President Pranab Mukherjee in his address to the nation on
Republic Day said: “Elections do not give any person the license to flirt with
illusions. Those who seek the trust of voters must promise only what is
possible… Populist anarchy cannot be a substitute for governance.” Not
surprisingly many concluded that the President was making a veiled reference to
Delhi Chief Minister (CM) Mr. Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Admi Party (AAP).
Mr. Kejriwal has made some promises to voters that are not
constitutionally feasible. He has preferred to function from the street
instead of from an office. He proudly asserted that he was an anarchist. In
response to the President’s speech Mr. Kejriwal said he welcomed a debate on the
subject of what the President had spoken. To start that debate a few thoughts of
this writer follow.
For starters Mr. Kejriwal’s party deserves forthwith to be dismissed
from government for failing to function within the provisions of the
Constitution as prescribed in Article 356.
Mr. Kejriwal said he has read the Constitution and nowhere did he find that a
government cannot stage a dharna. Either he is being silly or he is trying to be
too clever by half. The actions of his Law Minister Mr. Somnath Bharti were in
clear violation of law. Leading a gang of people Mr. Bharti forcibly abducted
African women he accused of illegal activities and had them examined in a
hospital. Instead of preventing that the CM staged a public dharna in his
support. His senior colleague Mr. Yogendra Yadav produced a video to suggest the
guilt of the African nationals.
He and his leader are displaying crass ignorance of the issue under dispute.
Regardless of the guilt or innocence of the victims such punitive vigilante
action is criminal. Many commentators were influenced by the video seeing
justification for Mr. Bharti’s action because of alleged illegal activities of
the victims. They should know that even a crime cannot be addressed by
committing another crime.
What Mr. Kejriwal has achieved is giving public sanction to people for taking
the law into their own hands provided they believe their cause to be just.
Because the media played him up he became a folk hero. Mr. Kejriwal has endorsed
the functioning of Khaps. He has named over 100 politicians for being corrupt
against whom he will set up candidates. Mr. Nitin Gadkari, described corrupt,
has already served notice for legal proceedings.
In Rashtrapati Bhawan on Republic Day Mr. Kejriwal got a standing
ovation from the elite crowd present. The elite crowd was as stupid as
the leaders of AAP. They seem unaware of what they are unleashing.
The President’s warnings against populist anarchy should be
heeded. By making heroes of law breakers an invitation has been extended to all
political adventurers, opportunists and even foreign vested interests to exploit
the situation for creating chaos.
Was it pure coincidence that almost immediately after Mr.
Bharti’s excesses were trumpeted on TV Mr. Raj Thackeray ordered his followers
to break the law and damage toll booths in Mumbai because certain legal
provisions for their operation had been flouted by the government? His party
members and sympathizers are confidently pointing out the government’s failure
to observe the legal requirements for operating the toll booths in order to
justify violence. BJP leaders piously stated that they did not favour violence
but drew attention to the government’s failure to observe toll booth norms.
This may be just the start. For quick popularity and media attention we have to
see how many goons in how many parts of the country decide to get into the act.
The most serious and sinister aspect is of course the opportunity for enemies of
the nation to exploit the situation. An event occurred in Delhi that should set
alarm bells ringing. Whether it happened because of natural causes encouraged by
populist anarchy made fashionable or due to deliberate subversion by the
nation’s enemies is for the Intelligence agencies to probe and discover.
Following an altercation in a Delhi shop a mob killed an eighteen year old
student from Arunachal Pradesh because he was different from the rest. Other
students from the Northeast residing in Delhi have naturally reacted. One
bitterly told a TV channel that people from Arunachal Pradesh were proud Indians
but the people of India did not consider them to part of the nation. It is not
the people who do not accept them but the lunatic fringe. But to prove that
should not the silent majority speak up and declare its solidarity with all the
peoples of the Northeast. One would have thought that our national political
parties would stage public rallies mobilizing even a lakh of people to assert
their support for our citizens of the Northeast.
Consider this. China claims Arunachal Pradesh to be part of China. The people of
Arunachal Pradesh refute this and proudly state that they are Indians. And
people in the rest of the country not only repeatedly misbehave with citizens of
the Northeast but also kill following an altercation a young student from
What should the people of the Northeast, and particularly of
Arunachal Pradesh, conclude? What would readers have concluded if they had been
citizens of the Northeast? The long term consequences of such populist anarchy
Let Mr. Kejriwal and other political leaders reflect on the consequences of
adopting a permissive and even encouraging attitude towards assaulting the law.
Leaders of AAP wear Congress caps, undergo fasts and stage dharnas in the fond
belief that they are emulating Mahatma Gandhi. Mr. Kejriwal even wrote a book,
Swaraj, reminiscent of Mahatma Gandhi’s famous Hind Swaraj.
It is another matter
of course that the book has provoked a court case charging him with plagiarism.
Mr. Ajay Pal Nagar has alleged that Mr. Kejriwal’s book Swaraj has plagiarized
his book, Barratry Raj Vyawastha, which he had presented to Kejriwal in March,
2012. Mr. Nagar’s case has been filed before District Judicial Magistrate of
Noida and the case has been accepted. Mr. Nagar said: “Kejriwal has illegally
published my book in his own name and has added some Government documents to
mislead the people.” He claims that many pages are copied word for word from his
book. He said: “As I was impressed with Arvind Kejriwal and his team during Anna
movement, I sent a copy of my book to Kejriwal but he took unfair advantage of
it. I have moved court for action against him for exclusive theft and a case
under Section 200 of CrPc has been registered against Kejriwal.”
In conclusion one may remind AAP leaders what Mahatma Gandhi told a questioner.
The Mahatma was asked: “Do ends justify the means?”
He replied: “Means are the
That is what democracy teaches us. If actions in the pursuit of an
objective remain pure, the result is positive.