Why odd-even scheme is just Kejriwal’s latest headline-grabbing stunt

The bubble will burst sooner or later.

WrittenBy:Justice Markandey Katju
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The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had won a landslide victory in the Delhi elections in February, 2015, because people were disgusted with the other parties, and wanted a radical change. Arvind Kejriwal had projected himself as an epitome of honesty, a modern Moses, a Superman (as Narendra Modi had done earlier) who would lead Delhi into the land of milk and honey.


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Later, his popularity started to rapidly decline as people started seeing the reality. There is really nothing to the man — he has no solutions to the real problems facing people like massive poverty, unemployment, malnourishment, lack of healthcare and good education, farmers suicides, etc.

Also people were disillusioned by his dictatorial mentality when he unceremoniously sacked the co-founders of AAP and surrounded himself with chamchas and yes-men (his Sancho Panzas), allocated Rs 536 crore (21 times last year’s budget allocation) for his self-promoting ads, increased salaries of MLAs manifold, and so on.

I received many messages on Facebook from his erstwhile ardent supporters who said they were now totally disillusioned by AAP.

Seeing his popularity decline steeply, he has now resorted to headline-grabbing stunts and gimmicks (projected by our TRP-driven media) like car-free day, going on a bicycle, lokpal (which many people called jokepal), and now the odd-even scheme.

Unfortunately, most people of Delhi, as elsewhere, are gullible and emotional. Like children following the Pied Piper of Hamelin, they dutifully follow any Sapnon ka Saudagar, just like they once followed that buffoon Anna Hazare, who used to shout “Bharat Mata ki Jai, Inquilab Zindabad and Vande Mataram” from Ram Lila ground, and people danced like monkeys to the tune of the madaari.

But this will not last long. Public opinion is fickle, like the Roman mob at Caesar’s funeral, which was earlier against Caesar, but changed its attitude after one short speech by Mark Antony (see Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar). The Kejriwal bubble will sooner or later burst, like a Ponzi scheme. In a few days’ time, the same people who are cheering Kejriwal will start cursing him. In the first few days of the odd-even scheme, Delhiites were enthusiastically supporting it, but now they are following it out of fear of being challaned.

But how long can this last? The Delhi High Court has already voiced its concern about the enormous difficulties being faced by Delhiites owing to the scheme. People have to go for work every day. For instance, a lawyer has to go to court every day, not just on odd or even days. Similarly, doctors, other professionals, office goers, shopkeepers, and so on have to go to work daily. And as regards the public transportation system, let me tell you that in London one has to walk for only 5-10 minutes from any place to reach a metro station, but in Delhi in several places, one has to take a taxi to reach a metro station. And the metros are over-crowded.

With regard to pollution in Delhi, it has not gone down, as reports indicate. In fact the IIT report says that only one per cent of the total air pollution is owing to cars, the rest is due to two wheelers, dust, industrial pollution, burning of fodder by farmers in Haryana and so on.

So the scheme will be abandoned after two weeks (though no doubt after declaring it a grand success!), as it will become dangerous to continue it any further due to public hostility and anger.

Thereafter Mr Kejriwal will look for some other stunt or caper.


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