Book Review- Swaraj Arvind Kejriwal

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Sakal Gharelu Ustad, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    You can find it here: https://ia601505.us.archive.org/30/...hankhnaad/Swaraj-ByArvindKejriwal-English.pdf

    After reading several articles about his book, I finally decided to take a plunge and understand AK through his book.

    My crisp understanding about his book:

    1) He raises important questions and problems. I agree with most of the problems highlighted by him.
    - Decentralization
    - Citizen control over everything

    2) Where does the book fail?
    - Belief in the greatness of the super awesome village panchayats
    - Distrusting each and every corporate action. As if they are the only culprits
    - Back to Gandhis idea of self sufficient villages. In the beginning of the book, he highlights that villages should decide where they want to spend money on rather than centre and state govt. earmarking expenditure for their various schemes like MNREGA, food security etc. Later he wants to give even tax collection authority to the villages and each village deciding how to spend its own funds.

    This last point is the crux of his book. But this raises fundamental questions:
    - Are villages really an idealistic pinnacle that we should strive for? How would it take care of "tragedy of the commons" problem?
    - Would such a decentralized system build a modern India capable to take on its numerous adversaries?
    - Do we need a society with well defined (impersonal)rules where things take care of themselves or a system where villages/RWAs need to meet every week and vote on every trivial or big issue?
    - Should we replace our one constitution with thousands of constitutions specific to each community?
    - India definitely needs rapid industrialization to bring people out of poverty. How would he get rid of the super slow decision making process in such a fragmented polity?


    All in all, AK is completely against the present constitutional system of the country. The book provides a glimpse into his thought process that he uses to come to the conclusions. In the end it boils down to whether you buy his idea of modern India or not.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2014
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  3. Free Karma

    Free Karma Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ah, now that you've read the book, what do you think about this commentary on AK's theory: National Interest: Arvind Chitra Katha | The Indian Express quite similar to your thoughts I think.

    There was another firstpost article that talked about the same, and gave modern comparisons about the swiss.style of governance, and other examples.
    Perils of direct democracy: AAP may be on the wrong track | Firstpost
    It also talks about California where they follow something similar.

    There are a lot of times when the public, just do not know better. Also a lot of the people who support him have no idea about such things, all they know is just anti corruption, and thats what he harps on. They think he is there to clean the system, while he wants to completely change it, and when asked about this he sort of changes the topic and deflects attention to some sob story(here this video it goes to crap in the end, but yeah)
     
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  4. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    If you carefully notice he says "who is central govt to do this..." and not "who is UPA govt to do this..." rest is understandable.
     
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  5. sasi

    sasi Senior Member Senior Member

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    I think one guy sued him saying "he copied his book"! :lol:
     
  6. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    I read Shekhar Gupta's article before deciding to read the book. He rightly called it a "chitra katha".

    He hails Switzerland as a great example in the video. But it is the same country which banned minarets some time ago. And it is one of the most educated and open societies. It does not take a long time for referendums to turn into mob rule.
     
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