The problem I find with Aam Aadmi Party and its prominent face Arvind Kejriwal is that their goals or intentions are good beyond doubt but the way they approach to reach these goals is definitely not the best. Be it corruption or pollution, they start with a lot of pessimism. In fact, Kejriwal’s tone of voice is also a kind of crying tone. “Sab mile hue hain ji”, “Pradhan mantriji, hame Delhi chalane dijiye” and so on. I do not intend to use this blog entry solely for AAP criticism because I have written good things about them too and also spent hours in Delhi’s Ram Leela Maidan. I am giving this explanation lest Mr. Kejriwal makes me also a part of ‘B-team’ of BJP.
The even odd scheme which is being implemented in Delhi from today is the most foolish scheme ever envisaged by any legislature. De Lolme once said that “The British Parliament can do everything except make a woman a man and man a woman”.AAP wants to prove this statement right for Delhi legislature. A benevolent dictator can have good intentions but the means he or she uses are far from benevolent. That is the reason, things take time to change. Human beings cannot be programmed instantly to change their behaviour. There is a complex relationship among individual, society and other societal institutions. Mr. Kejriwal is not the first person who has wanted change in our country. There are people like Dr. Ambedkar, Vinoba Bhave who dreamt of a country free from some ills that plague us since time immemorial. They did not use any coercive measures. They were not perfectly successful either but that does not mean that we must stop attempting the creative ways they used. We need more such people.
According to even odd scheme, vehicles with even registration numbers and odd registration numbers will ply on Delhi roads on alternate days. So I will curse myself for having a odd numbered vehicle on a particular day. I will do so even if I possess an even numbered vehicle on some other day. This scheme definitely restricts my movement and a PIL will soon find its way to the Supreme Court and there is a higher probability that the apex court will strike this law as unconstitutional. But you never know because even judges are human beings and they may be affected by scare mongering tactics of AAP. The Delhi Government has circulated pamphlets of a comparison of lungs of 55 year old with and without significant air pollution. They may be right factually but is this even odd scheme the only way to solve this problem? Wild animals are harmful to human beings. So the best solution is: Kill them ! Such scare mongering advertisements may also be the reason why Delhiites are ‘wholeheartedly’ supporting such a scheme. There are not protests against the same till date.
Car pooling and public transport are very useful. In fact, convenient too but they must not be forced upon the citizens. There are occasions when you need to use your vehicle for an ’emergency’ and this emergency need not be life threatening in all cases. Emergency could be any occasion which requires your immediate presence and has a bearing on your life as well as somebody else’s. The scheme does not address such contingencies. In an emergency, if I flout the rule, then the traffic inspector will still stop me, ask me for proof of emergency and all this will be at the expense of something grave.
There is also an unintended consequence of this scheme. It affects only the poor or the ‘Nouveaux Riche’ . The rich will buy more cars both even and odd numbered and will use it on alternate days. Its only people with one car that too bought on EMI who will be most affected. Mr. Kejriwal does not want the middle class to enjoy the luxury of that single car. If we go back to the ‘cave age’, then air pollution will reduce drastically but the point is not that. We need to come up with solutions that will allow us to lead a good standard of living without affecting the environment.
Sadly, debates in our country do not involve pros, cons. how to fix the scheme, etc. They are only AAP vs BJP vs Congress. Think beyond party lines and find creative solutions that do not impact the daily lives of citizens.
As of now, I am lucky that I am not a resident of Delhi !