My vote is not for AAP

No matter how good AAP looks at the moment, no matter how humble Kejriwal’s demeanour and how sweet the song he sang at his inaugural, we need to be very, very careful.

Written by Tavleen Singh | Updated: January 12, 2014 6:32 am
AAP’s ideologues know that corrupt officials have ruined India. (PTI) AAP’s ideologues know that corrupt officials have ruined India. (PTI)

The bubble of euphoria that is making a disturbingly large number of Indians see the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in soft focus needs to be pierced before it is too late. And, as someone who has been wary of Arvind Kejriwal, Anna Hazare and friends from day one, I consider it my duty to perform this task. It will make me less popular than I already am with Leftists, secularists, Stalinists, Leninists et al, but I did not become a political columnist to win a popularity contest. So the venom they spew worries me not one bit. The truth is I worry much more when they agree with something I say, and it is partly because of their unstinting support for AAP that I feel the need to start ringing alarm bells.

No matter how good AAP looks at the moment, no matter how humble Kejriwal’s demeanour and how sweet the song he sang at his inaugural, we need to be very, very careful. Incidentally, the song that he said was the AAP anthem is from an old Hindi film called Paigham, and it was disingenuous of him not to mention this. I thought it had been written by AAP’s resident poet and was quite astonished when a friend pulled it up on YouTube and I spotted Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala in starring roles. But, a small deception compared to the bigger deception that AAP is trying to pull off politically and economically, with the unstinting support of Leftist hacks and a caboodle of semi-retired ‘professionals’ who have leapt on the AAP bandwagon. These include bankers, businessmen, dancers and IT whiz kids, most of whom appear not to have noticed that the economic policies AAP stands for are the opposite of those they made their money from.

So let’s talk about AAP’s economic vision. It is usually best expressed by Prashant Bhushan, who unfailingly makes it clear that he despises the private sector for ‘looting’ resources that in his view belong to the people of India. He forgets that this is exactly what Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi believed, so they banned the private sector from most areas of enterprise and poured people’s money into the public sector. It was when public sector companies failed to make profits (except for corrupt officials) that the private sector was allowed in, but only in a small way. No matter what the losses of ‘Coalgate’ and 2G, they are minuscule compared with the losses caused by coal that burns in underground fields and the natural gas that is wasted daily because public sector companies do not have the technology to exploit it.

AAP’s ideologues know that corrupt officials have ruined India. That is why there was the movement led by the mighty Anna Hazare for a strong Lokpal. But what is puzzling is AAP’s solution. This in one simple sentence is: we know officials can be corrupt, so we must give more power to honest officials to catch the corrupt ones. Where are these honest officials going to come from and how long will they stay honest? And, if private investment is so evil, where is the money going to come from to give the ‘aam aadmi’ free electricity, water, schools and healthcare?

AAP’s political vision is so frightening that if implemented (may the gods have mercy!), it could turn India into a Stalinist police state. Citizen Kejriwal has asked every citizen of Delhi to start conducting private ‘sting’ operations on officials who ask them for a bribe or indulge in other forms of corruption. What happens then? Will there be a guillotine in Vijay Chowk to which these officials will be led or will they be tried by an already clogged justice system? And, when every citizen becomes a policeman, what happens to the rule of law?

As for AAP’s more gimmicky political ideas, these have already started to die their own death. All that drama about using public transport for the inaugural at Ramlila Maidan was just drama. Because the very next day Kejriwal gave his ministers Innova cars. And, all that talk about living humbly was just talk because the chief minister is now looking for a ‘smaller’ house, but smaller than two five-bedroom houses is not exactly small. As for the new ministers, will they be living in the filthy alleys and squalid bazaars in which the ‘aam aadmi’ lives in Delhi, or will they find ‘small’ houses in more salubrious areas?

It will not be long before even the most gullible new voters see through the deceptions of AAP, but it is important that the deceptions become apparent before the 2014 general elections. Recent polls indicate that Kejriwal is being seen as a more credible prime minister than Rahul Gandhi. Can you hear the sound of those alarm bells?

Follow Tavleen Singh on Twitter @ tavleen_singh

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  1. A
    Abhay Singh
    Jan 14, 2014 at 6:44 pm
    I agree with almost everything she said but her point about sting operation doesnt make sense to me,
    Reply
    1. 1
      1oldbeamer
      Jan 12, 2014 at 4:32 am
      Hope this brilliant article puts little sense into AAP euphoria
      Reply
      1. A
        Alok
        Jan 16, 2014 at 4:39 pm
        Full agree with you
        Reply
        1. C
          chsaro
          Jan 12, 2014 at 6:09 am
          Excellent article as usual a real eye opener.....keep it up.
          Reply
          1. P
            Prakash Mehta
            Jan 12, 2014 at 9:55 pm
            A great article. People must understand the intricacies of politics by standard before voting for AAP for Lokshabha polls in the interest of country.no one wants a Hung parliament or reelection after Lokshabha election again.
            Reply
            1. M
              Malik
              Jan 16, 2014 at 11:35 am
              Good to see people are coming out of AAP Syndrome. We Should realize what ber we have done by voting for AAP
              Reply
              1. V
                Vinay
                Jan 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm
                I agree. I will never vote for AAP. I am getting sickening feeling looking at their daily soap in delhi. Instead of doing something meaningful they are busy doing some rituals. I lost hope in AAP. My vote is for Modi.
                Reply
                1. V
                  Vinay
                  Jan 12, 2014 at 3:19 pm
                  I agree. I will not vote for aap. Not happy with their antics. They don't have any vision.
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    AP
                    Jan 14, 2014 at 6:33 am
                    every developed country in the world provides social security to its citizens...does it make them communists?
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Aap Aadmi
                      Jan 13, 2014 at 2:20 pm
                      correct... The BJP and Congress are now SCRED like anything. they just want to pull AAP's leg at anycost.. But All the Literate people are with AAP/./ So NO WORRIES AAP... :)
                      Reply
                      1. A
                        aam aadmi
                        Jan 12, 2014 at 11:45 pm
                        AAP is alright if they throw kumar vishwas out of it, he is nothing but a third cl person with stupid quality of singing songs and maniting words.
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                        1. A
                          aayush
                          Jan 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm
                          dont you think this will reflect in the next year or so?
                          Reply
                          1. R
                            Raj
                            Jan 13, 2014 at 12:19 am
                            Tavleen, Elections is not about choosing the perfect solution. It is about choosing one amongst the options:A. Corrupt and inept Congress.B. Corrupt and divisive BJPC. Inexperienced and right at heart AAP.Now if you are not choosing C. would you choose A or B?
                            Reply
                            1. S
                              somani
                              Jan 13, 2014 at 7:58 am
                              nice one ..hope people call the bluff sooner
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                Ashutosh Mallick
                                Jan 13, 2014 at 10:04 am
                                The article was very well written and raised many questions over the steps taken up by AAP. I and lots of people like me must be thinking that what the party is trying to do seems practical and even main stream parties are thinking in same line. But I believe everyone would agree that the problems/issues raised by the party is genuine and exists. The question is do we have BETTER SOLUTION. I believe every one commenting on the steps on AAP must also provide solutions in stead of pulling the legs and finding flaws which I believe is most easiest thing to do.
                                Reply
                                1. R
                                  Ramesh
                                  Jan 15, 2014 at 11:12 am
                                  According to AAP supporters, Tushar Kapoor is a better batsman than Sachin Tendulkar, because he has never been bowled out by Glenn McGrath.
                                  Reply
                                  1. R
                                    Ramesh
                                    Jan 15, 2014 at 11:13 am
                                    Hopefully, there are more intelligent, articulate, clear-thinking people in India than emotional (if well-meaning) s like yourself.
                                    Reply
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                                      Ajay Chandra
                                      Jan 13, 2014 at 6:41 am
                                      HCC is worried that if Modi doesn't come to power what will happen to its projects already caught in Environment controversy. So no wonder that author who is 'extremely' close to the owner of HCC has to criticize AAP.
                                      Reply
                                      1. A
                                        ajay
                                        Jan 13, 2014 at 12:42 pm
                                        Time should be given but it is AAP who is in hurry (free water and electricity without any economic justification)
                                        Reply
                                        1. d
                                          disqus_CIS8FOv5Xd
                                          Jan 13, 2014 at 11:32 am
                                          Also this peception of AAP giving freebies is only BJP and Congress generated.. Let me counter it --1) 700 ltr of free water - Today 54% of DJB water is non-revenue... Lot of it is because of water mafia.. So DJB anyway only gets revenue from 46% water and then also it is in profit. Now what AAP is saying that I will get this 54% minus transmission losses water back from water mafia and give it back to people for free which is enough for 700l water per day. Also anyone spending a litre more will be charged for full consumption.. Two things in one go.. Forcing for water preservation (at least on community level) and curb on water mafia while giving the benefit to people2) Electricity discount - It is anyway temporary just aimed just for the period CAG audits get completed.. WHy are these company shying away from CAG audit (one of them major PM in waiting supporter)? Also majority of subsidy given out will be from these companies.. How is this freebie?.Any government has 3 responsibility: 1) Maximize its revenue. The best way for doing this is to curb corruption.. Most of the revenue leakage at government level is happening today because industrialist who back candidates and parties during electrion arm twist them later and get natural resources at throw away price. Plug this and government will increase its revenue manifold 2) Run a lean government - No lal batii, economy travel, minimum security, minimum perks3) Utilize the surplus to the benefit of common man and the depressed cl. Now people like Tavleen will say this socialist.. But this is what a responsible government has to do..
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                                          1. d
                                            disqus_CIS8FOv5Xd
                                            Jan 13, 2014 at 2:06 pm
                                            Buddy - I think I have very good knowledge of economics.. You think the need of the hour is private sector because thats what these companies are making us believe... Need of the hour to get productivity improved everywhere.. Private sector is just a means to do so as people in public sector have become lethargic.. but that doesn't mean private sector is answer for everything.. And BTW all this global financial crisis has happened because of the greed of the private sector.. Having studied under the Fed Reserve member, I have very good understanding of economics.. Don't want to get into that argument... I am not among the people who is going to get swa by propaas in media by some of the Indian corporate houses whose only intention to to loot country resources. DO business but honestly.. Saying CAG audits will let private business run away is mischevious.. Its like holding country to ransom...
                                            Reply
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