KEJRIWAL VS DELHI POLICE – DELHI GOVERNMENT’S SIT-IN PROTEST: NOT IN SYNC THIS TIME

So, Mr. Kejriwal is going to do it again.

Chances are and as he has threatened, tomorrow morning, a Monday morning, when the third week of the first month of 2014 begins, he (with his ministers and MLAs) is going to sit on dharna/sit-in (let’s see if turns out to be a fast protest) demanding suspension for four officers of the Delhi Police, who allegedly, according to them (AAP), didn’t carry out the duty they were supposed to do.

Delhi, being the National Capital City of India is an interesting case study on parameters of administrative governance. It is if of the Union Government and it is of the Delhi Government. But, the way policy matters have been worked out for the city-state, the balance is tilted in favor of the Union Government.

The Union Government handles the ‘law and order’. The Delhi Development Authority is under the control of the Lieutenant-Governor and not the chief minister. All the three municipal corporations of Delhi are not under the Delhi chief minister. Then there are other sticky issues.

This distribution of power may be debatable but one thing is sure about it that it hurts the ego of every chief minister of Delhi, irrespective of the political affiliation.

And Arvind Kejriwal is no exception. He could have been, given by his promise of introducing a ‘politics of change’, but he is proving it fast that he is just yet another routine politician.

And to change that, he needs to show us he meant to walk the talk, and that has to happen soon.

Anyway, about his ‘dharna’ beginning tomorrow, in North Block, outside the office of the Union Home Minister – he is demanding heads of four policemen – and he is demanding the Delhi Police be placed under the Delhi Government.

Now, that cannot be done.

Delhi, being the capital city, houses the most important installations of the nation, the President Estate, the Parliament, the prime-minister’s house, embassies and high commissions, offices of the international organization including the United Nations, central commands of the security forces and many others.

The Union Government has to take care of it directly, and to do that effectively and efficiently, it needs the direct control of the civic interface of the security apparatus in the city, the Delhi Police. This cannot be expected from the specialized agencies like the NSG or the CISF. And for a better coordination, that is a must, the Delhi Police must remain under the Union Government control.

Sheila Dikshit, a veteran politician of Congress and the three-term chief minister was on a warpath to wrest the control of the Delhi Police from her own party government in Centre but she could not get it. Her politically motivated demand was rightly refused.

And Mr. Kejriwal is doing the same thing. His ‘politics of change’ is talking the same politics that we have become so frustrated with.

The issue of going on ‘dharna’ to demand suspension of four police officers and the demand of control over the Delhi Police is just yet another questionable aspect on his ‘political conduct’ in the 23 days of his government in Delhi.

Questions are being raised, rightly, on his promises and the way he is trying to deliver them.

And instead of addressing that, he is planning yet another show that will add to the quantum of the ‘questions’ only.

Yes, the Delhi Police has been notoriously insensitive, but this time, the immediate cause of this sit-in is not their insensitivity but it looks more of reactive measures on ego-satisfaction of AAP ministers. We all saw it on television, AAP ministers trying to dominate the Delhi Police officers.

And that is not good, for Delhi, for India, and for its aspirations of a ‘politics of change’.

While joining the politics, Mr. Kejriwal said the System could only be cleaned by being in it. Absolutely right.

Then why is he trying to act ‘above the System’, ‘out of the System’, putting his party, his vision of the System, first?

We don’t need his political exclusivity. We need a culture of the political discourse where ‘healthy dissent’ is at the core of the System.

Be in sync, Mr. Kejriwal.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/