FEATURES/Real Issue | Oct 29, 2012 | 45739 views

Arvind Kejriwal: The Emerging Fourth Front?

He has announced a new political party, which promises to change the way politics happens in India. But are Indians ready for a systemic change and is Kejriwal the right man for the job?
Arvind Kejriwal: The Emerging Fourth Front?
Image: Amit Verma


rvind Kejriwal’s three-storied office in Kaushambi, Ghaziabad, has a queer resemblance to the numerous engineering entrance exam coaching centres one finds in tier 2 cities of India. The rooms are bustling with activity. Groups of two or three young volunteers huddle together, discussing fervently. Each door has a computer printout stuck on it: ‘Toilet’, ‘Please take off your shoes before entering’ and so on. And there’s the doormat, which says ‘Let’s stamp out corruption’.

Kejriwal’s closest aide, Manish Sisodia, sits in one of the rooms, talking to a middle-aged man with a walking stick. At the next table, an old man is explaining his electricity woes to one of the young volunteers of India Against Corruption, Kejriwal’s NGO. It is three in the afternoon and Sisodia missed his lunch. He is hurriedly eating water chestnuts out of a polythene bag and ignores the calls he gets on his BlackBerry and iPhone. The man talking to him has come from Dibrugarh in Assam and Sisodia is assessing how many people are willing to work for the new party that Kejriwal announced on October 2.  

The man tells him that he can get 10-12 people to work on weekends. “Just by working on weekends we cannot build this nation, sir!” says Sisodia. “Tell me how many people are willing to work every day making this [campaigning] their top priority?”

The man from Assam cannot think of anyone except himself and a retired professor. “But will he [the professor] be able to walk across villages to build cadres?” asks Sisodia.

That, in a nutshell, is the biggest hurdle IAC faces as it transitions from an NGO to a political party. As a social movement, it could sustain fasts and protests based in Delhi while the media, especially the 24-hour news channels, took its message to millions across the country. But the media is unlikely to extend that courtesy while IAC tries to build its cadres as a political party. For that, IAC requires hordes of committed people who have such belief in Kejriwal’s vision for India that they forego weeks and months of regular vocation.

And there’s the rub. Kejriwal’s vision for India, elaborately detailed in his book Swaraj, is a disastrous mix of idealism, naïveté and blindness bordering on the idiotic. It has received scant attention; the media has mostly followed Kejriwal’s valiant attempts to expose the rotten underbelly of India’s political establishment.

Kejriwal wants to change the way Indians govern themselves. He hopes to bring “truly participative” democracy where assemblies of voters called gram sabhas (rural) and mohalla sabhas (urban) will decide what is best for them instead of some Central planner sitting in Delhi. Sounds good until you get down to brass-tacks. For land acquisition, Kejriwal’s solution is to grant the final word to the gram sabha, which in his opinion “is best positioned to negotiate” with the big corporate houses. This will cut down corruption by bureaucrats and ministers. It doesn’t matter to him that most rural folks may not be sophisticated enough to know the “best deal”. Or that the company may bribe the influential leaders of the gram sabha, instead of the bureaucrats, to get a favourable verdict. “Let it be. If leaders fail them, then people will not trust them next time!” he says. But will there be a next time for poor farmers who have lost their land in a sub-optimal deal?

“We have met the enemy and he is us”

In 2009, a group of young professionals and students from India’s top institutions, decided they would fight for one seat in the Lok Sabha elections. Calling themselves Youth for Equality (YFE), they believed Indians needed and desired a different set of politicians—leaders who would not play politics based on caste, creed, etc.

They chose the New Delhi constituency. Instead of nominating candidates, they decided to let the people choose their own candidate. This involved an SMS campaign to invite a long list of credible names, followed by internal investigations and several rounds of interviews with the candidates. Finally, they held a public gathering at Delhi’s Rajiv Chowk where three former high court judges scrutinised the final three candidates in front of a crowd of 1,600. Judges gave points while the candidates debated with each other and answered queries from the public.

To fund the election, YFE members went around the constituency, collecting donations to fight the election. They collected Rs 1.2 crore and spent Rs 70,000 campaigning for the election.

Result: Their candidate, a woman with an Indian Army background, came fourth in the race.

President and founder of the YFE Dr Kaushal Kant Mishra, an orthopaedic surgeon in Delhi, says the whole team was shocked. “We realised that you simply can’t win an election in India because people themselves don’t want to change. They only vote on the basis of caste or the obscene amount of money that flows through from the bigger political parties,” says a demoralised Kaushal. He avoids using his surname, which points to an upper caste slab among Hindus.

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Comments (58)
Rahul Jul 9, 2014
Suggestion for right to recall process

Voters will have the right to change his vote any day during the five year term of the MP or MLA. Suppose today i gave my vote to Congress and after few days i feel that i should change my vote then i should be allowed to change my vote any time to BJP or AAP or what ever i like

Every day re-counting will be done and the day if any one gets more vote then the elected one will be the winner. But there is a big draw back in this process. By this MP or MLA will keep on changing even by one vote. So there should be a gap of suppose 10% more votes then the elected person to be changed.

Take an example
Suppose there is a Lok Sabha constituency with total population of 20 lac
And among 20 lac people, around 15 lac people are above 18 years for voting
Out of 15 Lac people, around 10 lac people actually came to vote.
Suppose there are 3 candidates with the name A,B,C who wants to become MP
Now suppose
A got 5 lac votes
B got 3 lac votes
C got 2 lac votes

So now people will keep on changing their votes from A to B or B to C or C to A etc. So to recall “A”, the first step will be that B or C should have more votes then “A” and with 10% extra vote, otherwise MP will be changed on even 1 vote which is not good.

When people will keep on changing there votes then “A” votes might reduce from current 5 lac to 4 lac. So “A” will be changed only by the condition that B or C should have more than 4 lac votes plus 10% of total eligible voter of the constituency that is 10% of 15 lac, which comes to 1.5 lac votes.
So the new candidates should have 4 lac 1.5 Lac = 5.5 Lac votes to replace “A”

Now the vote distribution will be as follows
B should have 5.5 lac votes
A got 4 lac votes as few people have changed there votes.

Right to re-election is not required if this process is used.
Voting should be compulsory for every body so that their political knowledge increases and there should be fine of Rs 500 in rural area and Rs 1000 in Urban area if not voted. In Australia there is a fine if the citizen does not come to vote.
Prof. U.k.mallik; Aug 2, 2013
Emphasis be given on character-building,otherwise all effort be infructuous. India needs a man to be an exemplanary one, no talk would have cut any niche in the minds of the cheated indian people since independence. Please think over it.
Shibu Joseph Mar 31, 2013
Since then a lot of water is flown under the bridge. Come and check again please.
Raja Jan 28, 2013
About the comment on "Swaraj" - "naivete and blindness bordering on the idiotic". I have read the book and its refreshing and inspiring to say the least. Yes there are some points which cannot be implemented but the core idea is great.

The problem with us Indians is that each one of the 120 crore people thinks that he is smarter than the others and everyone has an opinion. The problem gets compounded when a he decides to be a journalist. Ill informed, ill researched, and "paid" journos are causing more damage to this country than the rest.

Its very easy to be a cynic and sit in the comforts of our offices/ living rooms and criticize others but extremely difficult to pursue a dream of a better India
Response to Raja:
Neelabh Mar 30, 2013
"The problem with us Indians is that each one of the 120 crore people thinks that he is smarter than the others and everyone has an opinion. The problem gets compounded when a he decides to be a journalist. Ill informed, ill researched, and "paid" journos are causing more damage to this country than the rest."
Great words! Exactly what's wrong with us! I also don't agree with the article saying that the people are not "sophisticated enough" to understand what's good for them. This is rubbish. These people (like the author) have a tendency to judge people, sitting on their couch infront of their laptops, without even caring to see them, meet them and understand them! People are not retards!
Kunal Kumar Jan 19, 2013
I know only educated people can change India. Now mostly politicians are corrupt and they will make you in trouble. I requesting not to loose confidence all of us are with you to change the India.
Response to Kunal Kumar:
Amit Jul 9, 2014
indian people can only shout corrution corruption but no body is ready to be part of the change

No body is honest, we have to find ways to control corrupt people, and i have find 100 ways to control corruption, but my problem is i am alone

Rahul Deo Dec 27, 2012
Udit sahab every tree originates from seed. Reverse imagination if you want to do is not possible. These all seeds in the form of Kejaiwal or delhi efforts will be transformed into big tree. Take it as assurance. The algae in pond spreads faster but if you want lotus you have to make efforts. Algae must be thrown out.

We need to focus on system not people. no one is born intelligent. Questioning about Political sagacity and leadership of Kejriwal Party, same is not existing now as well. Only corruption ability is found. One has to grab a thread in intermingled issues and that thread is corruption in case of Mr.Kejriwal.

It is common sense. There is no magic that at once the intermingled threads shall be set free. Please control assumption oriented negative thoughts and be ready to face facts. There is no shortage economy. It is all about allocating resources in optimized way and not just generating more and more resources and allow for wastage to continue in the form of corruption.

This is illiteracy of so called politicians. Smart measures need to be incorporated which can not be expected in current scenario of owls on each branch. My best wishes for bright India future.
Ajit Aranha Dec 9, 2012
My blessings and good wishes to you Mr Arvind Kejriwal. I hope and pray that your party is successful and you have and get all the support required to root out corruption in the country.

God bless you
Surya Dec 7, 2012
I feel like emergency now. India is being divided and sold in pieces. Every citizen knows what happens to the country and to the people. Everywhere corruption to the core, including among political parties. Someone has to come and save India, I hope it Should be Arvindji. I am not linked to any political party or wing, being a common man, the current ongoing political corrution should be erodicated.
Atul Dec 4, 2012
YFE episode makes me wonder about the wisdom of mentioning it here ... is the defeat deterministic or change over-ambitious... or somebody thinks changing system to introduce long necessary amendments a game for the kids ... I have not gone through the book mentioned but I feel strongly that a time has come to stem the rot and anybody willing to make a start is welcome ... I believe success is not everything ... attempt is more important and which eventually may lead to success
Rajesh Dec 4, 2012
You are correct on the point that people don't want to change. If people were so very intelligent and unbiased in this country this situation would have never come in front of us. I thank YFE members for their efforts as it can be considered a true example which proves that such people are there who are making great efforts. Are not they from the very same society?

In the crowd, there are good people as well who think of the nation as a whole and those are the people who cannot just sit and watch. What other solution do you propose or you see in the future? Divided people on the basis of language, religion, caste. There isn't any solution till you do not try.

I do not say Kejriwal's party would win or a clean sweep but i see many positive results of the efforts. People become aware of what is going on in the country specially the youth. Those who want to do something for a better nation are motivated. Its difficult but it is not impossible. People of this country do what they see others are doing. When they will see some change in their surroundings some of them will definitely think deeply. That is where it would begin. You have to give your support, wait and see the results.

Join the hands of AAP. Express your positive thoughts.
Response to Rajesh:
Udit Misra Dec 4, 2012
Dear Rajesh, thanks for appreciating the main thrust of the story in the right spirit. The story is not against AAP or Kejriwal. It is important to understand the truth about yourselves as a people or some of the ill conceived ideas of AAP. Our systems can work better if people get involved. Sure,there can be amendments, tweaks and even substantial changes in some places but abandoning the system is not the solution. The truth is that we,as a people, have failed the system. You might want to read But, as you rightly say, that can change and i wish we can do it and i hope Kejriwal's exhortations will help matters. Be in touch. Regards
Himanshu Dec 3, 2012
Aam Aadmi Parety isn't fourth front, it is the second front (or the only opposition party) since all politicial party play politics of silence. You don't bother me, I don't bother you but we come into power alternately.
I have read many storyies of failures of new candidates in politics. Why don't we discuss new successes in politics. Anybody/everybody wants to contest and win but who wants to work for aam aadmi? Who wants to listen to their issues and try to resolve them? Who wants to look the current system in detail and try to fix it? Who has courage to expose corruption of the high and mighties and politics of silence?
Abhishek Mishra Nov 26, 2012
Kewal neta ban na chahata hai
Doosari cong. party kaho iski party ko.
Baat karta hai balidan ki aur hunger strike se bhaag gaya kayar.
Ab kahta hai janlokpal se kuch nahin hone wala, to phir kyun andolan mein bhaag liya.

Iski party me jo bhrasht log hai unka kya jaise shantibhusan...
9lac rupees kyu diye jabki pahle mana kar raha tha, mujhe koi tax nahi dena
Yani ki ye bhi ghotale ki firaq me tha.

bukhari ka dost hai jo vanday matram ka khulla virodh
karta hai is liye ye desh bhakt nahin ho sakta ye
Rajneesh Pushker Nov 24, 2012
listen first of all not a single system is best but the proposed system is better then the present system
about the power given to gram sabha i only say two thing first if rabri devi can run BIHAR properly then any person can run or decide policy for their village and it is better to do mistake by own rather frustrate over other mistake done by minister at this nothing is good in India.
and second thing when verghese kurien said to nestle after 5 years our villagers take the post in neslte and top executive said to him making milk powder is very delicate work how can a naive do this and after sometime when nestle top executive visited India then kurien showed him how a naive can do this and that said sorry to him (from book I TOO HAD A DREAM )

and please don't over react , you can't who is going to win election 2014. and about the people of India they are not fool we don't have better option can you predict obama is going to win , no so let see . and remember building a organization takes 20 years he is young passionate , honest basically now he is a young student of politics. he can learn by doing in the real field

and last due to arvind kejriwal something a lot of thing happen good so hats off to arvind kejriwal
i don't in this particular article you are honest
Vasudeo Joshi Nov 23, 2012
I am intreted to join the arvind kejeriwal party.
Narayanan N G Nov 11, 2012
mr. Aravind kejrival is doing a good job. He has to involve youth from rural areas and his party should have village committees and large scale membership drive he has to organise then only he will have committed supporters. He has to include in his agenda to nationalise health, education, sector and mining sector. Socialism is the best suited policy for India and public sector has to be revived. All the best sir we are with you believing that you are really doing a good job like M K Gandhi in South Africa . Good joband begining KEEP IT UP GET GOING AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL THE BEST.
Danardan Swain Nov 10, 2012

Corruption in the world by now is a widely acknowledged occurrence and an insidious problem. People who are corrupted often fall as the victims of corruption. The miserable condition of the common people in the world is inexpressible. The corruptions discussed among and experienced by the people in the world by now challenge a peaceful living and sustainable development on earth. Some people set off different types of demonstrations against the corrupted persons and some people stick to struggle for eradication of corruption from the root; but, usually it creates a violent situation making both the parties aggressive against each other. This type of attempts to solve a problem comes out with a series of intensified problems. Is there anything wrong when people think of putting the end to corruption through a non-violent mediation? The Non-Violent Mediation, an approach that deletes corruption easily and works as an uninfringeable strategy to keep the world free from all types of corruptions.
This truth is indisputable that the expectation of a person to achieve something that he does not deserve is the foundation to a tower of corruptions. A Non-Violent Mediation deeply observes this and consequently works out to put an end to all such corruptions. It is made possible by transformation of the person and fulfilment of his expectations. The Non-Violent Mediation is free from corruptions and prepared to attract people to accomplish their aspirations that they would highly look forward to in satisfying their needs. A person is never considered as corrupted while he deserves awards for his expectations; and only then, the person realizes that he should never attempt to achieve what he does not deserve socially, morally and legally. This is the beginning to end up corruption in the world for all the times to come.
The question arises that how could a person unfailingly get rewards for his expectations being in touch with the Non-Violent Mediation. The answer to such questions is very simple. A person easily achieves his goals and earns rewards for his expectations after being a medium of fulfilment to the needs of as many people as possible, the people who are supposed to be served through him. The expectations of the person should never harm a healthy and pleasant living of others in the world. In such cases, Income- Development Multiplication for the person starts here definitely; the person gets his needs fulfilled and he does never wish for earning money illegally and immorally. With this we could realize that there is no requirement of any Cold Civil War and Hot Demonstrations against the people who support corruptions in a country. We could transform those people by the Power of Truth, which is unchallengeable at every time. This is the real weapon we have, and by this we could bring up a world free from corruptions.
A person is never corrupted while he attempts to ensure his Income- Development Multiplication socially, morally and legally. The process of Income-Development Multiplication for a person begins with a revelation of his qualities and capabilities by him that proves the person unique as a service- provider in his targeted service area. As a service- provider he renders inimitable service to meet the requirements of his service- users. This service not only does increase the benefits of his service-users, but also ensures an unfailing flow of money to him until he is the service-provider. He lives very comfortably in a quite comfortable world. A question may arise that the person being greedy may attempt to collect more and more money through illegal and immoral ways; but, there is no requirement to earn something through corruptions. We find him as a person with no efforts for corruption within his thought-plan-speech and action, because, he unfailingly gets rewards for all his good expectations. The Non-Violent Mediation is an application to ensure Income- Development Multiplication of people, and consequently it is the strategy to eradicate corruption from everywhere. The world moves forward with sustainable development and the people in the world live a financially healthy and prosperous life forever. Hence, there is no necessity of using the violent means to bring an end to any type of corruption in the world.
** The way Arvind Kejriwal has pursued does not show any way to end corruption. Some people have started thinking for the solution, but the people have not started their plan yet who have the power to really solve the serious problem in India.
Tanveer Ahmed Nov 9, 2012
lets pray god to give more and more strength to arvind kejriwal, and also protect him fro evil netas
Gurpreet Singh Nov 9, 2012
we want only kejriwal one man army.we want indian political system become u.s.a .obama =kejriwal india president.
we want corupt system is gone.
kejriwal jindabaad.
freedom comes with kejriwal
Vicky Gupta Nov 9, 2012
working very hard kejriwal one day his team members will win elections but now now but surely they will rule one day otherwise we r slaves of indian govt
Virender Nov 9, 2012
Keep it up Mr. Kejriwal. Congress knew all about black money, but its immune to any allegation, they think they are licensed to loot India. Days are few when India will lose its freedom due to these persons.
Pulingam Nov 6, 2012
decentralisation is good. it is like the customers choosing the leaders in a company. it makes sense. when the customers are not happy with the services, they recommend change of leadership. that is what this is all about. IT IS ABOUT YOUR RIGHT TO ASK SOMEBODY WHO IS LOOTING THE COUNTRY TO QUIT.
Response to Pulingam:
Udit Misra Nov 7, 2012
Dear Pulingam, we can do that even now. We can vote people out. I am not against any reforms in our system. Lets have a right to reject. I am also not saying that we should not have greater devolution of powers, both administrative and financial, to local governments. But I am not sure if the kind of autonomy that Kejriwal wants would help matters. Just taking the power from one bureaucrat and giving it to someone in a village will not necessarily solve the ills of our society. Frankly, if you read his book, even Kejriwal accepts that his suggestions may not work. I have mentioned that part in the story. It is not enough in my opinion to blame the system - sure the system could be tweaked - But the larger problem lies with us as a people. The real reform we require is in us. Regards.
Response to Udit Misra:
Pulingam Nov 8, 2012
yes misra ji, it will be hard for kejriwal too to give workable suggestions. that is why people have to help. people who understand computer programming might want to visualise it as a kind of object oriented programming. that is you build classes of people with the private attribute functions being their powers to utilise public money for themselves. there are public functions and friend functions too. what you will have after you design will be a class hierarchy with private, protected and public functions all geared at optimising public money and power for the right use. the real life model used to tackle computer problems may have a chance to be put to use to solve country level issues too is my understanding. the central government will be more like an operations and maintenance agent outside this class hierarchy whose job will be to monitor the way public money is utlised, look at fiscal deficit and see how it can be managed etc. agencies like lokpal will be independent agents monitoring the objects of all these classes to see if there is corruption of any kind going on. the world is moving towards e-governance and designers of real life solutions using software may also have some real good contribution to make. Instead of wasting money on UID, it might be better to see how the indian political system can be re-organised to gain better results. corruption will reduce drastically when you have transparent de-centralised systems where the beneficiary has the right to evaluate and remove the servants. feedback systems in companies have been an effective way of removing redundant and ineffective people. a country is only a large entity compared to a company. the challenges could be similar.
Response to Pulingam:
Rahul Deo Dec 27, 2012
Good one....
Wveerender Nov 2, 2012
The journalist has given his take on AK and his book but if you are interested in anti-corruption, then make sure that you read the AK's book yourself - it is only a short book and is available for free here: - By Arvind Kejriwal - English.pdf

The decentralised way of making decisions that AK suggests in his book is a good one in my view - definitely better than the existing decision making process anyways which only serves the purpose of our politicians and corrupt industrial houses becoming rich!
Response to Wveerender:
Raj Nov 6, 2012
In my opinion, decentralized way of making decisions introduce chaos into the system that we are not ready to handle. Remember the banking sector in US that came tumbling down due to this. Having a centralized way with strong Independent lokpal is the right way forward.
Vkmaheshwari Nov 2, 2012
you are doing good efforts against political corruption, but you need a large organisation of good national spirit people who can support you and your campaining all over India
Milan Kumar Oct 30, 2012
I appreciate Forbes professionalism in accepting critical comments to its articles. Good journalistic ethics.
Milan Kumar Oct 30, 2012
The tenor of this rather shallow article is continue to accept the corrupt status quo and deride all attempts to change.Who would know better than Arvind how difficult it is to change the system with the entire political set up against him. However he is yet daring to change it.If everyone subscribes to status quo views shall we not be condemned to to a rotting political system for eternity?
Response to Milan Kumar:
Udit Misra Nov 7, 2012
Dear Mr Kumar, thanks for appreciating our professionalism in accepting criticism. Let me also reiterate that the article does not say accept corruption. Rather, i believe, we are guilty of accepting corruption and letting it swell. Thats half the thrust of the story. I am not saying that Kejriwal and the larger team has not done a great service by raising awareness but that should not mean that we do not analyse his governance ideas impartially. Kindly read my responses to Rajeev, Kimi and Pulingam - all of whom have raised similar queries as yours. Hope to hear from you again. Regards
Pawan Oct 29, 2012
Respected Arvind sir,
i m a student preparing for IES ,would like to say that the students like are much more intrested to join ur campaign but d responsibility on us are also much more kindly guide me n my frnds how we can also have our hands in BUILDING A CORRUPTION FREE INDIA.
Response to Pawan:
Aman Oct 30, 2012
Hello mate ,this article is not written by arvind.If you want to participate or be a part of anti corruption crusade then follow him on twitter at @ArvindKejriwal7 or join face book page : Final War Against Corruption.I hope this may help.India is dying and looking forward with a hope at youths like you and me.Together we can.
Response to Pawan:
Sahil Kishore Oct 30, 2012
friend, me too is a student. don't give ur full time now...concentrate on ur study.....but try to understand what is going on in current politics............and when ever u got time then attend some events will help u as ur activism
Maulik Shah Oct 29, 2012
he is the man who can change the way indian politics work as he truly says yes we are doing politics but for the people ........... he is truly my icon and Mr. rahul gandhi im india's youth............ ;-)
Vinod Kumar H.dadheech Oct 29, 2012
Main to akela hi chala tha, janib-e-manzil magar,
Log sath aate gaye,kafila Banta gaya...
KRANTI begins always by single one, after that
People r following him, like mahatma Gandhi , Ravindranath
Tagore, Vinoba bhave, loknayak jayprakash narayan, Anna hazare
And now Arvind kejriwal...go ahead ..we r the foolish Indian..
Hamhari BATTI jara Der se jalati hai.
Kimi Oct 29, 2012
Udit - I read Swaraj over the weekend and felt it made ample sense. AK says that our democracy is dysfunctional as the electorate have no say once they cast their vote. He is proposing a more decentralised development of power. I tend to agree with him. Just think about it, picking his own examples, villagers living near the methane leaking ONGC plant were helpless, the Collector not doing anything as he is in charge of some 3000 villages, where would they go?

Similarly a village in Bengal which gets 6 crores but cannot spend anything on what they actually want! Let me ask you, in the area where you live, do you know much money is allocated for various utilities? I bet not. Same with me. But I am sure we want to know and have a say in how it's spent.

I also agree that the way laws are made by our lawmakers in completely uninclusive and I tended to agree with his suggestions on inclusive law making.

I submit he has not touched upon major economic issues facing us, but as we witness scams every passing day, just curbing them might bring the deficit to order!
Response to Kimi:
Udit Misra Nov 7, 2012
Dear Kimi, i agree we need more power to local govts. Kindly read my response to Pulingam above. But the reason why you and i dont know about our local budgets is not flawed system we have. It is because neither you nor i have taken the trouble to take part in the process. Just changing the system will not help. Sure reform it. But there will not be any system which is like a conveyor belt taking people to betterment without people's active involvement. Theoretically, the people can remove, by voting out, all the representatives responsible for the problems you mentioned. They can make the reps put pressure on the DM to respond. But none of this will happen unless people spare time and effort. Come election day we vote on caste, creed and monetary considerations - not on the basis of valid issues. Why do you think farmers rarely get the reforms they deserve? They suffer for 5 years as farmers and then vote as yadavs, jatavs, muslims and brahmins - that is the problem and that is the tragedy - not our "system". It is easy to blame a system because you dont have to annoy anyone! It is largely correct that we get the kind of politics and governance we deserve. Moreover, i disagree - and i am not alone in this - with the sweeping powers that Kejiwal wants for local govt. That could actually work against them in many perverse ways. Anyway, great to hear from you. Be in touch. Regards.
Response to Udit Misra:
Kimi Nov 7, 2012
Dear Udit - thanks for your response. You do make me think, but on the point about sweeping powers to local Govt, I think that's better to have sweeping powers (other than what's in common national interest) at the local level for the local level - than to have centralized powers that never reach the locals.
Rajeev Oct 29, 2012
You seemed a little pessimistic in writing your article. Maybe the views set forward by you are your own, not of your Journal. You are trying to paint the picture that it is impossible for IAC to be counted as one among the leading political parties in the coming elections because XYZ tried similar approaches and failed.

Udit Misra, times have changed and people are more aware of what's happening around them and will respond at the time when needed. Just wait and watch, please be around then..Also you have pointed out the flaws of Swaraj written by Arvind, let's understand if there is any flaws it is for us to sit and decide and iron out the flaws, Arvind never said my word is final and I rule here, in fact he has asked people to come out for discussion. If you have something better that what he offers you are welcome to offer him your suggestions.

Did you after finding many flaws offer any suggestions? If you did, i appreciate you, if not don't just behave like any guy next door who come complaining about each and everything..
Response to Rajeev:
Udit Misra Oct 29, 2012
Dear Rajeev, Glad to hear from you. You are absolutely right: the main flaw does lie with us. I hope you noticed that i have elaborated on this aspect under the heading: "We have met our enemy and he is us." I have also written about it earlier:

I agree all of us would have to work hard if we want to have a corruption free society.But as a journalist my job is also to hold the mirror to the society and not shy away from it if it is not a pretty picture. So i hope you'd understand i am doing my bit as a journalist. Often a journalist contributes by asking questions - which i assure i did to Mr Kejriwal. Part of that exercise is also to point out flaws in Kejriwal's larger vision. There are some concerns there which i have detailed in the story.

Of course in an ideal world Kejriwal's prescription may work but then this is not an ideal world and there are serious doubts whether his ideas would help matters or make them worse. That is not to say that his intention is bad. But i am talking about his solutions. And Kejriwal has been quite unbending. Mere discussions are not enough to convince that you are open. As a leader you must know how to take people along; convince them or build consensus. He has stayed the course but that has weakened the larger movement since many well meaning associates have parted ways and that cannot be good for the larger goal of a better society. Finally, I hope you read the last part of my story to understand how important he is, in my estimation, for India. Be in touch.
Response to Udit Misra:
Rajeev Oct 29, 2012
@Udit Misra:
I read your article and here is my take on it . You are reiterating that Anna's apolitical movement has ended. This is not quite true. I agree that you wrote this article when team Anna announced the political alternative but since then Anna and some of his associates moved to a apolitical movement and people like Arvind moved to political. So now we have two ways to fight corruption.

You also questioned why Anna or Arvind called off the strike. You very well remember that not just Anna or Arvind fasted but a host of other team members and common people participated on the fast, and it would have been disastrous if team Anna ordered people to continue fast till death. Assuming it happened, do you think common man however disgusted with corruption or politicians would be ready to give up his life without having an inkling of the fact that something is going to happen from the govt in tackling corruption? Also we should remember the fact that there are not many Anna's or Arvind's around who openly dares the govt or the system and has a large public support so if Anna or Arvind dies there aren't others with such credibility and support to rise and continue to bear the brunt of fighting against the corrupt system who even after such public outrage cares not even a bit about what people think about them?

Remember we missed people such as Bhagat Singh, we missed Gandhi when we really wanted him, so do we really want to miss a bunch people fighting for corruption(who are representing aam aadmi) just because they had to fulfill his word? An Andolan is an evolving process and every day brings it's challenges and change in strategies, so when team Anna realized that crowds were getting thinner and hopes of aam aadmi on andolan faded, they asked for peoples opinion and went with a political alternative as suggested by the people of india? what is wrong here?

You also criticized team Anna of taking on congress while turning a blind eye to BJP, but you know now what happened with Nitin Gadkari's case?

Agree with you that one law will not get rid of corruption, neither has team Anna or IAC promised so, all they have been reiterating is that Lokpal will curb corruption as much as 60% which will be a great thing to get started in the fight against corruption. We need to start somewhere, lokpal is the first step in that. Look at developed countries such as US, the middle eastern countries and other European countries. Why is it that there is significantly much less corruption there? It is mainly because of the strong laws there. For eg : An Indian if he lives in these countries obey the rule of the law, where he won't dare to pay bribe to the officials of the motor vehicle department to get his driving license unethically which he can very well do in India.

I agree moral values and personal integrity plays a part, but laws have to come first which will make aware people of their responsibilities. People in India are still sleeping and don't know the power of participatory democracy which have been used successfully in many countries across the world. There might be flaws in this system which needs to be ironed out, but then the question is which system is better than this?
Response to Rajeev:
Udit Misra Nov 7, 2012
Dear Rajeev, glad to have this conversation. There are certain things on which we agree. That our system needs some tweaking, that people's integrity is a critical factor, that people need to participate more, that one law alone cant solve everything but can be the crucial first step. Then where is disagreement you may ask? It is a matter of degrees and ranking. In my opinion, the greater reform required is in the attitudes of the people, in their commitment to the society, their education and awareness - NOT so much in the "system". The system we have is a very good one if people participate. I believe we have failed the system more than the system failing us. And that is where i differ from Kejriwal and you. I feel his ideas are far to simplistic and are more likely to fail than the current system, if people dont change their attitudes. But Kejriwal sees everything in black and white. Complete autonomy to gram sabhas and completely centralised Lokpal are just two examples. Please also read my responses to KIMI and PULINGAM above. Now for some minor issues you raised. That we have two fronts against corruption, one each headed by Anna and Kejriwal. But i am certain they are weaker than the combined single front of 2011. Both have lost ground and credibility. And please dont think i am against Kejriwal or Anna. Then the issue of fasts unto deaths. You see the only reason why Bhagat Singh stands taller than any other revolutionary is the supremely romantic and idealistic nature of his sacrifice. If Bhagat Singh applied your logic and saved his life, Gandhi would not have missed him ( as you put it). Neither would Kejriwal have invoked his name before starting his "fast unto death." What is whole point of invoking his exalted name and then apply such earthly political logic of who would be left to oppose the government. Even members of Team Kejriwal accept this, off the record. I have been saddened by the collapse of Team Anna because they had the opportunity to bring about a social reform far greater than any political reform they can reasonably hope to bring. And they were blind to that responsibility. I hope you understand my point of view but i would love to hear from you again. Regards.
Nc Sinha Oct 29, 2012
Changing the habits that are ingrained in us for ages would never be an easy task. Participating in movements gave a romantic feeling; but when it came to real work in the real world, it became plain to many of those who participated earlier how difficult the job was. Arvind has embarked on a near impossible journey because the support line will not be available for long. It is like disturbing the universe which no one likes to do. Let the world go on the way it is going. It is the problem of Eliot's J.Alfred Pruforck: do I dare descend the stair if one settling by the pillow says 'this is not what I meant at all, this is not it at all'. That is the dilemma here too. But perhaps, worth an attempt.
Rakesh Bhargava Oct 29, 2012
Agreee and Impressed....
Particularly from a line... "here poor is fearful..middle class is busy in earning the survival food and rich are happy with system..How this country will change..I see wives/ mothers do not allow many of us to raise our voice because today we are not in trouble..we can afford 30 rs kg vegetables..80 rs liter petrol..and 56 rs liter milk...fine we abuse them and get busy in work..Instead of thinking we have to come forward ..instead of abusing we have to change the system..we middle cast only can do this..remember there were 1000s of people of India who were happy with Britishers because they were is comfort is same scenario there is no guarantee if you are in comfort today.

Read more:
Mukta Oct 29, 2012
I trust Arvind Kejarwal and have full faith on his commitment to bring change.
Sagar Kumar Nayak Oct 29, 2012
i salute to a kejirwal.we ready to servve
Rajni Patel, California,usa Oct 29, 2012
What is stopping the Educated Indians from joining him and his Just fight in moving the Country Forward???

I urge all educated masses to join him and support his cause, a fight to Expose the corrupt Politicians and depose them.

Jai Hind to his cause, and Anna Hazareji's cause.
Response to Rajni Patel, California,usa:
Prasanna Oct 29, 2012
Rajni Sir please you come from US and join the fight, don't give advice sitting in US and earning Dollars.
Response to Prasanna:
Kunal Kumar Jan 19, 2013
Hi Prasanna, this is not the right way to say. If you will have knowledge then you will undersatnd that ultimatily and indirectly he is helping India. If he is worrying about India this itself is a great work and thought.
Kk Singh Oct 29, 2012
After being named as banana nation, ants, B team of BJP etc, this was a refreshing article to read.
Yes, after 1974 movement, people of India are hopeful for a change again, for which they are desperate. Today in our country we have more than 1 crore girls who are forced choose prostitution, 10 crore children to work in fields, factories, houses and youths pass time in criminal or petty criminal activities as there is no other alternate. Living like human is extremely difficult.
On the other hand we have F1, parties where govt spents Rs 7000 per person per meal and 60-65% of its economy running in black. Open corruption, helping them, and shameless lies has become norm. People's view is only on media or partially in street that too is distorted.So at this junture Kejriwal as leader of destitutes and proud Indians is great choice.
Sumit Oct 29, 2012
It is quite difficult to set the decisions on 50000 individual representing gram sabha or mohalla group..instead of this first IAC should find out candidates who can come forward to this country few are emotional..few are communal and few are greedy..In my family also as one of my uncle is BJP candidate so our 150 members of family are blindly voting for BJP though they do not know any thing else about BJP and same happens every where..the time has come to change this thought..Time has come to decide independently..we should not be inferred by family member or Relatives or any cast people..the major problem of this country is cast..i wish we all could have been from a same caste or no poor is fearful..middle class is busy in earning the survival food and rich are happy with system..How this country will change..I see wives/ mothers do not allow many of us to raise our voice because today we are not in trouble..we can afford 30 rs kg vegetables..80 rs liter petrol..and 56 rs liter milk...fine we abuse them and get busy in work..Instead of thinking we have to come forward ..instead of abusing we have to change the system..we middle cast only can do this..remember there were 1000s of people of India who were happy with Britishers because they were is comfort is same scenario there is no guarantee if you are in comfort today..u will be tomorrow also..
Response to Sumit:
Krunal Oct 29, 2012
Agreee and Impressed....
Particularly from a line... "here poor is fearful..middle class is busy in earning the survival food and rich are happy with system..How this country will change..I see wives/ mothers do not allow many of us to raise our voice because today we are not in trouble..we can afford 30 rs kg vegetables..80 rs liter petrol..and 56 rs liter milk...fine we abuse them and get busy in work..Instead of thinking we have to come forward ..instead of abusing we have to change the system..we middle cast only can do this..remember there were 1000s of people of India who were happy with Britishers because they were is comfort is same scenario there is no guarantee if you are in comfort today..u will be tomorrow also.."
Sandeep Oct 29, 2012
Great Sir, Light in Dark Some where
Vk Oct 29, 2012
India will undergo a phase of change, and please be positive about it !!!! Arvind is a ray of hope, when India is covered with dust of scams, scandals !!!!
Mathihalli G Rao Oct 29, 2012
Good attempts to bring India and its citizens clean from Corruption.
Most difficult task, is handled by this IAC team. 1. Any amount of bringingout past politcal leadrs corruptio, may not change voters. 2. Suggested to have two wings in the IAC. One wing to bringout of past facts. The other wing to eradicate corruption from the Govt departments etc on day to day basis, so that corruption is weededout every day for future generation....
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