2005. RTI is one of the effective tools to bring transparency and accountability in the administration, thus improve governance. If citizens are aware, they would participate in a more meaningful manner in governance. They would effectively monitor planning and expenses of public programmes. Indeed, it is necessary that RTI is taken to every citizen, for which the government needs to conduct awareness drives and training