Tag Archives: AAP

National political parties and psychology of media & Kejriwal

Posted on by Track2Media

Arvind Kejriwal, Kejriwal, AAP, Aam Aadmi Party, Delhi Government, Alternative Politics, Congress, AICC, BJP, RSS, Track2Media ResearchThere can be no worse travesty of justice in India’s electoral politics than to create a hype that the Aam Aadmi Party led by Arvind Kejriwal has emerged as an alternative to narendra Modi. Worse even is the propaganda that Kejriwal is now the face of honest politics across the country.

Beyond the fact that Kejriwal’s integrity has been questionable right from the very beginning and beyond the fact that he has no unique vision of economic growth than the tried and tested populism, lies the fact that the only message in his electoral victory has been a wave against the Congress party. And Arvind Kejriwal proved to be smart enough to play with the psychology of the media which needed an element of novelty in the national mainstream.

As a matter of fact, the national media and Arvind Kejriwal are today complementing each other in terms of creating an atmosphere where evoking public sentiment is the sole objective. Does it make Arvind Kejriwal a national leader? Can he be the face of nationally accepted challenge to Centre the way Congress can?

The answer to this question is a counter question in itself—does Kejriwal has that element of novelty to offer across the country which he so smartly played in Delhi? Even in Delhi all the high voltage media orchestrated campaign could not give him a decisive mandate in the firt attempt. In the second attempt the infighting of the BJP, added with his malicipus campaign against the BJP and fear psychosis among Congress voters worked.

Worse even, he had to ally with the same Congress against whom he started his political campaign in the first attempt. It just reminds of the ‘India Shining’ campaign of Atal Behari Vajpaee Government where a section of media went over-board in calling Vajpayee’s term as ‘Golden Era’ of Indian politics.

Unfortunately, the nation does not exist in Delhi nor goes to vote as per the whims and fancies of a few journalists who influence the news room of these TV channels. India is too large and heterogeneous in terms of its local needs, aspirations and political orientation.

And the reasons why national political parties are increasingly losing to the regional parties are precisely the same—they cannot take one stand in one part of the country and contrary stand in other part.

Kejriwal also understands this dilemma and the cunning politician in him is thus avoiding all the relevant national issues and focussing only on the oft-repeated secularism, even at the cost of relegating the corruption agenda to dustbin.

This worked for him to some extent in Delhi, but will definitely not work in the vast heartland where the regional political parties are too deep rooted to address those issues.

More importantly, his evasive stance on core issues like reservation, social justice, Kashmir etc will get exposed soon, and much like the two national parties he will lose out to the regional forces in the process.

The media in the process has been repeatedly trying to force feed the message to the two national political parties that this is the changing face of Indian politics and they need to change. This is media’s sure shot recipe of disaster.

For instance, the Congress party has suffered much worse electoral set-back in the past, be it post the JP Movement or after the VP Singh’s rebellion on alleged corruption in Bofors. If Congress could fight it out and come back strongly, it was because the party did never try to copy the style of JP, Lohiya or VP Singh. Nor should it do now, come what may.

Similarly, the BJP should not be much worried over the media verdict of Kejriwal playing spoiler to the party of Narendra Modi. The world is not lost if BJP lost elections in Delhi. But if the BJP tries to compromise with its core issues and agenda, then definitely it is doom day ahead.

In the past, the comeback of BJP strongman Yedurappa in Karnataka is a strategically more smart move for the BJP then heeding to what media tells the BJP.

After all, the strength of both the national parties are their regional leaders today, and howsoever corrupt or disgraceful they may have been they are repeatedly being elected not by the mercy of media but on the merit of their grass root connect.

To assume that suddenly the conscience of the people has been awakened and they will turn hostile to their political loyalty and opt for a new so-called honest party should be too hypothetical to be believed by the national political parties.

The challenge today for the national political parties is to not get into the trap of copying the style of politics what the media says is now reality. It is not politics of denial, as suggested by the media but it is the politics of not falling into the trap of holier-than-thou kind of politics that should be the focus of the political parties.

By: Ravi Sinha

Drop the ineffective ‘odd-even’ rule and implement other more effective measures

Posted on by Track2Media

Change.org petition by: Sriram Iyer

Friends, Delhians, countrymen, lend me your ears….

Traffic Mess, Delhi Odd Even Car Pool, Arvind Kejriwal, Change.org, AAP, Pollution, Track2Media ResearchThere is a new ‘pagla Tughlak’ ruling Delhi: ‘Kejriwal – the crazy fella’. Let us hope other cities don’t blindly adopt his well intentioned but ludicrous rule. Here’s why this rule will do nothing to reduce pollution but will make it worse: Those who may begin to take public transportation, as a result of this rule will soon realize its inadequacies in connectivity, safety or comfort and will constantly be looking for alternates: the less fortunate will resort to 2-wheelers (16 times more polluting than a car and auto-rickshaws (which are several times worse than 2 wheelers, while those who can afford it will take taxis or if they have an additional parking space – will buy a second car. All of these alternates will serve to increase pollution.

We haven’t even begun to consider other impacts such as increased corruption, police harassment, fake license plates (and the resultant complications in accidents or crime), the loss of productivity, the inconvenience and stress of restricted freedom of movement.

Not only does this silly rule defeat the original purpose, it places the additional cost burden and social impacts on the common man without commensurate benefits that can be expected of such broad and painful trade-offs.

There are other high impact and less painful solutions: 1. Improving emission standards and the inspection and enforcement (especially for older vehicles, trucks, auto-rickshaws, roadside bonfires, wood stoves, burning of waste and factories); 2. Setting taxes based on emission level of the vehicles and factories and cutting import duties for electric vehicles; 3. Improve fuel standards; 4. Increase taxes on fuel; 5. Implement congestion pricing; 6. Rewrite development control regulations to recreate better cities with proper water supply and sewage handling infrastructure for high density living with more high rise buildings where commercial, recreation and living spaces in close proximity to each other to minimize commuting distance, save time and increase productivity for everyone.

The best way to obtain behaviour modification from the populace is a carrot and stick approach – financial incentives and disincentives can actually tackle and solve this immense problem of pollution. It would also be wise to avoid measures that make for an unhappy and angry electorate – which would bust all progress at the next balloting.

We must, above all judiciously and without wastage or theft, use the Government’s already enormous tax revenue and the increased revenue from the above measures to implement modern urban planning and to subsidize and improve the frequency, connectivity, comfort and safety of public transportation systems.

I am sure if the right minds are brought together we can come up with a million other great ideas but let us come together and campaign to drop this odd ‘odd-even’ rule.

PS: Delhi – as the National Capital – please don’t mess this up as other cities and equally uninformed CMs are looking up to you and will grab the chance to implement any short sighted short cuts.

PPS: Please share this post as far and wide as you can and sign the change.org petition: My Masters degree in Transportation Engineering had nothing to do with the above common sense suggestions that are on the lips of every Indian watching Kejriwal’s mindless farce play out.