Dangers of Populist Anarchy!

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 Arunachal Pradesh.

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 are chilling.

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 end.”

That is what democracy teaches us. If actions in the pursuit of an objective remain pure, the result is positive.


More by :  Dr. Rajinder Puri

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Views: 3381      Comments: 4


Pranlal Sheth
08-Feb-2014 11:20 AM

Comment Congress is now getting old with scams and has given rise to anti-corruption king
Kejariwal But He is now proving a short time bubble. He has made Indians fool
in many ways. That leaves BJPs on raddar for 2014 election.

pranlal sheth
04-Feb-2014 15:35 PM

Comment Actually Kejriwal phenomenon is a typical middle class world view. But the spectrum of reality spans the rich and the poor too. Gas price, electricity and water cost and fuel cost these are vital to middle caste budget. They do not care whether farmers and workmen and toilers can make a good living. It is some of the middle service class who want to have good things of life by getting into corrupt practice. And truly the greedy rather than people with serving mentality are finding politics a good gateway to satisfying their greed. But yes, unbriddled UPA2 and power greedy BJP caused the Arvind Kejriwal phenomenon. It is good for Indian polity. Atal Govt will be remembered for superhighway quadrangle. And UPA1 will be remembered for welfare measures they were forced to take because of Common Minimum Programme forced upon on UPA1 by CPM.

Sharbaaniranjan Kundu
03-Feb-2014 10:04 AM

Comment Sir,

The message from this article - " That is what democracy teaches us. If actions in the pursuit of an objective remain pure, the result is positive"...

This is very fundamental, it applies not only to a democracy but to any civilized society of humans.

Mr. Kejariwal, for sure is making a big number of Indians fool. First doubtful time for me was when AAP declared that they would conduct referendum to see if they should form govt, second was when only Mr. Kejariwal seemed higher leader than anyone else during oath ceremony, how can he become supreme if a few leaders started AAP, the third was when he sat on Dharna, after which the doubt is converted into conclusion.

It is worth pondering how come those so-called 'elites' welcome Kejariwal's methods, does it not ring another alarm about why they are ignorant and idiots and still considered part of elite club ?

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
02-Feb-2014 05:25 AM

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