A big hue and cry is being raised over Arvind Kejriwal's travelling to Dubai in business class to collect an award. AAP supporters say that the organizers had arranged for the air ticket.
In my opinion all this is not very relevant.
What is relevant is whether Kejriwal has any scientific ideas to solve the country's massive socio-economic problems of poverty, unemployment , malnutrition, price rise, lack of healthcare, etc.
I am afraid he has none. He has only one thing to talk about, which is corruption.
I have explained in detail, giving reasons, that corruption is the normal feature of the transitional era through which India is passing, and it will last until the transition from a feudal to an industrial society is over ( see my article ' India in Transition and Corrupt ' on my blog justicekatju.blogspot.in ).
I am not justifying corruption. In fact I have fought against it throughout my judicial career. For instance, I raised the issue about a corrupt Madras High Court Judge, about whom there was such a hue and cry. I gave the judgment in Raja Khan vs. State of U. P.,2011 ( see online ) in which I said that something is rotten in the Allahabad High Court. I can give several other example too of my fight against corruption. But what I believe is that corruption will not be eliminated in this transition period in our history, and those who say otherwise are creating illusions.
For instance, when England was getting industrialized there was massive corruption in English society. Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of England, from 1721 to 1742, used to openly say that he can purchase everybody. Lord Clive, Warren Hastings, etc made huge fortunes by looting India. Later, when the industrialization of England was completed, the level of corruption went considerably down.
I am not saying that there is no corruption in developed countries like U.S.A. England, France, Germany, Japan, etc. But corruption there does not affect the common man in those countries. For instance, policemen, tax authorities, etc there do not normally take bribes. Bribes in these countries are given by multi-national corporations to Ministers, Generals, bureaucrats, etc of foreign countries ( usually of underdeveloped countries ) to get contracts. So corruption in developed countries is not at the level of the common man.
In underdeveloped countries like India, Pakistan, etc, on the other hand, corruption is at every level, and this will last for a long time..
So we cannot equate the two.
When I presented my views on this issue some people commented that should we just hold up our hands and do nothing about corruption ? My answer is that you can do what you like, but the truth is that corruption in India is very deep and widespread, and is going to last a long time
Therefore those who talk of abolishing corruption at this stage of Indian history are really creating
illusions. It is time Indians know the truth, however harsh it may seem, instead of jumping from one illusion to another, as they have been doing at least since a political leader gave the slogan 'Garibi Hatao '.