I trust you will allow me the liberty of addressing you in this rather affectionate but respectful manner, being as I am a die-hard, hardly-alive 67-year-old senior citizen and supporter of your AAP government in Dilli.
I am writing to compliment you for launching the ‘Chief Minister Advocates’ Welfare Scheme’ (CMAWS). Surely, this must rank as the world’s most wonderful Group Life-cum-Health Insurance scheme launched by the government for the benefit of one of the most vulnerable, impoverished and persecuted sections of the common citizenry—in this case, the community of Advocates registered with the Bar Council of Delhi.
I first came to know of CMAWS barely two weeks ago— on April 1st, from a report in my Times of Indiapaper. By a curious and perhaps unfortunate coincidence the report on C-MAWS was next to an article informing me that our poor AAP leader Manish Sisodia-bhai had been denied bail despite the best efforts of his Advocates.
And because of this coincidence, Kejriwal-bhai, I did not believe what I read about CMAWS that day.
It was April 1st, no?
Hah, I told myself, this CMAWS sounds so good it is too good to be true! Sab bakwaas, I told myself, these saale badmaash Times of India patrakaars are making one nice April Fool joke just to keep us readers cheerful while Modi and Shah and all their nasty BJP-wallahs are doing zulum and chillum on all of us with CBI and ED and all, and and persecuting and prosecuting and jailing our dear Sisodia-bhai and Jain-bhai and other AAP- bhais just because they are doing so much welfare for the Dilli public.
And so, I laughed scornfully at the CMAWS report that day. Hohoho. Hahahaha.
O Kejriwal-bhai, a thousand times I apologize, from the heart of my bottom to bottom of my heart I apologize, but I laughed heartily at CMAWS that day.
But then two days ago I again saw a report on CMAWS in my paper—this time, a full-page colour advertisement! It has your smiling photo in it!
It not only confirms that CMAWS is true and real and not some horrible BJP feku news , but it describes the many benefits of this thoughtful welfare scheme created by you for Dilli’s long-suffering Advocates!
I have since then visited the CMAWS website and am delighted to learn many thrilling facts like the following:
CMAWS gives every Advocate registered with Bar Council of Delhi a group Life Insurance Cover of Rs 10 lakhs
CMAWS also gives group Mediclaim Insurance floating cover of Rs 5 lakhs for the Advocate and his/her family members
As many as 22,467 advocates and their family members are beneficiaries of CMAWS based on the ‘First List’ of the scheme.
Another 29,612advocates and their family members arebeneficiaries of CMAWS based on the ‘Second List’ of the scheme.
Most excitingly, the advertisement announces that you have extended the last date for registration and application under CMAWS to April 17th 2023!!
I am overjoyed to inform you, dear Kejriwal-bhai, that I have accepted your kind invitation and have separately applied for registration and inclusion of my own name under CMAWS.
Of course, prima facie my application is liable for rejection because I am not an Advocate.
However, as I have explained in the Introduction and Annexures 2 (d) and 6(a) of my CMAWS application:
I am an obscure, struggling, ageing self-employed writer, and as such I too am among the vulnerable, neglected, impoverished and persecuted sections of society.
My annual income has never exceeded and will never exceed Rs 6 lakhs, which is well below the Rs 8 Lakhs ceiling imposed by Government of India for determining ‘Creamy Layer’ status of OBC.
Also, as evidenced by attested copy of receipt in Appendix 2 of my application, I have in March 2023 paid the sum of Rs 53,673 as annual renewal premium for a health insurance policy of face value of a piddly little Rs 2 lakhs. As a consequence, I am currently surviving on various permutations and combinations of aloevera sabzis, grass-flavoured daals (no, not the smoking kind, that I gave up), and the occasional banana.
Hence, I would deeply welcome any support by way of getting a health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakhs or more…especially if it is at taxpayers’ expense, as under CMAWS.
In conclusion, dear Kejriwal-bhai, I once again congratulate and thank you for creating an excellent and innovative affirmative action scheme like CMAWS! I am confident that with the launch of CMAWS, any and all legal problems that any and all AAP members may face any time at all in the future will be eagerly and ably taken up and resolved by the tens of thousands of joyous Advocates who have already joined and will continue to join and reap the benefits of this brilliantly schemed scheme.
Please do convey my best wishes to Sisodia-bhai when you meet him next.
It’s not often that I praise anything our government does.
Indeed, O patient and valued Reader, you might know that I’ve often taken pot-shots—if not broadsides—at the government; in this blog, and also in the edit-page columns of the Indian Express and other newspapers during those long-gone and more tolerant decades when they thought me fit to publish. And I dare say I’ve always tried my best to ensure that my artillery barrages of fresh gobar, shaani, and other avatars of feihua and yamasimba are directed evenly across the political spectrum, from Left to Right: from CPI(M) and its rabid fellow-travellers through the caste-ironed Dravida gangs and cow-belt Dals, across the scandalous scandal-rocked Congress and apoplectic AAPologists, to the tunnel-visioned BJP and Muslim League legions.
But today I must praise the government. Aye, I must praise this very NDA government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the BJP.
Because this is the first time since 1997, when the late prime minister I K Gujral dismissed Britain as a ‘third-rate power’, that I’ve seen any Indian government or Indian political leader show the gumption and courage to tell the British government what it is and what it should do with its behaviour towards India since 1947—behaviour that is a toxic khichdi of arrogance, superciliousness, racism, contempt and plain hostility; behaviour that is, sadly, all too eagerly lapped up by many fawning Macaulay-haunted muttals among the English-educated citizens in our country.
Yes, today is different.
Today, the fetid vapours of decades of obsequiousness to Britain have been swept away by a zephyr of pure, clean desi air…and quite possibly, those fetid vapours will soon descend on the British diplomatic corps in the heart of Delhi, India.
Today, you see, the Indian government is constructing a public toilet right opposite the British High Commission in the capital.
Perhaps with this the British will learn to recognize why, when, where and how they should drop the matter. They might not discern the new flush of optimism that sweeps across India today; but surely they will discern – and tremble and gag – at every flush from the new public toilet.
Could there be a finer example of non-verbal diplomacy at its best?
Why, it conforms perfectly with the motto that I learned from my school: St Edmund’s, in Shillong, run by Catholics from Ireland (ah yes, those wonderful Irish teachers knew their Britain, and how to deal with the British, better than anyone else).
How optimized food adulteration can make India a sustainable nation
This paper presents an innovative approach to tackling the issue of food adulteration that causes so much stomach burn in India. It explains how, instead of griping about all the problems and dangers related to food adulteration, we can identify the hidden benefits of the adulterants being used, and find ways to recover, recycle, and reuse the adulterants to improve our individual and collective economic and gastronomic well-being. Thereby, we can increase overall resource efficiencies, contribute to India’s GDP, and enable our country to become a ‘net-zero’ economy by 2070 as announced at the Glasgow Climate Change Conference (COP-26).
Adulteration is manifest in virtually every sector of India’s economy. It is indeed one of the pillars of our glorious heritage and culture. Historical and archaeological records reveal that indigenous and ingenious adulteration technologies and practices have been developed and successfully applied since 7800 BCE by Indian farmers, industrialists, merchants, retailers, middle-men, crooks, and other important stakeholders, and are constantly and enthusiastically being innovated upon to achieve maximum returns with minimum investments and efforts. As a result, today India has set global benchmarks for adulteration of materials, commodities and products in every sphere of human activity: from eggs to edible oils, cement to steel, cereals to spices, milk and medicines to condiments and condoms.
Alas, confusion still remains in policy-level circles on the exact meaning of adulteration.
In the course of researching this paper, the author invited a few Members of Parliament (MPs) from diverse political parties to share their views on adulteration. Here are their responses (names withheld in the interests of self-preservation and general social harmony):
MP 1: (brusque): “Why ask me about Adult Rating and such sensitive issues? (Irritably) How can I comment on what is adult content and what is not? I am a busy man; I have no time to see films, let alone Adult-rated films. You go and ask this question to the Film Censor Board…”
MP 2: (relaxed, courteous): “I think adulteration should be tolerated; is not India a land of tolerance and secularism? Yes, I know nowadays many men and women are adulterating freely and without care. But I say: It is all right! What is there? It is their personal choice, no? I always say, better to co-habit than to pick up bad habit! (Hastily adds): But speaking on my own behalf I do not adulterate. I believe in the holiness and wholesomeness of marriage, so I commit adulteration only with my wife… (Looks reverentially at sky) Do not all our great epicses and religious bookses say the same thing: ‘Thou shalt not commit adulteration?’
MP 3: (In great bitterness with much gnashing of teeth): Adult Ration is nothing but another big lie told by the communal BJP government to fool the people. You should ask your question to P.M Modi-jee and his friends, who keep shouting and screaming like anything about giving ‘Free Ration For All’! Arre Modi-jee, where is your Adult Ration? Who gets it? Do I get it? And why only give Adult Ration? Why not Children’s Ration? (Waves fist) I demand that central government should also give Minority Rations and Backward Rations with retrospective and retrogressive effect…” (relapses intounprintable muttering)
Clearly, there is urgent need for a massive nationwide awareness program to deepen understanding among the people— in particular, among our political leaders—on adulteration and related matters. Efforts in this direction are beyond the scope of this paper (and indeed, beyond the imagination and capacities of the author). However, using as examples a few commonly adulterated food products (milk, fruit & vegetables), the next section illustrates how adulteration can support highly profitable and sustainable business ventures with minimal investments and innovative technological interventions. These adulteration-based business ventures can be taken up by young Indian entrepreneurs under schemes like StartUpIndia and MakeInIndia. Such businesses will help create new jobs without threatening the livelihoods of the millions of hard-working people who currently depend on adulteration and allied activities for their income.
Adulteration-based business opportunities
Common adulterants: gypsum; urea.
Gypsum is a useful mineral, made up mainly of calcium sulphate. The gypsum in adulterated milk can be easily separated out by allowing the milk to stand awhile. The gypsum settles as a cloudy white precipitate, and can be recovered by filtration and dried out into a fine powder.
This gypsum powder may then be converted along parallel production lines into various high-value products such as:
Plaster-of-Paris, which is extensively used by orthopaedists in making plaster casts for setting broken bones. As explained in the next point, there is immense potential to create an ever-expanding market for Plaster-of-Paris in India and abroad.
Gypsum blocks, slabs, tiles etc. for use in making pavements, cycling tracks, floors, walls and other such applications in the construction industry. Usually, for such end-uses the gypsum is refined to remove impurities like calcium carbonate which make the gypsum brittle and prone to breakage. However, in the present context it is better to ensure that the gypsum products contain calibrated amounts of calcium carbonate and other impurities (if necessary, by adding them); because this will ensure that the brittle gypsum slabs and tiles will soon fracture and break, as will the bones of people walking on them. Thus, by paving the ground – so to speak – for an ever-increasing number of people to fracture and/or break their bones, we can create and sustain high-volume demands for Plaster-of-Paris from the orthopaedists to whom these afflicted people will rush for plaster casts.
Gypsum (‘chalk’) crayons and pencils for diverse uses: on blackboards, by teachers in schools and colleges; by pavement and wall artists; by police to mark crime scenes and accident sites; and so on. Here, the gypsum powder extracted from adulterated milk can be blended with the waxes, spent mobile oils and furnace oils, and various dyes and pigments extracted from adulterated fruit & vegetables (see below), and moulded into crayons and pencils of various sizes and colors.
Urea is a very important nitrogen-rich fertiliser. In India, urea is manufactured and sold at heavily subsidized prices to make it affordable for use by farmers—and of course, by milk adulterators, who by one estimate account for 44% of total annual urea consumption in India (Milavat Ali Khan and Saand Roy. 2011. “Milk adultery in India”. Al Nakhli Press, Delhi).
Urea is also a very important raw material for other industries like adhesives, paints & coatings, plastic, textiles and so on. Since Independence, these industries have prospered by buying urea meant for agriculture in huge quantities at the same highly subsidized prices. Unfortunately, the current evil and communal BJP-led government has prevented these industries from buying cheap urea, by making it mandatory for urea manufacturers to coat their urea granules with acrid-smelling neem oil. While farmers are happy with this ‘neem-coated urea’ as neem acts as a powerful, non-toxic natural pesticide, the industries and milk adulterators find it very difficult and expensive to separate the neem from the urea granules. Hence, they have to buy pure urea at much higher prices; sometimes they even have to import it. Due to high urea prices and crippling urea shortages, many of these industries and milk adulterating units—most of which are MSMEs—have suffered severe production losses, and some have even had to shut down for long periods, adding to unemployment distress.
This situation presents a huge business opportunity for young adulteration-based business entrepreneurs.
Urea, which is very soluble, can be recovered easily and economically from adulterated milk and purified for sale to industries. The purified urea can also be sold back directly to the milk adulterators. It is envisaged that in due course the milk adulterators and industry end-users of urea could form mutually beneficial consortia with the urea-extraction businesses, supported by suitable risk financing under ESCO-type models.
In the long term—perhaps by 2070, to coincide with India’s becoming a ‘zero carbon economy’— the system can be streamlined with such high efficiency that the milk adulterators, urea-extraction businesses, and industries can achieve near-perfect circularity in resources management, eliminating the milk consumers entirely from the picture. By then, it is hoped, organic and eco-friendly milk substitutes such as desi tharra (indigenous whiskey) and bhang sherbet will be available in adequate quantities and at affordable prices for all.
Fruit & Vegetables
Common adulterants: wax; spent engine oil and furnace oils; grease; shoe polish; metanil yellow (pumpkin, capsicum); iron oxide (carrots, beetroot); malachite green (lady’s finger); oxytocin growth hormone (all vegetables and fruit); etc.
Waxes and oils
Many kinds of waxes and oils are used to polish eggplants (brinjal), tomatoes, gourds, apples, pomegranates, etc. and give them that special sheen so attractive to consumers and so toxic to consume. These waxes and oils represent high-value resources that can be recovered and reprocessed to bring significant profits and other benefits.
The waxes and oils can be extracted by simply warming the fruit and/or vegetables inside a dry container placed within a large pan of hot water (about 70°C). The wax/oil will soon melt and drip off the skins of the fruit/vegetable and collect as a congealed mass at the base of the container, from where it can be removed from time to time. [Warning: It is important NOT to use a direct flame for the wax/oil removing process; as applying direct high-temperature heat may end up frying the vegetables/fruit in their own waxes and oils, thereby reducing energy efficiency and also adding to India’s overall carbon emissions.]
The de-waxed and de-oiled fruit & vegetables may be sent for cooking, and the wax/oil pressed into small cakes and briquettes and sold as a high-calorific-value fuel to a range of end-users: from industries that can use it to fire furnaces and boilers, to street-vendors serving momos, chicken tikkas and dosas. Alternatively, the wax/oil briquettes can be sold back to the fruit & vegetable adulterators, thereby achieving circularity of resources.
It is worth underlining that the waxes and oils used in food adulteration not only contain high percentages of carbon, but are manufactured by highly energy intensive processes that consume huge amounts of fossil fuels such as coal, coke, and natural gas. Hence, the recovery of waxes and oils used as adulterants, and their recycling and reuse in such virtuous cycles, will contribute hugely to reducing India’s overall carbon emissions, and ultimately save the world from global warming.
Based on the visible evidence in our food products, coupled with the invisible but often-painful evidence during our daily ablutions, it is clear that food adulteration poses grave dangers – and indeed cremation dangers– to the health of India’s body politic as well as Indian bodies corporeal.
However, as shown by the examples above, food adulteration also present exciting new opportunities for future generations to leverage the beneficial end-uses of food adulterants with innovative business models, and thereby create sustainable livelihoods as well as help India achieve its climate change commitments and become a circular economy.
It is hoped that the Union and state governments will borrow lessons from the highly disclaimed and globally discredited Universal Adult Education program, and launch a Universal Rapid Education on Adulteration (UREA) program that will create widespread awareness on the vast potential benefits offered by food adulteration. The UREA program could work in synergy with entrepreneurship development initiatives such as MakeInIndia and ZED. This Holistic approach will, we hope, enable India to assume a leadership role in making Adulteration For All a global movement, and benefit the world as a Hole.
Acknowledgements: The author has been greatly inspired by the collective wisdom of the late philosopher George Carlin as well as urban-based environmentalists, sociologists, journalists, academicians, developmental economists, the United Nations Organization, Greta Thunberg, Arundhati Roy, Dr Amartya Sen, and affiliated charlatans, conmen and con-women who (like this author) constantly struggle to ensure that humankind remains steeped in depression and teetering on the brink of crises —existential, emotional, environmental, ecological, sociological, biological, and/or scatological—so that we can all make successful, sustainable and lifelong careers in ensuring that humankind neither falls over the brink nor steps back from the brink, either of which situations would greatly threaten the livelihoods of future generations who might wish to follow our noble career paths.
Greetings, O loyal and cherished Reader; I bring glad tidings.
At last the glorious day has dawned—a day that you fervently hoped and prayed would never dawn.
Today is the day when I present to thee, and to the rest of long-suffering humanity, my prediction on the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections of 2024.
The broad theoretical elements of my research are presented in the form of two graphics, whose various components have been filched, misappropriated and/or lifted and morphed with all the usual care from an array of unaccredited online sources—to whom I am deeply grateful.
The BJP-led NDA will be totally erased from the Lok Sabha in 2024!
Defections from Congress and other Opposition parties to the BJP–led NDA will soon reach a Critical Mass; whereupon, the defectors and defecators will take over the NDA’s DNA through cellular-level dynamic transformations that are as effective, inexorable and deadly as the processes by which a virus takes command of a healthy cell.
1. How a migrating/invasive virus or bacteria takes over a healthy host cell
2. How migrating/invasive Congress-led members take over host BJP-led NDA cell
My detailed research report is currently under review by a joint peer group of scientists from two of India’s most infamous, calumniated and globally disavowed academic institutes: the Indian Institute of Fundamentalist Sciences (IIFS), Delhi, and the Institute of Lactile Sociodynamics (ILS), Kanpur. It might be worth recalling (or perhaps it might not) that IIFS discovered two fundamentalist particles— Secularon and Minoritron—that are as important to sociologists as the electron and the Higgs boson are to primatologists; while ILS discovered the Regresson – the Backward-spinning cerebral particle, which has helped in formulation of the famous Creamy Layer Postulate regarding OBC Reservation that forms the bedrock of India’s affirmative action policy.
Disclaimer: This report is based on my independent de jure research and largely theoretical interactions with senior members of the political parties mentioned as well as other unmentionables, and backed by my professional knowledge acquired as Adjunct Liber Scholar with Master’s Degree in Prevarication & Associated Obfuscation from the globally disreputable Rannoy Poy–Khadka Butt Institute of Unhinged Psephology, New Delhi. Any inaccuracies, baseless allegations, errors, misrepresentations or incomplete data that might have crept in through deliberate inclusion are entirely my irresponsibility.
Sixty thousand years ago, our dear ancestral cave-people snarled and hurled abuse and rocks and bones at their neighbouring cave-people, even as their respective supporters cheered and goaded them on while keeping themselves at a safe distance…
Today, Russia devastates Ukraine with missiles and other frightful weapons after being goaded beyond endurance by NATO and EU and USA, and Russia and the USA and NATO and EU snarl at one another even as the USA and NATO and EU cheer on and goad the Ukrainians to fight back and pour missiles and other frightful weapons into Ukraine while keeping themselves at a safe distance…
Everything changes. Nothing changes.
Thus it is in this dog-eats-dog world that we humans have in our wisdom created…because we love one another.
Cheered slightly by these thoughts, I inflict ‘pon thee, O long-suffering and precious Reader, a piece I wrote over 23 years ago – in fact, soon after India’s nuclear tests in 1998.
Disclaimer: Any resemblance in this article to any persons or nations on Earth, however slight, is entirely intentional.
A mysterious defence document has come to light of all places, in the wrapping paper used by a peanut-vendor who operates his business near New Delhi’s India Gate. Inquiries reveal that the vendor purchased eighteen kilos of waste paper from Raksha Mantralaya early in May, and noticed this particular document only while wrapping five rupees’ worth of peanuts. “The masthead on the pages was different from the usual Defence Ministry stationery,” he explained, “so I thought it might be important, and called the authorities!”
Titled “In the Plutonium Doghouse”, the document is typed on the memo-pad of the Defence Ministry’s shadowy Department of Strategic Planning and Control (DSPC), and appears to be a sweeping account of global nuclear history. With Defence Ministry officials refusing to comment on it, the document is reproduced in its entirety below.
In the Plutonium Doghouse
Delhi, May-June 1998.
Once upon a time there was a kennel, in which lived dogs of assorted size, shape, faith and hue. Oldest among the dogs were Big Yellow and Big Brown. The two were neighbours, and like most senior citizens, pretty peaceful characters; in fact, Big Brown spent most of his time sleeping. Then came Big White, Big Red and a host of smaller dogs.
In the beginning things were just fine. Each dog had its very own space, with enough food supplies to last forever if managed well. But over the years some dogs got greedy and gobbled up their own supplies, and then they took to stealing other dogs’ food. Naturally, a stage came when they were all fighting like cats over the supplies that remained.
One day, Big White dug up an ancient bone from somewhere and discovered that by blowing on it he could make a fearful racket; enough to reduce all the other dogs to quivering, defenseless puppies! Naturally, he put on a lot of dog after that. He strutted about the kennel, brandishing his new pipe and helping himself liberally to the others’ provisions. But soon thereafter Big Red dug out a terrible bone-pipe of his own, and he was followed by two smaller white dogs; and barely had the echoes from their cacophonous pipes died down when Big Yellow nearly brought the roof down with a resounding trumpet-blast of his own.
Realizing that it was futile to aim their pipes at one another, the five dogs went into a huddle and came up with a brilliant idea: an exclusive pipe-wielder’s club, from which other dogs were debarred! For a while, then, the Plutonium Club (named after Pluto, the Almighty Celestial Dog) ruled the kennel; The five P-5 mongrels strutted about the kennel while the other dogs cowered in terror.
But Big Yellow was hungry for variety in his diet, and soon his crafty eyes turned towards the mountainous stores of Big Brown (who of course had slumbered while all this was happening).
Now, there was a little brown dog aptly called Li’l Brown who lived right next to Big Brown. Kennel folklore had it that once, very long ago, both Big Brown and Li’l Brown had belonged to the same family; but then a bitter quarrel had taken place over property, and Li’l Brown had thrown a tantrum and moved out to live by himself. Since then, Li’l Brown had developed a habit of filching food from Big Brown or nipping him while the old dog was asleep (which was almost always), and whenever the old dog protested Li’l Brown would roll over and yelp, “Help! He’s bullying me!” Baffled, Big Brown would go back to sleep, but soon Li’l Brown would be badgering him again, egged on by Big White who found it all very amusing.
Big White had other reasons too for befriending Li’l Brown. Right next to Li’l Brown lived a host of small dogs with vast supplies of delicious Afghan and Mughal food. Now, both Big White and Big Red were partial to Central Asian cuisine, but being much closer to these little dogs, Big Red had been hogging the lion’s share of these goodies.
So Big White made Li’l Brown his ally, promising him limitless supplies of hot dogs and cold fizzy drinks if only he harried Big Red and kept him away from the neighbourhood of the little dogs while he, Big White,insteadcarted off their provisions by tanker-loads and pipelines … oh, their oilypilafs were simply delicious, though the skewered meats did generate a lot of gas…
Well…such were the dog-eats-dog politics of the kennel.
But even while all this was happening, a day came when Big Yellow turned to Li’l Brown and growled, “Here’s a present for you… a little bone-pipe of your own! Now be a good fellow and wave it under Big Brown’s nose. It’ll distract him while I take a bite out of his Sikkimese pudding…I’ve been fancying it for years!”
But even as he spoke, a deafening roar shook the ticks off the kennel walls. Big Brown had sounded his very own bone-pipe; how he had dug it up while asleep, no one knew.
“Blast!” growled Big Yellow.
“Dog-gone it!” howled Big White.
As for poor Li’l Brown, he was inconsolable. “I can’t hound Big Brown any more, his bone-pipe’s bigger than mine,” he yelped and wailed. Finally Big White went over to him. “Aw, come on,” he rumbled soothingly, “tootle on that little bone-pipe of yours, chew on this nice piece of Afghan kebab, and you’ll feel better. As for Big Brown, just wait till the old duffer’s asleep and then take a nip out of his tail.”
Note from Special Directorate, Intelligence Bureau/DSPC, Raksha Mantralaya: Unfortunately the remainder of this secret document is untraceable at this point. Peanut vendors and their clients in Delhi are requested to keep an eye open, and to inform us at once in case any more pages are found.
Under Aam Aadmi Party, Delhi has plumbed spectacular new depths in crime monitoring, water contamination and air pollution
This short report is about Delhi, where I’ve lived for over 28 years now. It’s been written between November 16th and November 30th 2021, when the air pollution levels have consistently exceeded the danger levels by 600% to 1000%.
The report focuses on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government of Arvind Kejriwal.
Well… The AAP government has presided over the Capital since 2015, and hence must take its share of credits and debits as well as bear overall responsibility for Delhi’s accrued virtues and vices during the past six years.
Besides, while glancing through my dusty archives of political writings during the past decade or three, I find that I’ve directed my words of admiration and admonition primarily at BJP, Congress, CPM, CPI, the Dravida duo, RJD, and Samajwadi Party. It strikes me that AAP might feel hurt at being left out. Hence, I focus this report on examining the initiatives and achievements of Kejriwal-bhai and his co-AAPted party workers and shirkers in managing three critical domains that impact daily existence in Delhi: law and order, water quality, and air quality.
But at this point, an important disclaimer.
I hereby declare and solemnly swear, with all the necessary swearwords, oaths, and imprecations, that I have been a votary of AAP since 2013.
I support and vote for AAP – at least in the Delhi Assembly, not because of any particular public good it’s done for the people of Delhi, but because—unlike the earlier Congress and BJP governments which did nothing for the people of Delhi but only ignored, abused, exploited, pillaged, plundered, ravaged and otherwise looted us in disgustingly casteist, communal and communist ways—the AAP too has done nothing and continues to do nothing for the people of Delhi, but it does nothing in an admirably secular way, i.e., it ignores, abuses, exploits, pillages, plunders, ravages and otherwise loots us irrespective of our caste, class, religion, or ethnicity.
By doing nothing for the people of Delhi, good or bad, AAP gives us, the citizens, the liberty and licence to do pretty much what we the people of India in general and of Delhi in particular are talented at doing and love to do the most: namely, pillage, plunder, exploit, ravage and otherwise loot one other in secular, communal, communist and other politically and socially accepted ways with no interference from our wise AAP government.
And now, I proceed to summarize the evidence of AAP’s incredible and indelible achievements so that all of us can gasp in wonder, even as we gasp for the last remaining traces of oxygen in Delhi’s air.
Thanks to AAP’s capable and culpable governance since 2015, Delhi continues to maintain its top position in the country – if not the world – in many spheres of socioeconomic, academic and cultural inactivity.
Here are a few prominent Medals of Dishonour that AAP has won for Delhi:
The most lawless and crime-infested city in India.
The most corrupt city in India.
Ranked consistently among the top three dirtiest cities in India
The capital city with the worst air quality on Earth for the eighth year in a row.
The Yamuna river is among the most polluted on Earth
But now I must pause. I realize it is cynical and unfair to say that AAP does nothing for the people, good or bad. I herewith apologize and respectfully amend my statement: AAP actually does one thing very well.
AAP has proven itself to be a master and/or mistress at Monitoring & Measuring (M&M) the many problems that have plagued Delhi since Independence (and quite possibly, since the time of Indraprastha).
Consider violent crime, that plagues our beloved city. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our AAP government, over 410,000 new CCTV cameras have been installed since 2015 across the city as of August 2021. Admittedly, these CCTV cameras haven’t stopped violent crimes—in fact, violent crimes continue to happen at accelerating rate. But these lakhs of new CCTV cameras have provided a wonderful M&M mechanism for street crimes, and a much larger number of the violent crimes are being recorded live. This enables the AAP government to compile much more accurate statistical dataon violent crimes, thus providing a solid authenticated foundation for Delhi to claim and retain its top position among Crime Capitals of the World. The CCTV footage and statistical data are also being provided by AAP to the main-scream TV news channels on ongoing basis for national and global-level entertainment.
AAP has also taken pains to point out—through sustained year-round advertisement campaigns costing several thousand crores of taxpayers’ money year after year— that it has greatly improved public security by installing many thousands of new streetlights in crime-prone areas.
Some anti-AAP people (most probably nasty BJP and Congress-wallahs with hidden agendas) complain about the fact that over half the installed CCTV cameras have been imported from China—that too during the military stand-off between India and China at Galwan in 2020. They jeer at the fact that the CCTV cameras don’t capture criminals; they only capture their crimes. They even allege that the new streetlights are only helping the criminals see their victims better and plan their crimes more efficiently.
However, AAP correctly responds that:
Catching criminals is the job of Delhi Police which reports only to the Union Home Ministry and is thus controlled by those ☠@!##$%☠ BJP-wallahs;
A large number of CCTV cameras are being stolen and/or damaged on ongoing basis – most probably by dalals and stooges of those same ☠**%&☠☠ BJP and Congress saalas who want to give AAP a bad name.
There is nothing wrong about importing CCTV cameras from China, because India believes in the spirit of vasudaiva kutumbakam.
The newly installed streetlights have not only improved the quality of the CCTV footage on violent crimes; they also enable the common Delhi citizen to take night-time selfies where night-time selfies were not possible before, to spot criminals sooner and have time to run like hell for safety before being caught, and to see and avoid pot-holes, open manholes, heaps of garbage and other hazards while running.
Managing Water Quality
Another important area where the AAP government has achieved remarkable landmarks through enhanced M&M capabilities is water quality; specifically, contamination of the Yamuna by untreated human wastes (commonly known as shit).
Now, we all know the Yamuna has been filthy since probably the time of Qutubbudin Aibak. But the BJP and Congress governments did nothing to clean it up, and so when AAP came to power one of its promises was to clean up the Yamuna and make it fit for bathing in by 2020.
At this point, a little gyaan. According to norms of WHO and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), river water is unsafe and unfit for even bathing in if its faecal coliform count (i.e. a measure of how much shit it contains) is more than 2500 (per 100 ml water)
When Kejriwal’s AAP took charge of Delhi government in 2015, the maximum measured faecal coliform count at Okhla was close to 5000,000 per 100 ml (i.e. 2000 times the danger level).
By 2019, the faecal coliform count at Okhla had increased by leaps and bounds to over 9500,000 per 100 ml (i.e. 3800 times the danger level).
In March 2021 the Delhi Pollution Control Committee reported that the faecal coliform count in Okhla was 45,000,000 per 100 ml (i.e. 18,000 times the danger level) [data from DPCC lab report here].
Thanks to scientific M&M under the AAP government, and bolstered by the AAP government’s sustained ‘Clean Yamuna’ campaign, the faecal coliform in the Yamuna has increased by leaps and bounds: from 2000 times danger level in 2015 to an amazing 18,000 times danger level by March 2021.
Instead of being thrilled by this remarkable AAP achievement, the usual gang of AAP-haters and baiters (all BJP and Congress chamchas, for sure) complain that the Yamuna’s astronomically high coliform count only shows that the river water is now at par with the stuff we flush away in toilets. They add bitterly that if the current trend continues (as it will, if AAP remains in power for another term or two as seems likely), the Yamuna’s faecal coliform count will become so high that the river will solidify into a sludge of…well…shit.
AAP is unfazed by the criticism. Flushed with enthusiasm (so to speak), it has vowed to continue its ‘Clean Yamuna’ initiative. On November 19th, Chief Minister Kejriwal declared that “the Yamuna will be cleaned by 2025”.
Managing Air Quality
Nowhere is AAP’s uniquely dismal aptitude (AAPtitude?) in governance more clearly visible (at least, on the 5-6 days in the year when an object 2 metres away is clearly visible through the smog) than in managing the quality of Delhi’s air.
The AAP’s sustained, hyperbolic and mutually contradictory efforts at combating air pollution during the last six years essentially boil down to the following:
Strenuous advertising campaigns that urge the Delhi citizens to use public transport like buses and Metro instead of private vehicles.
Reducing the fleet-strength of the city bus operator Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) from around 6000 buses in 2015 to 3000 buses as of today. [AAP’sRationale: these old buses are inefficient and add to air pollution! Result: more people buy scooters/bikes and cars, adding more to air pollution.]
Opposing the expansion of the Delhi Metro’s Phase 4 corridor. [AAP’sRationale: the Metro Phase 4 construction will require felling of several hundred young trees planted during AAP’s afforestation campaigns, mainly on wastelands. Result: as above. ]
Strenuous, continuous and almost completely useless efforts over the last six years to purchase 8000 new CNG buses (so that the DTC fleet can be increased to 11,000 buses). Not one new bus has so far been procured. However, as a sign of great progress, AAP recently announced (November 6th, 2021) that 190 new CNG buses ‘will be inducted’ starting next year, i.e. 2022.
Setting up two ‘smog towers’ (in Connaught Place and in Anand Vihar) at a cost of Rs 40 crores while ignoring all warnings and criticisms including mine. These smog towers have proved to be a complete farce, as predicted. For instance, on November 6th, the smog tower at Connaught Place delivered ‘clean air’ which had a PM 2.5 level of 453 (against the maximum safety level of 60). See the report here.
Blaming previous BJP and Congress governments for not doing enough to clean up Delhi’s air, thus burdening AAP with a ‘legacy’ of air pollution
Blaming the BJP-ruled Union Government for not giving enough money to the AAP government of Delhi to fund its essential public-interest advertising campaigns in electronic and print media by which it attacks the Union Government for not giving adequate funds to the AAP government of Delhi to help combat various problems such as water and air pollution
Blaming the BJP-ruled governments of the neighbouring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for encouraging/allowing farmers to burn post-kharif harvest stubble in their fields and create smoke that adds to Delhi’s air pollution.
The plain and bitter truth is, Delhi’s own traffic alone contributes to anything between 65% and 85% of all air pollution including particulates, depending on the time of year. Hardly surprising, considering that Delhi had nearly 12 million registered motorized vehicles on its choked roads as of March 2021.
The Delhi NCR’s own industry and construction sectors contribute most of the remaining air pollution throughout the year. Stubble burning contributes a maximum of only about 30%—that too for barely three weeks in a year! Likewise, the admittedly noisy and smoky but much-maligned Diwali crackers contribute no more than 10–12% of air pollution—for three days in the year!
The scientific studies are all out there, in public domain.
O Gentle Reader, just imagine 12 million vehicles on jam-packed roads day after day, all that diesel and petrol and CNG burning, the CO2 and CO and particulates shooting out of those millions of exhaust pipes…
Yet, we Delhi-wallahs dare blame the farmers for stubble burning?
Who among us has the courage to call a spade a spade (instead of a spatially challenged diamond) and blame ourselves for spawning this choking horror that hangs over the city?
A word of praise is due to the media, for providing enthusiastic support to the AAP government in blaming everybody but the citizens of Delhi themselves for Delhi’s air pollution. Particularly noteworthy is Times of India’s ‘Let Delhi Breathe’ campaign, under which the most creative headlines, well-spun graphics, cunningly twisted data and plain fake news are combined to create a narrative that Delhi’s air pollution is entirely due to all those nasty stubble-burning farmers from Punjab, Haryana, and western U.P.
For instance, today (30th November), stubble burning contributes barely 2% to Delhi’s the PM 2.5 load. In other words, 98% of Delhi’s air pollution is of our own creation! But instead of headlining this, TOI obligingly plays up the stubble burning through crafty graphics and a headline that reads ‘Smoke without fire: AQI very poor’.
Enough. Bus ho gya.
I have, after years of thought and dilly-dallying (Dilli-dallying?) resolved to move out from Delhi. Inshallah, by 2023…assuming I survive 2022.
Even as I write this, the prospect of leaving Delhi brings a wave of deep sadness; so deep that I wonder whether I should explore the Dark Web for a small but effective dose of potassium cyanide.
I gaze out the window at the dismal, grey-brown murk enveloping the sky…a darkness at noon … and then I cackle in glee.
I don’t need potassium cyanide to end it all.
All I need do is open the window and breathe deeply….