Kejriwal is the System he intends to change. This system in India is the product of Socialist, Welfare, License Raj, Inspection Raj, Subsidy Raj, Caste, Religion based vote bank and political equations. Each of these is responsible for the enormous corruption we see today. Each of these is endorsed by Kejriwal and his coterie as individuals and as part of the Party manifesto. The only difference is the normal politicians usually endorsed all that donned in Lungi-Dhoti-Kurtas and the AAP cadre folks endorse them usually in Jeans-Trousers-Shirts and in the process resemble a Aamir Khan movie college going type sincere coterie out to really change the world as depicted in flicks like 3 Idiots or Rang De Basanti. That is essentially the aura of change which many youngsters fed up with the image of the Dhoti-Kurta-Pyjama wearing political villain have been fed. It will take some time for the mindset to accept that political villains can also come from the Jeans-Pant-Shirt cadre format strumming a guitar while innocuously endorsing the very same policies that made a villain of the Kurta Pyjama Politician in the typical present day Bollywood flicks.
To start lets analyze the distaste for the typical Kurta Pyjama type politician in the urban youngsters mindset. What Bollywood depicts is a typical simplistic format where they cut crooked deals and care little for the rest of the population. That fact cannot be disputed much, yet the solutions the ‘Hero’ offers are appalling. In Rang De Basanti an Aamir Khan becomes a terrorist taking over TV towers in order to avenge his friends’ death in a Mig 21 accident. The solution to the large number of crashes was already established in the Movie resulting because a corrupt politician (Dhoti Kurta clad) looting spare parts funds meant for the Aircraft maintenance. While the fact remains that corruption is a major problem, the reality was Mig 21 crashes did not occur for any of those reasons. The primary reason in real life was a defective Fuel Pump part that was manufactured without much quality control in an erstwhile part of the former Soviet Union. The film typically engendered anger in the public, but fell short of analyzing the correct reasons and methods all which require hard work, persistence and effort to come to the right solutions. The Mig 21 problem as an aside was identified in a very painstaking manner after a number of inquiries and scientific analysis and certainly not a gun toting Aamir Khan taking over TV towers in a bout of anarchist vengeance. That is the easy way out. A lot of the AAP cadre belong to those who see India’s problems being solved by Bollywood romanticized kind of methods.
Apart from Bollywood, another romantic notion of the Socialists in India was subsidy management. A major cause of corruption if not carefully deployed with an eye on the CAD (current account deficit), AAP remains committed to doling subsidies from an exchequer, but falls woefully short in generating ideas to replenish the exchequer in a sustainable manner. One can only redistribute so much without scaring away those who fill the coffers. The coffers started emptying early after Indian Independence as Nehru and Indra concentrated more on the redistribution part. A wealth tax over 95% wrecked any job creation from Private enterprise as capital departed fast and furious from Indian shores. The Dynasty worked hard to stem the flow and created controls that made India resemble a communist State. We started attracting the attention of some of the most roguish world leaders. Mugabe, Gaddafi, Arafat became close friends of India because of the choices we were making. In the process Companies saddled with large immovable assets started holding closer relationships with the Dynasty and it’s top leaders. A cosy relationship developed during the period, all at the cost of jobs, growth and development. Kejriwal represents exactly the same dynamic that the Dynasty held with Private enterprise. That of disdain and disgust. Recent remarks on a Channel by Kejriwal on removing Tatas and Ambanis and getting the Government to run power Industries was a confirmation of that intent. The obvious result of such proclivities is that business quietly starts moving out it’s invested capital and on making the right payments even moves it’s earning capital to friendlier shores.
The result of the policy of concentrating on redistribution and not of sustaining and expanding the coffers through a business friendly Government resulted in abysmal 2.8% GDP growth rates for 58 years. Even a 6% growth rate during the period would have almost abolished poverty from the nation. Today India puts about 20 million young people each year into the Job market. We need tens of thousands of companies starting and generating jobs every year. Only a Business friendly Government that believes not in harassing entrepreneurs but providing them scope and skills to grow can cope with the change required for developing India. If the gap between replenishing the Kitty and what is distributed from it increase too much we have an unsustainable Current Account Deficit and consequently we have rocketing inflation. Importantly that comes with increasing seepage from the redistribution process. Mr Kejriwal and the AAP offer no change from this status quo’ist Dynasty vision.
Another important but expected change that those who don’t bother much about Bollywood kind of solutions would logically be moving away from Caste and Religious Vote bank politics. The Dynasty milks those equations and is a master of the game. Many other parties saw the rank opportunism of the Dynasty and emerged with similar policies and proclivities to start their own regional parties that in turn challenged the Dynasty’s monopoly over this brand of politics. These regional forces emerged victors and the Dynasty had to graduate to making them partners and letting the regional players a higher say in the running of the State. The change thus realistically would be a party or leader that rises above this persistent paradigm of Caste and Religious based politics and develops the country without playing with these equations. The AAP and Mr Kejriwal fail to rise above even on this aspect. They probably go one step further and quite early in the innings have started cultivating Fatwa spewing Mullahs and promising Caste based quotas in the name of development.
The root causes of corruption in post independence India have been well established and can be listed quite simple as emerging from the following:
- License Raj
- Subsidy Raj
- Inspector Raj
- Religious Votebank Raj
- Caste Votebank Raj.
AAP and Mr Kejriwal endorse with emphasis each of these and that implies Mr Kejriwal and AAP are a part of the corrupted system, and not a beacon of change. They are the epitome of this system albeit in a manner with which some of the young generation identifies: Jeans, T Shirts and an unkempt beard. And that is not change. It is persisting with the same rusted policy. To change the System, Kejriwal and AAP have to change themselves. That is the hard task. Once that is accomplished changing the country may be an easier task, but not before.