Demystifying anti-AAP cacophony

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There are two groups of people who are raising a hue and cry about AAP and criticizing them at every step. The first being members of other parties – politicians, their followers and media channels in which they have a direct or indirect stake. And understandably so, because they are the reason AAP exists. I am sure AAP did not expect anything less from this group – the adversaries. It is the second group that worries me more – seemingly logical and educated people who up to now were either AAP supporters or completely apolitical – but have begun to attack AAP on non-issues (of course influenced by the utterly biased noise) thereby missing the big picture that led to AAP’s being.


Let us look at some recent issues that people are up in arms about:

1. Economically regressive water ‘subsidy’

Here, I would like to dive into two aspects – cause and magnitude. Is it a frivolous subsidy or a necessary investment and secondly is it truly as excessive as AAP’s adversaries are making it to be?

– Let’s tackle cause first – according to a recent study published by WHO, better access to clean water among other things creates opportunity for the poor and is a progressive strategy for economic growth. There is also detailed cost-benefit analysis that supports investment in water accessibility with multiple use cases from developed and developing countries – one example being from Karnataka, where the ROI was in the range of 20%. The wisdom is in realizing that every ‘investment’ is not a ‘cost’.

– Second, let us examine the magnitude of this alleged ‘subsidy’. In Q2 2013, Mrs. Sheila Dixit (then CM of Delhi) approved budget proposals for DJB to the tune of Rs. 3,957.78 crore. Annual cost of Rs. 464 crore for the free water supply definitely looks paltry in comparison to that amount. If providing free water which was seemingly such an excessive promise, costs only 12% of DJB’s total budget, DJB should have by now secured the perfect water management system for our beloved city. Well, that is exactly the point!

2. CM’s ‘Dharna’ bringing the city to a grinding halt

I am dumbfounded that this is the same section of society that came out on the roads in December of 2012 to protest about an utterly unfortunate rape incident which made international headlines – at the time ten metro stations were shut down as Delhi Police was scared of public’s wrath against their apparent inaction in preventing such crimes. People had had enough of government’s, judiciary’s and police’s complacency and marched on the city’s roads to display their collective anger and frustration – of course traffic jams and inconvenience notwithstanding. Why then the acerbity against an institution that is trying to fight exactly that!

Somnath Bharti Khirkee Extension Raid

3. Law Minister Somnath Bharti’s ‘non-conforming’ raid

Here is what happened: Khirki Extention residents had on multiple occasions complained about foreign nationals resorting to illegal activities in the neighborhood – drug peddling and prostitution. Even if these were conjectures, there was at least a critical mass that had directly or indirectly been requesting the attention of law enforcement agencies to prove or disprove them. And they did resort to the prescribed norms – three written complaints to the local police department – albeit no action resulted. Somnath Bharti’s raid was a breath of a fresh air for the residents who clearly lauded his commitment to their cause. Moreover the claim that his raid sans warrant was illegal is false. Section 42 in The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 lends power of entry, search, seizure and arrest without warrant or authorization. The only people who bypassed laws and norms were the Delhi Police officials, by blatantly ignoring written complaints from the residents.

Why are we badgering a party that came into being for eradicating the very root cause of our country’s deplorable law & order situation – corruption? Why are we focusing on the trivialities and not responsibly seeking answers to the bigger questions? Can we only unite in common misery – when we know no one is actually claiming to solve the problem or can we accept tangible victories like AAP who threaten to change status quo? Can we be mature enough to look beyond AAP’s ‘immaturities’? Can we be brave enough to support the wave of positive change regardless of how ‘inexperienced’ it is?

Written by Shana Sood >>

Shana Sood is a marketing strategist and currently lives in Greater Boston Area with husband and two kids. She grew up in Delhi and moved to the USA in 2005.

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Indian Exponent: Demystifying anti-AAP cacophony
Demystifying anti-AAP cacophony
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