The editorial (of Feb.17) was spot-on in exposing Mr. Kejriwal and his failures while he was Delhi Chief Minister. From the moment he assumed office, it was apparent that he was not at all serious about governance, but more into theatrics. His last move of tabling the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Assembly without sticking to constitutional procedures was meant to devise an exit route for both him and his party. He may be a crusader against corruption, but he has to learn the basics of politics and governance.
The emergence and the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party on the political horizon — and maybe also its disappearance — were like a storm in a tea cup. Unless it factors in the ground realities, it may not be able to make a mark and it will face an uncertain future if it sticks to the single-point agenda of eradicating corruption (important though it may be) to bring about a perceptible change in the way governments function, to the exclusion of other important issues.
San Jose, U.S.
Mr. Kejriwal’s quick exit after a short stint as Chief Minister has proved that he is as crafty and opportunistic as other politicians. In resigning he did not sacrifice power as he claims. He threw it away in an irresponsible and immature, albeit calculated, manner. He demonstrated a wanton disregard for popular opinion which he sought with great fanfare before forming the government with the support of the Congress party. The AAP has conveyed the message that its ambition to become a national party is more important than solving the mundane problems of the people of Delhi. What is more worrying is the AAP’s contempt for constitutionally valid institutional processes.
It makes no sense to judge Mr. Kejriwal by the extent to which he has met your goals or mine. The question is whether he has met his. And by this criteria, his stint in office has been a grand success. He could well clock up a tally of 40 or more in the Lok Sabha election, making the AAP the third largest party; perhaps large enough for him to be able to force a re-election in which he will do even better. Under normal circumstances, that would be the time to rate his governance. However, even at that time, the main item on his agenda is likely to be the prosecution of crimes committed by the UPA in Delhi.
I find it laughable that Mr. Kejriwal and his party’s so-called populism are being criticised so harshly by the media. The AAP has done nothing but made itself available to the Indian political market’s most dissatisfied and aggrieved customers — the common people and the marginalised who have been robbed blind by the Indian political establishment. After all, India’s most violent insurgencies and acts of terrorism do not occur with foreign support; nor are they carried out by religious extremists. Instead, they’re caused by pent-up anger that springs from soul-crushing poverty, exploitation and the disenfranchisement of India’s marginalised people.
Christchurch, New Zealand
The editorial was economical with the truth. As far as the governance of Delhi is concerned, the AAP has much to show in improving life in Delhi. In an environment dominated by corrupt national parties and media houses owned by corporates, an honest minority government was bound to face challenges.
Mr. Kejriwal had maintained his dignity and the party is on the right track. With the approaching general election, the great Indian political drama is on the verge of a paradigm shift. The emergence of a third alternative in which the AAP will play an important role is certain.
Let us remember that Mr. Kejriwal came into politics not to wield power but to change the system. On the other hand, he has revealed that the Congress and the BJP will be hand in glove when threatened. They have passed a number of anti-people Bills in Parliament with the aim of helping the corporate world. What happened to the Women’s Reservation Bill?