Monday, February 23, 2015

From the life of a Cycle Rickshaw Puller

We come to see them almost on a daily basis in our lives. At times, we find them blocking our lakhs worth of vehicles from zooming past at fast speeds. At other times, we find them sitting idle, sleeping on their cycle rickshaws, in groups, doing nothing, but sleeping over the whole day. Then, sometimes, when we have to, a lot of us might have bargained one of them over the fare they asked for to take you to your nearest metro station. A lot of us might find a lot of them too slow, too downstandard with what we are, wasting time, theirs and ours as well. Well, all this is changing, and rapidly so. The introduction of E-Rickshaws in the National Capital Territory, and in a number of other cities and states has paved the way for us to get our roads cleared from these slow snails blocking our way to almost everywhere, because, they are everywhere.
Being a citizen, one who doesn't come from so well to do families, I got a chance to interact with people like an ordinary cycle rickshaw pullers to name a few. Now you might be thinking what does my family background has got to do with getting to interact with a rickshaw puller? Well, the answer comes down to a mode of transportation. Those who, at  a point of time didn't have their own vehicle, or even if they still don't have one, might be able to understand the importance of public modes of transport, more importantly ones which could reach your doorstep. Auto-rickshaws became favourites among people, owing to their small sizes and their ability to ply on roads, highways and small streets alike. But the fare and their feasibility for small distances, like for a few kilometres meant there was something much more feasible than an auto-rickshaw was needed. Here came the cycle rickshaw. Something, that, in itself while it was invented in 1880's, was considered a technological advancement, has, with the technological advancement has now reduced to a piece of history. Some records suggest that Cycle Rickshaws were introduced in Delhi in the 1940's, and were considered a great advancement in public transport system, which, when compared to the hand pulled rickshaws, or other animal driven carts were cheaper, and faster. The technological advancement, and the enhancement of our disposable incomes have indeed helped most of us move beyond a piece of history and towards vehicles of the 21st century, Motorcycles, Cars and Electric vehicles have made way in the transportation scenario. While most of us have moved on, some, still chose to cling on that piece of history to earn their livelihood. Till sometime back, their livelihood flourished too, since these were relatively cheaper modes of transportation providing connectivity to inner areas from nodal points.
I too hopped on the bandwagon of the modern men and bought myself a personal vehicle to take me to places I want, at the time I wanted. At times I too have felt these slow things an annoyance because, I had to drive behind them on an already congested road, and the distance I could have covered in a matter of seconds took a couple of minutes. I too remember bargaining them about fare, as what they quoted appeared a bit more to me. A few days back, I had to travel back home without my vehicle. On some other day I would have preferred a 35 minute walk to cover a 4 km stretch from the bus stop to my home. But this day was different. I had bought some stuff, so had added weight. No electric rickshaw was willing to go towards my home, so I had no option left. I walked down some distance, then decided to take a cycle rickshaw to home. I asked him whether he will be willing to take me there. (Yes, in India, we still ask drivers of public transport vehicles about their willingness to take us somewhere, though, our laws empower us that they don't have a right to deny taking us somewhere, in normal circumstances.) He agreed, I asked for the fare, and didn't bargain with him about it.
For sometime, he pulled that cycle rickshaw, and I, as I usually do, had my earphones on, and was listening to music with my phone. An idea clicked. Why shouldn't I Interview him? I, being a sort of introvert, was in two minds whether to start talking with him, or let him do his work. The common thought of drawing conclusions even before actually doing something was holding me back. However, the curiosity of trying to look into a rickshaw puller's life, one whom we think to be a sort of villian, overcharging us at the very next possible chance made me strike the conversation. I had started off the conversation with him, trying to take a deeper look into the socio-economic aspects of someone's life. So, here I go with my interview of the Cycle Rickshaw Puller. But before I delve deep into the conversation between me and him, please allow me to put forth a few facts for your consideration:

The Cycle Rickshaw Pullers

Cycle Rickshaws were introduced in the National Capital around 1940's. At a time, when India, as a country was still ruled by British, and poverty and limited technological advancement, animal driven carts, most of those that now feature as luxury transport for fun and short distances, example, horse driven carts. The introduction of cycle rickshaws was a great technological advancement over the hand pulled rickshaws and the animal driven carts. The cycle rickshaws made way into the interiors of the city, catering to population of interior areas that were not catered by larger modes of transportation like buses and trains. Autorickshaws were not a feasible option for small distances, and thus cycle rickshaws thrived.
In Delhi, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi has been entrusted the task of registering and governing the cycle rickshaws, and/or other such non-motorised modes of transport/goods carriage. As per the laws of the Union Territory, the cycle rickshaws are required to be registered with the concerned Municipal body of the area the rickshaw is plying in.
A large number of the cycle rickshaws plying on Delhi roads are not owned by the rickshaw pullers but are rented out for a daily rent. Most of the rickshaw pullers are migrants from other states, who migrated to Delhi in search for a better livelihood. A large majority of these rickshaw pullers in Delhi come from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan.
As per the data released by Department of Economics & Statistics, Government of NCT of Delhi, in it's Delhi Statistical Handbook, 2012 (that was the latest one containing data on Cycle Rickshaws, newer editions of 2013, and 2014 have missed out statistics on Man/Animal driven transportation methods.), The number of registered cycle rickshaws over the past few years are:

Ref: Delhi Statistical Handbook, 2012 (Table: 10.3: Man/Animal driven vehicles in Delhi)

The numbers are surprisingly stagnant since 2007-08 to 2010-11, and with no new official data, there's no way for one to know whether this trend has stayed the same over the next years.

Anyways, I will move onwards to the interview.

To start off the conversation, I decided to bring in the Electric Rickshaws that have been introduced in Delhi in the past couple of years, and have made it in large numbers too. I decided to make the conversation sound as regular chat between two people, so as to get the best possible response from the interviewee. While the chat took place in Hindi, the local language, I would translate the same into English, for wider understanding.

Q.1 इलेक्ट्रिक रिक्शा के आने से आप लोगों को तो बहुत नुक्सान हो रहा होगा ? (The introduction of the Electric Rickshaws might be having a great impact on cycle rickshaw pullers' earnings?)

A.1 अरे बाउजी, सारी दिहाड़ी खत्म हो गयी है. (Yes. Infact the e-rickshaws have had a deep impact on our daily earnings. (which, they call dihari in Hindi)) Infact, I had struck a rather painful chord of his life. He went on to express his feelings over the people's behavour towards them.
लोग इ-रिक्शा वाले को 30 रुपये दे देंगे लेकिन हम अगर 30 रुपये मांग लेंगे तो लोग मोल भाव करने लगते हैं. लोग यह नहीं समझते की हमारा काम भी कितना मुश्किल है. इ-रिक्शा तो बैटरी से चलता है, हमारी मेहनत लगती है. वह 15 मिनट में पहुचायेगा हमको आधा घंटा लग जायेगा। वह 6 लोगों को एक साथ बिठा लेगा, हम 4 से ज़्यादा खीच ही नहीं पाएंगे।
(People would happily give the electric rickshaw whatever they ask for (in his words 30 rupees), but will bargain with us, if we ask for the same amount. They don't understand that our work is difficult. E-rickshaw runs on battery, while we have to work hard to pull the rickshaw. They take 15 minutes and for us it takes 30 minutes to cover the same distance. They can earn from 6 passengers at one go, while for us, it'll be hard to pull even four people.

Thus, I got a chance to take this further.

Q.2 आजकल लोगों को जल्दी भी तो होती है. आपलोग जो 30 मिनट लगाओगे वह इ-रिक्शा पर 15 मिनट लगेगा. तो पैसे ज़्यादा लगें तो भी लोग दे देते हैं. (These days people don't want to waste time travelling. The distance you guys cover in 30 minutes will be covered by them in just 15 minutes. So, even if they charge more, people readily pay them.)

A. 2 सर, अब क्या करें, हम इससे तेज़ तो चल नहीं सकते. आप हमारे रिक्शा पर बैठोगे तो हम तुरंत चल पड़ेंगे, इ-रिक्शा वाले 15-20 मिनट सवारी का इंतज़ार करेंगे की उनका रिक्शा भरे तब चलेंगे. (Sir, this is our limit. We can't go faster than that. Even if you compare the e-rickshaws with us, as soon as you hire us, we leave off for the destination, while e-rickshaws make you wait for 15-20 minutes for more passengers so that they could leave with a full capacity.)

The next couple of questions were to understand his economic conditions:

Q. 3 तो फिर, कितनी  दिहाड़ी बना लेते हैं आप लोग? (So, how much money do you earn on a regular working day?)

A. 3 कमाई का क्या है, कभी 100 कभी 150 तो कभी 300-400 रुपये भी हो जाते हैं. सब सवारी के ऊपर होता है. सवारी मिल गयी तो कमा लेते हैं, नहीं तो जो मिल जाये उसी से तसल्ली करनी पड़ती है.  (Earning is not fixed. sometimes, we get Rs. 100, 150 and at times we earn as much as 300-400 rupees in a single day too. Everything depends on the passengers. If we get more passengers, we earn more, if not, then whatever we get, we have to be satisfied with it.)

Q. 4 तो, फिर आप कुछ और भी करते हैं, रिक्शा चलाने के अलावा? (So, do you do anything else beyond pulling this cycle rickshaw?) Behind this question, a past interaction with an auto-rickshaw driver was working. That interaction revealed that driving auto-rickshaw was his part time job, and he worked up as an insurance agent, selling Life insurance policies.

A.4 नहीं बाउजी, और कुछ नहीं करता. सुबह से शाम तक रिक्शा ही चलाता हूँ। (No sir, I don't do anything else. I just pull this rickshaw from morning till evening.)

Q. 5 यह रिक्शा तो किराये पर होगा? कितना किराया देते हैं इसका? (I guess this rickshaw is rented? How much rent do you pay?)

A. 5 हाँ, किराये पर है. ऐसे आसान रहता है। कभी घर वगेरह जाना हुआ तो रिकशे की चिंता नहीं करनी पड़ती। वैसे भी किराये पर रहते हैं, तो रिकशा मालिक को वापस कर के चले जाते हैं। वापस आये तो फिर ले लिया किराये पर। दिन का 40 रुपये किराया लगता है। (Yes, this rickshaw is rented out. It's easy this way. If we ever need to go to the hometown, we can leave the rickshaw to the owner. Anyways, we live off in a rented home. When we come back, we approach the owner to get the rickshaw.)

I decided to move off to social aspects of his life now. The best way was to start off with his native place.

Q.6 वैसे कहाँ से हैं आप? उत्तर प्रदेश? (Anyways, where do you hail from? Uttar Pradesh?) At this point, I was thinking that a lot of rickshaw pullers hail from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Since I couldn't detect a specific tone typical to people from Bihar, (most of those from Bihar, do have that specific signature with which one can easily make where do they hail from.) so I guessed he was from UP (Uttar Pradesh).

A. 6 राजस्थान. (Rajasthan). He actually told me his native place, which, I couldn't understand due to the surrounding noise.

Q. 7 यहां अकेले रहते हैं आप? (Do you live here all by your own?)

A. 7 नहीं, बीवी बच्चे हैं। एक लड़का है, दो लड़कियाँ।  (No, I live with my wife and children. I've got a son and two daughters.)

Q. 8 आपकी बीवी भी कुछ काम वगेरह करती ही होंगी? (Your wife too must be doing something to earn money?) Given the fact that in a city like Delhi, against all tall claims of politicians and parties claiming to have reduced inflation to dirt and also that one can have a good meal for a measily 5 rupees, I knew the hard reality of living and the costs associated with living with one's family in a city like Delhi. There are a number of businesses that thrive on such poor and needy people. A number of works ranging from the manual labour behind the expensive fancy jewellery sold in high end shops in shopping malls throughout the city and the country as well, to stitching of clothes, putting together components of an electric appliance to packaging items. A lot of the things that are labour intensive are outsourced to these people, and the wages they get will put the country's labour laws to shame. A rate of Rupees 2, for example, per metre of very small beads that make way to fancy sarees and designer attire for the rich, that too, you get paid only if you do it all right as per the specifications, or all your hard work gets wasted as it is discarded. The question I asked, had to show me, for obvious reasons, the utter helplessness of a father/ a husband, who couldn't earn enough to provide for his family, and as a result, has to allow his wife/children to work so that they could collectively earn enough to meet their ends.

A. 8 अब आदमी इतना नहीं कमायेगा तो औरत को काम करना ही पड़ेगा ना, नहीं तो घर कैसे चलेगा? वह भी काम करती है घरों में। (If the husband isn't able to meet the ends from his income, the wife has to work to help them earn enough to live. She also works in people's homes.) That meant, she worked as a maid.

Q. 9 और बच्चे? स्कूल जाते हैं या वह भी कहीं काम करते हैं? (And your kids? Do you send them to school, or they too work somewhere). I was, for some reasons, under the impression that they too might be working somewhere. To my utter surprise, the answer I got, I felt that the awareness campaigns run by the governments had some impact among the masses. While that impact is yet to reach throughout the country's masses, as we still find thousands of cases of child labour, but, it has to start somewhere.

A. 9 दोनों लडकियां सरकारी स्कूल में जाती हैं, और लड़का, जो की 5 साल का है, प्राइवेट स्कूल में है। (Both the girls go the government run school while the son, who is 5 years old studies in a private school.) I could very well sense the proud feeling he had while he was telling me that. Now this was something welcome, as even a poor rickshaw puller understood the importance of education. Even though, the notion still remained, and he found the Privately run school a better place for his son, whom, he was expecting to earn and look after his parents, later. The girls were going to the government school, because he understood the importance of education in one's life, and that the notion that he'll have to marry off his girls who would go to someone else's home after marriage, and his income, had forced him to discriminate between the girls and the boy. I tried to motivate him saying education is important, and that every parent wants his/her children to do better than themselves in their lives.

Q.10 बच्चे की पढाई की फीस में कुछ छूट मिलती है? आप ने EWS सर्टिफिकेट बनवा रखा है? Do you get any relaxation in terms of your son's school fees, since the government run schools don't charge any fees, and the EWS quota, as enacted in schools in Delhi, under the Right to Education (RTE) Act, as enacted w.e.f April 1, 2010 by the Indian Parliament, provides all the children of this country, a right to atleast elementary education, and as per this act only, Privately run schools of the country (either aided by the government or not, are required to reserve 25% seats for kids of Economically Weaker Sections of the society. Now whether the schools follow the guidelines properly or not is another matter for discussion.)

A. 10 हमको क्या पता यह क्या होता है? और रही बात बच्चे की स्कूल फीस की तो 100 रूपया महीने फीस लगता है।  (I don't know what that is-EWS Income certificate. And as far as the fees is concerned, it is 100 rupees a month.) Now this was something I didn't expect. As per my belief, I thought these people knew things that were done for their good, even if it was on paper. This person denied the very fact that he didn't know what an EWS Income certificate is, and that he was entitled to free education for his children even in Private schools. Though, it wouldn't have been easy to secure a place for all his children in a private school under the EWS quota, but the very fact that he didn't know about any such thing meant that a lot of ground work still needs to be done.

Now my journey had come to an end. I had reached my destination. So, I stopped the thing there itself. I decided to share it here, on my blog, for others to get an insight inside a common Indian's life, one who can't afford to visit fancy restaurants every weekend, or order food over phone, or visit the theme parks for recreation and ones whom we come across in our daily lives, still we neglect the very existence of them as parts of our own society, our very own people. Remember the pledge we took daily in our schools? - India is my country and all Indians are my brothers and sisters...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Delhi Votes for a Change

The recently concluded Assembly Election in Delhi, has brought in a new wave of next generation politics. The kind of mandate the people of Delhi have said leaps and bounds about the mood of people. An assembly election, that became such a high profile election that saw the ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party come down with most of their top leaderships here in Delhi to campaign for the Delhi unit of Bharatiya Janata Party.
The electorate of Delhi, has very clearly shown that the people are absolutely sick of mud slinging and opacity we have seen in the political system in the country. The mandate that the people have given it's clear that the political parties have to move away from the traditional ways and methods of politics.
So, the image down seems to be an apt description of the situation that we, here in Delhi, have seen over the past three months or so. The BJP had put in quite an effort, it sworn in the Prime Minister, the poster boy of the party for the General Elections of 2014, apart from him, the other heavyweight leaders like Sh. Amit Shah, the National Chairperson of BJP, the Finance Minister, Sh. Arun Jaitley, and a lot of other popular leaders to handle the campaigning, once the face of Sh. Narendra Modi failed to create a favourable ground for the BJP to take over Delhi in the Assembly Elections. The considerable shift of Delhi Voters, who elected BJP candidates to represent them in the Indian Parliament in the General Elections in 2014, giving them all 7 seats, the seats which were that of Indian National Congress, which they held since 2009 General Election.
Anyways, we're seeing a party just a bit over two years decimating the veterans of political arena here in Delhi, that too, when the AAP was blamed for resigning from the government within 49 days, and the party saw a defeat in the General Elections in 2014.
Hopefully, we will see the party work with enthusiasm and will give the people of Delhi, what they promised. Finishing this post with Hearty Congratulations to Sh. Arvind Kejriwal, Aam Aadmi Party, their volunteers and the people of Delhi for choosing their government and with the kind of majority, I sincerely expect that the party will form a stable government, and give us, the people of Delhi, 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

An Open Letter to: Sh. Narendra Modi

Respected Sh. Narendra Modi,

First of all, kindly allow me to congratulate you on becoming the Prime Minister of India, world's largest Democracy, also being the world's second largest country in terms of population, and seventh largest in terms of area. This in itself is quite an achievement, as has been hailed by the entire world. Though, I know, I'm quite late in doing so, but, a common man, like me, the ALL POWERFUL COMMON MAN, whose powers come down to a grinding halt the moment he presses that button on that EVM. His powers are captured and stored by the EVM, till someone from the Election Commission comes and collects all the powers collected in those EVM's throughout the constituency or state or the country, and transfers all the powers of all the common and the not so common men and women to one of you people, and make you the ALMIGHTY! Yes ALMIGHTY! Someone who's been vested with power of half a billion population irrespective of the religion, race, caste, creed, colour, language, ethnicity is bound to be ALMIGHTY! Even mightier than the ALMIGHTY, whom, we have so fondly divided by religions, and regions and languages and castes.

A question must have come to your mind, why now? Why am I writing this letter to you at this moment of time, had I not got the time to do that earlier? I would say, sir, I could only gather the courage, and will to do that now. Adding to it, since I can't see a platform where I could have done this earlier, and since it is now that I chose to create a space for myself, using a social media platform, a blog, to do that, I am doing it. I, a citizen of India, a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic, chose to reach out to the prime minister of my country, at a time, I found suitable.

While I heartly appreciate a few initiatives, unique to you, the topmost being your willingness to reach out to the people of the country, you are the head of the state of. Something, you've been doing, since you held office in May, last year, is indeed a quite appreciable an initiative, one that no other leader, atleast in my short span of life since I started to understand political things and the socio-political aspects of a democratic republic like India. Short span? Why? Because the elections, that have happened since I was legally allowed to formally choose whom I found the person fittest enough to rule my constituency, state, or the country in itself, haven't been many. Two General elections and one assembly election is no big a time span to claim myself to be a veteran in this arena of electoral process. But whoever I have chosen to represent myself, among the thousands of others, I am quite proud and I don't regret whoever I voted for, irrespective of whether he/she won or lost.

When I'm talking about the initiatives you and your government has taken, one of them being your Mann Ki Baat, aired over the All India Radio is one appreciable initiative. While we missed any kind of communication from the heads of state of the previous governments, this initiative of yours is quite a welcome one. With this, people come closer to you, and you come closer to people, sharing your thoughts over the radio, a medium, which reaches even to the farthest of the  corners of the country, and even the poorest of  the people can stand by somewhere and listen to your Mann Ki Baat, (ofcourse, if they understand it. I'm not sure whether AIR has made any arrangements to translate it into the native language for the people to understand it.) I am yet to listen to one of those, (except the one you did with President Barack Obama). However, I feel, this initiative has become sort of an oratory discourse, where you speak out whatever you have to and that's it. For what I understand, partnerships, the level at which we intend to create between the government and the public, to bring about a change in the country, and transform it into a better place to live in, has to be two way. And, unless, all the parties involved in are not heard of, unless an elaborate discussion doesn't take place, it is not possible for everyone to work with the same understanding. I hope I'm right.

Again, I saw some efforts being made to take feedback of people too. The site of the Government of India's E-Governance Initiative (, says a lot about the plans of the government to bring in technology into governance, again, quite an admirable effort. But, somewhere, being a citizen, I find myself, a bit cut out of the loop, which the government is trying to create, a loop of information sharing and gathering, one, that the government, finds, an indispensable tool to help it form policy decisions, based on the input of the masses, the activity, organizations like NSSO have traditionally been entrusted on with the task to complete. There were loop holes, as afterall, the people who surveyed too were like other humans. At times, they might have fudged the data, for reasons, well attributable to the human nature. I know this because this has happened in the 2011 Census of India as well, the media highlighted it, the government ordered corrections, and overall, I myself encountered it. So, the traditional ways have been a bit prone to mis-calculations. But, somewhere down the line, I see this new e-governance initiative too not very effective. Infact, this effort, to invite suggestions from people is online, one has to create an account to be able to put forth their suggestions, opinions. How does this new e-governance initiative take into consideration the not so well to do populace, those who do not have access to proper education, sanitation, food and water, let alone going online to share their views on stuff that's greater to their own self. For example, you say, you used to be a tea seller. How do you expect the other tea sellers to make their sentiments reach you? Atleast I am unaware of a way for them to do that. If there is one in place, and is functioning properly, I would like to know of one. In case it isn't there, I would like to ask, isn't it their right too to give their inputs in the process of policy making, so that they too could reap the benefits of living in a democratic country, which is sovereign, secular, socialist and a republic too? I would further like you to kindly take steps to include these not-so-well-to-do masses to be able to give their inputs in building the country.

Now, I think it'll be better for me to try and talk about a few highlighters, a few points, I thought worth discussing here.

1. Secularism: Just because the very nature of the masses India as a country is comprised of, we here, have people of almost all walks of life, ethnicities, religious beliefs, and as far as I understand, it is the responsibility of the government to protect the interests of people and their fundamental right, a right imparted to us,  by the constitution, to freely practice our religious beliefs, without any fear whatsoever. Bharatiya Janata Party, maybe because of it's parent organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), has always been seen as a pro-Hindu political party. Whatever the reason be, now since the party is in power, ruling a secular, socialist, and a democratic country, it's responsibilities have increase manifold. Just when I see you sitting in the Prime Minister's chair, after what happened in 2002 in Gujarat, and what all you were accused of, I am forced to believe that people have forgotten and forgiven the Gujarat incident. They have moved on, which is quite visible from the fact that your party won with shattering numbers. Now, since they have believed in you, I guess, it becomes one of your moral responsibilities to justify their belief in you. While I do not have any complaint with you, as you've been projected as someone, who's been trying to be in control, doing what a Prime Minister should do, and I do believe, you are doing that sincerely.

However, I fail to understand how one of your ministers, and party leaders, sitting at quite prominent positions, always come up with quite controversial statements; everytime controversy on one of the previous statements subdues, one of your ministers or party members come up with a new one. With your position being quite prominent and given the control you are supposed to have inside the government, and given the fact that the remaining party leadership seems to be standing in your support, it baffles me as to how is it that any of your instructions and/or suggestions to your party members and ministers to try not to make any controversial statements, seems not to be having any effect on any of them.

As visible is the situation created by RSS and other similar organizations, which, of late have been involved in quite controversial actions, which clearly is against and in clear violation of the fundamental rights of to every citizen of India. The Ghar Wapasi programmes to "re-convert" people from other religions is a clear indication of what I am talking about. Just like a few incidents, that have taken place here in Delhi have left me thinking. In the last two months, there have been five incidents of damages to chruches, and the Delhi Police, which directly comes under the Central Government, i.e. under you, fails to solve all but one. Additionally, the recent unnecessary situation created by the actions, in the past few days, the one related to the Constitution of India's Preamble, the 42nd Amendment, which, is said to have done during the Emergency period by the Smt. Indira Gandhi government. I mean what is the problem if the constitution of a democratic republic and sovereign country assures all of its citizens of an absolute impartiality in providing them a piece of land, a place, where they are free to live, worship, as their religious preferences, and will. Why has one to create a situation out of a non-situation? There are lots of bigger issues to solve.

2. Delhi Assembly Elections: Everyday, we are moving closer to the day we will be out pressing that button in front of one of the election symbols, and transfer the powers we have, to one of the people standing out there who will rule us for the next five years, treating us like shitheads, making us wait in long traffic jams because he or she is a VVIP and the Delhi Police and Delhi Traffic Police have to ensure that this VVIP doesn't get to see even a single minute of traffic jam, and in the process, ensuring hours of traffic jams for us, powerless people. You don't believe me? Please ask one of the incharges managing the Traffic Departments, as how really you get that sparkling clean and clear roads, at the peak time of traffic movement on a Monday morning. I guess the traffic police doesn't care keeping a record of that. We understand that at times it's quite important, but isn't it possible for a single person, or a delegation of 10-15 people to adjust their schedule to save thousands of not-so-important persons, hours of long traffic snarls, on a Monday morning.

Coming back to Ms. Kiran Bedi, who has recently been announced the Chief Ministerial candidate of BJP for Delhi Assembly Elections, 2015. Even after being a prospective voter in Delhi, I do not know much about Ms. Bedi, except a few things, which are in public domain about her. But, as the whole of media is already saying, your party did respond to the situation quite late, and hence, this seems to be quite an ineffective step in your campaign to the Delhi Assembly. A lot of these media houses and political analysts have gone on to say that this (introduction of Ms. Kiran Bedi as the Chief Ministerial candidate) has turned out to be a favour in disguise for Aam Aadmi Party. Just a few days back, I happened to watch an interview of Ms. Bedi with Mr. Ravish Kumar, one of the journalists I believe in quite much, owing to the topics he deals, and within him, I can see an honest person, with whom, I can connect with in a much better way. I am sorry to say that the impression Ms. Kiran Bedi had on me, during and after that sub 20 minute interview, wasn't quite good. Not good enough to turn me, as a voter in Delhi, in her support. The strictness I could hear in her voice, her attitude while talking to such a senior journalist, honestly speaking, I was pretty much intimidated with her personality. I guess, her tenure being an IPS officer, has left quite an irrevocable mark on her personality. An ideal person, in my view, for being a Chief Minister, or any other person, responsible for public administration, needs to be soft at heart, and understanding, which, I regret to say, I can't find Ms. Kiran Bedi having any of such qualities. Maybe, I am wrong, but, being a common man, I guess, I have got the freedom to be wrong.

Further moving towards the election campaigning your party has been doing, I have a few things to say to you. Just when trying to compare a few of your promises with the ones your opponents like the INC and the AAP, I fail to find any of your promises to be outdoing those of your opponents. More than that, since AAP was the one to jump in election campaigning first of you all, it appears that most of the points raised by one of the two opponents of AAP are mere extensions to their's. Maybe, this is just what I am thinking, as most of the matters are common, like electricity, water women security and such issues. Just like, in my last open letter to Sh. Arvind Kejriwal, I would like to know how are you going to go ahead implementing those promises, if your party is voted to power? Women Security, a much heated issue, one that has turned out to be a game changer in the recent elections, isn't an issue which can be solved by merely installing CCTV security cameras throughout the city, or even in the entire country. Just similar is the situation when it comes to unchecked growth of traffic in Delhi, the city, you and your party has been portraying to be made a smart city. Smart? Really? Entering Delhi from one of the entry points from Ghazipur Near Delhi-Ghaziabad border, Ohkla, near Delhi-Faridabad border and the third one at Bhalaswa, near the GTK Bypass, greet the visitors visiting Delhi with mounds of stinking garbage, the city generates everyday, and the hundreds of dumper trucks plying to and from the city carrying this waste and dumping it there. Though, there is nothing you could have done to prevent that, a smart city needs to have its own ways and methods of waste management, power generation, and fulfilling most of the requirements of its residents. The situation brought about by the introduction of Grameen Sewa, by the previous government, and the introduction of E-rickshaws, and subsequent approval provided by your government, with the introduction of the special E-Rickshaw Sewa Scheme, your government introduced in Delhi, ahead of the Assembly elections, to tackle the stay put on by the Hon'ble Delhi High court on plying of these rickshaws. Actually, that was something that should have done after proper discussions and expert opinions should have been sought on this topic, and a systematic implementation plan should have been thought out to properly implement introduction of such vehicles.

3. Easing Inflation: In a few hoardings, put up for the purpose of campaigning for the party, I saw that alongside your picture, your party claims to have effectively eased out inflation. I do not know where the governments get their data from, because, for a common man like me, inflation has only risen. Like for example, if I consider prices of vegetables, we had summer of '14 under your government. And at that time, we were forced to purchase potatoes at Rs. 40 a kilogram, with the vendors threatening us of further rise in prices. Same was the case with onions, tomatoes and other such veggies. Talking of the current times, i.e. winters, the veggies, particularly green peas, cauliflower, cabbages, etc, are always at Rs. 40 a kg. I mean what's the point of having winter vegetables when you are forced to buy them at almost the prices these are sold off in summers? Gone are the days when we could buy green peas, and other such winter veggies at Rs. 20 per kg, same is the case with other grocery items, be it flour, sugar, pulses or anything else, but your party still claims to have eased out inflation. Atleast they should consider the fact that, in the eyes of the common people, you've got some credibility, which they are tarnishing with such false claims, along with your photo. Why is it that you have to make tall false claims to win you votes, instead of your work doing that for you? With Inflation numbers, I am forced to consider the game of price change of Petroleum products. The world, by far has seen the decline in the global crude oil prices by almost 50 percent. The previous government, while giving a clarification of roll out of a market controlled regime for sale of petroleum products, at a time crude oil was at its peak, had said that this was done so that the prices we pay for the petroleum products are controlled by the global crude oil prices, which clearly means that we were to pay higher prices if the global crude oil prices surged. What happened too the other side of the coin. Your government took over around 10 months back, and almost since then, the global crude oil prices saw a steady decline, so much so that in prices were recorded at their lowest levels for as many as 5-6 years. We paid higher prices if the crude costed more, what happened to the lowering of the costs in tandem with the lowering crude oil costs? Why was the government in a hurry to fill their pockets with increased VAT on the sales of petroleum products instead of passing on that benefit to the consumer? Shouldn't the prices of petrol and diesel we pay for in retail should have fallen in relation to the fall in the global oil prices? Then why should we pay more when the prices are higher and shouldn't expect to pay less when the prices are lower?

For my readers, I have taken out some figures on the global crude oil price, (as shown by Brent Crude, an index most widely used, the world over for benchmarking the global crude oil prices) and the figures of Petrol and Diesel, we had here in Delhi.

Comparision of percentage change in prices of Global Crude Oil, Petrol and Diesel in Delhi

* While utmost care has been taken for generation of this comparative analysis chart, we claim no responsibility for any error in the figures, and the resulting graph.
Methodology followed:
Brent Crude, an important benchmarking index used for sale and purchase of Crude Oil globally has been considered for this comparision.
Retail Petrol and Diesel Prices in Delhi has been taken into account for generation of this comparative analysis chart. The prices as on the revision dates since January 03, 2014 till February 05, 2015 have been taken into consideration.
For calculation of Percentage Change, the prices (for crude, petrol and diesel) as on January 03, 2014 has been taken as a base.
Prices of Brent Crude has been considered as per the dates, revisions of Petrol and diesel have been notified by Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources. In case the prices of brent crude are unavailable for one particular date, the Brent Crude price index for the immediate previous date for which it was available has been taken into account.

So, as is visible from the above illustrated graph, In the last one year, starting January 03, 2014, the prices of crude oil have fallen globally by around 50 percent, with the highest fall being recorded in January 16, 2015, a fall of 53.07 percent, taking price as on January 03, 2014 as a base price. The price has increased a bit and the latest revision of petrol and diesel prices the crude oil was 49.33 percent lower than the January 03, 2014 base price. This being said, the prices of Diesel and Petrol have not seen the same amount of change in the price cuts, as is evident from the graph. While, for Diesel, till around October 15, 2014, the Diesel prices were still being decontrolled from the government controlled pricing regime, Petrol, which was decontrolled with immediate effect, way back in 2013 too didn't see the amount of change it should have seen.

Cutting it off, I would like to move on the other point. During my graduation days, I once happened to visit Gujarat, on an educational excursion, that was part of our undergraduate programme, and this was in late 2007. The itinerary of the trip needed us to do a socio-economic survey in one of the remote villages. And, even though, having quite reservations about you as a person, was quite impressed with the development you and your government did in such remote villages. With the villagers claiming to have access to electricity around 20 hours a day, with satellite TV (cable) connections in most of the households, it was can eye opener, when I compared my native village in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, which still can't manage to get even 4 hours of electricity properly. This makes me move on to another question, which, I happen to ponder over, at times. Please allow me to take that in the next point.

4. Socio-Economic Development: Why is it necessary to have government of the same political party in a state, as is there at the centre? What do I intend to say is that, who else can be a better example against this stereotypical notion than you? You did a great job in Gujarat during your tenure there as the Chief Minister. Most of this tenure was during the UPA regime at the centre. If what you did in Gujarat can be done with a state and the union government of different political parties, why have you been claiming that having government of the same political party ensures better socio-economic development at the state level. Agreed that it is beneficial, as governments of the same political party works in tandem, in co-operation towards a common goal, and thus, chances of differences within the state government and the union government are supposed to be minimal. What I understand as an ideal situation is, once a government is formed, it becomes the government of the state or the country, and its responsibilities towards the state heavily outweigh that towards the political party that formed it. Am I wrong? If I am not wrong, then why two governments of two different political parties can't work with mutual understanding towards a common goal, I.e. growth and prosperity of the people who voted them to power? Why has it to be same political party's government throughout the country for all the regions to grow and prosper uniformly?

5. Other Initiatives: A few of your other initiatives like the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, the renewed E-Governance Initiative, the initiative for the girl child, and a bunch of other initiatives, are quite great ones, in the sense that previous governments have mostly neglected most of such issues. The Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, for instance, was quite a novel idea, since it is important for each one of us to give out contribution towards a cleaner surroundings for ourselves. The scale at which this mission was launched last year, drew attention of lots of people, and the chains you started by nominating personalities from Sports, Cinema and other areas, had it really going. I however find that the ambitions mission which started off with such a fanfare has gradually died. Most of the netas who got themselves photographed holding the broom are missing. Things are not being taken that seriously, as they should have been, after a couple of months of start off of such an ambitious programme. The biggest problem is, as I have always maintained, it's not just the government's sole responsibility to do this. The government can work as a facilitator to help people do that themselves. The initiative has to be taken by people, and as we, the people of India, normally do, we forget our responsibilities, just remember reminding others of theirs. The save  the girl child initiative too is a great one, with you officially starting it from Haryana, where the sex ratio is dangerously low. This is just not about making people aware of the situation. It's about enforcement of laws too. When we have a law prohibiting pre-natal sex determination, why do we still see so many cases of female foeticide? There are people working behind the scenes, that make that possible. The government needs to put up a check on these people, who, out of their sheer greed for money, are doing this heinous crime. Tall claims related to measures taken up in the name of women security have turned out to be jokes, in the light of the sustained graph of serious crimes against women. Doesn't this by far, open up the government's claims in this regard?

A few days back, a newspaper headlines carried news saying CCTV cameras to be put up in trains. Sir, first please make the trains safe enough to run properly and on time. What would the CCTV cameras do? catch criminals? save women? What will the police do when a crime has been committed, and the accused absconding? The case will go in cold storage and then, the CCTV cameras and evidence will go wasted, and the victim, broken. In the 68 years since independence, we have not been able to stop armed dacoity of entire trains, in parts of Bihar and Jharkhand, and we talk about CCTV cameras for women security? Have one of your ministers tried travelling in a reserved train coach, without using the VIP quota, after trying to book a ticket himself? Once one of them try that, they'll come to know the ground realities. Just do a visit to one of the railway stations in the capital city, which, you have envisioned as a smart city, and three of the city's many railway stations, as "World Class" railway stations. Just take a look at how people get stuffed in general class coaches, and also the sleeper class coaches get stuffed by those who can't fit in in the general class coaches.

6. Dying Plans: As many a plans you have announced, most of these plans are appearing to be dying a silent death. Be it the plan to clean up the Ganga river, the matter of bringing back black money back to India, or some other schemes. No concrete result seems to be coming out of any of these plans. I know it's too early for me to say anything, or for much of a progress to show up, but,  atleast something should have come up, when works on these plans are going on? Be it the promise to bring back the black money stashed abroad, depositing the sum of Rs. 14 lakh in each Indian's bank account, a claim you did in one of your public meetings during your campaigning for the General Elections, things seem to have gone silent.

Finishing this off, I would like to say, a lot of policies of your government are great, no doubt. We infact had the President of the United States of America to be the Chief Guest for our republic day celebrations this year, one of the many firsts, one of our governments haven't been able to do in some past years. Your term started off with beginning of a new era of forging better relations with countries of the world, which is good for the country in the long run. But when I try comparing the things you and your party opposed as an opposition, in UPA's regime, and the things you have carried forward, of that of UPA regime, I become doubtful. Why doubtful? Because, a number of things which have carried on for decades altogether, have been scrapped, like the Planning Commission, for example. The Aadhar Scheme, which, as I've heard, you had some of your reservations with, has been adopted. The DBTL initiative of the UPA government has been taken over, implemented, though after a change of it's name to PAHAL, and I guess some other things in its working too. Sir, Gajar ka Halwa doesn't need LPG connection as the utmost priority. It needs gajar (carrots), which, due to inflation are retailing at around Rs. 40 a kg. How will a daily wage worker, who earns just a 100 or 150 rupees in a metro like Delhi (and believe me, there are thousands who are earning that much, even less), be able to purchase the Gas Cylinder paying a 1000 bucks, and then waiting for the subsidised amount to be refunded back to his bank account?

Having a 56 inch chest isn't something absolutely necessary to make one a great leader, that 56 inch chest should have a 4 inch heart too inside.

I hope, being an ordinary citizen of the country, I have my right to come forward and share my views with the prime minister of my country, on his governance. I appreciated some of your initiatives, I criticised some of the things I found worth criticising. I sincerely believe in you. I sincerely believe that you will take us to new heights of development, and hopefully, I will be out there, on one of the polling booths, in 2019, to vote for you, assured that whatever the result may be, I chose the right candidate to represent me, and the billions like me, to the whole world, to show them the India of the Future.

Jai Hind.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

An Open Letter to: Arvind Kejriwal


It wouldn't be wise on my part to start off this open letter without giving you a small insight into what led me to write this open letter. So, here it goes - 

India being a democracy, a republic, where the public is supposed to have all the powers. Throughout the years, India, having 29 states and 7 union territories, goes on to show the power of the people through elections, that is the responsibility of the Election Commission of India, a constitutional body which is responsible for administering free and fair elections at the national level, and it's state level units, the state election commissions responsible for various elections at the state level.

Going through this democratic electoral process, the people of Delhi gave their mandate which resulted in a hung assembly and the largest emerged party Bharatiya Janata Party refusing to form government, Aam Aadmi party, with the help of the ousted Indian National Congress, that was in power for continuous stint of 15 years, and which was ousted because of an anti corruption sentiment which waved the people of Delhi so strongly that they ousted the party, and the veteran Chief Minister, Smt. Shiela Dixit. The Aam Aadmi party, coming to power, forming a minority government, with the help of the congress party, started working and within a period of 49 days, the Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi Government submitted to the Hon. Lt. Governer to dissolve the assembly, thus resigning from the government, and forcing Delhi to another round of elections, though, this took more than a year since the Lt. Governer didn't accept the request, and sending the assembly in suspended animation, maintaining the status quo, since the country was up for General elections just 3 months after the resignation of the Delhi government. The State Election Commission has now decided to hold assembly elections on 7th of February, 2015, for which the results will be declared on 10th of February, 2015.


Dear Mr. Kejriwal,

I have been longing for long to reach out to you. Seems, the fan following you have gathered, in the years, since you joined Anna's movement, you have become a household name, atleast in Delhi, so near that atleast an hour of our daily lives goes talking about you and your party and your political stints, be it in at our homes, in office, or while travelling to and from office. I hope you understand the importance of that one hour, the common voter of the state takes out of his twenty four hours. So close you came, still so far you have been that it's almost impossible for the common man, which you and your party claim to represent in the political arena to make his sentiments reach out to you. Being a voter in Delhi, which bore the costs of conducting elections on such a large scale, and is forced to do that yet again.

Just as much as we expected from you, we have already been empty handed for once. Whatever the reason behind it, you have been called a deserter by the opposition, for resigning from the government, just in the beginning. Whatever the reasons you had, internally, even though, you and your party claimed it to be a result of the coalition of both the opposition parties. I for one, do think that you had some other reason at play. Just as you and your party had declared before tabling the controversial Jan Lokpal Bill at the floor of the house in Delhi, that if it wasn't for the bill to be passed, the government would resign, and you did it. Kudos to you for keeping up with your word! What I believe was it was something aimed at something else. Since beginning you have been portraying yourself and your party to be one of the most honest political parties in the countries, and that action of yours could have cemented that a bit further, had you been able to market it properly, and had you tackled the situation in a way better than how you did. As I see it, your party in itself was divided among people who opined that the government should resign in case the bill couldn't pass, while others didn't want you to resign from the government. Your internal dispute led the opposition parties put up the deserter tag on you.

Cutting that part out, My main intention of this open letter to you was, well, to reach out to you, to put forth the sentiments of aam aadmi. I haven't taken a look on the agenda, your manifesto, which, you have decided to put forth to the people of Delhi, to give you another chance. I didn't have a chance to take a look at that 34+MB PDF document of the manifesto your media team has uploaded on the website of the party, but, there have been a few things your party has been highlighting, ever since your party started off your run up campaign to the 2015 assembly elections, way back in November, mobilizing the volunteers to reach out to the most interior parts of Delhi, to swing the public sentiments in your favour. Your party has been applauded for thinking that out, time and again, deciding the things well in advance.

I just intended to share my opinions and put forth a few questions, that I have been pondering over, which, your party, and even some of your opposition parties, have been portraying as one of their main agendas to lure the voter towards them. I have been following a few of such things, ever since the political parties started their campaigning. Just a few of them have made me to think over them. 

Please let me put them individually:

1. Security of Women: As big as it gets, this, in the recent times, has turned out to be quite a big factor, in elections. Just like the trump card of Corruption, that you and your party paid in the 2013 assembly elections, this issue has got quite an important factor, which can make or break the whole thing. Just as most of the political parties have been playing around with the idea, I would like to ask you, how well do you think your government can fulfil the promise of providing security to the women, an issue, that has become one of the topmost priorities, ever since that fateful night of 16th December, 2012, and a series of incidents following and preceding that. I have some reservations to the "solutions" you have put forth, which, you expect will help your government ensure better security for women. A slew of these measures include putting up security cameras and separate commando forces to provide better security to women of Delhi. I would like to ask this from you and will put forth this question to the other political parties too, if I'm able to do that, well within time. How do you think putting up security cameras throughout Delhi and raising a separate commando force will provide better security to women, or for that matter, to anyone living, or moving around in Delhi? How do you expect security cameras to stop such crimes? Ofcourse security cameras might prove helpful in nabbing and bringing to justice, the culprits, however, how will it stop crimes? What your government needs to do, (atleast, this is what I think, you should do), is to sensitize the police and other departments who are dealing with any such issues, to understand the sensitivity of these crimes, and the mental and physical agony a victim of such crimes undergoes.

About the commando force you have promised to raise, how do you think that a force of 1,000 or even 10,000 such commandos would secure lives of th e women population we already have, and the hundreds if new ones who come to  visit Delhi?

The point is, none of you have any concrete plans to stop these crimes. All you people have is just hollow claims. Please try and make a panel, like one of your poll panels, and rethink, how are you going to raise funds to install the thousands if security cameras, let alone managing them, to get concrete evidence in case of crimes, and how much time your agencies will take to complete the projects and then provide security to the women. Just think of it.

2. Free WiFi: I came to see the huge hoardings telling that Delhiites will get free WiFi if we vote you to power. Well enough. You have quite a valid point there. Even now, while writing this, I am using my phone's internet connection, that sets me back the money which if spent by a family in a city, will not be considered poor. (Source, Planning commission of India report, 2013)What to do? The cunning foxes sitting at the top of our Telecom companies, (sorry Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Mr. Anil Ambani and Sir Ratan Tata. Sorry sirs, but I can't stop a common man's sentiments from coming out) always find out ways to rob us of our hard earned money, irrespective of whether we earned it the legal way, above the table, or illegal, under it. Well, we Indians, against the common notion, do a lot to get the illegal money too. Risking our jobs, just for some money is, quite a big risk, and the prospect of getting jailed, too is there. Plus, we have to pay a part of our hard earned money is indeed liked giving a part of our hearts to our superiors, who do nothing to earn that money, but just sleep with eyes closed to our ways of earning that money. Then, we have to deal with the scapegoats, who treat this too as their vegetable vendor, bargaining to let out the bribe money. It's too hard. Okay, sorry for the deviation, I should come back to the matter, Free WiFi. Sir, I just wanted to know the conditions for getting that free WiFi, except for the fact that we have to bring you to power to get it. Actually, I couldn't see any small, almost invisible star on that poster. Had read somewhere that if its to for to be true, it probably isn't. Next time you order such posters be printed,  please consider adding a small line that this is what the plan includes. A common man doesn't like being duped, even If it is something he's getting for free. For some reason unknown to me, he thinks that even though he's a beggar, he can be chooser. Just seeingvit from the technology point of view, I was wondering, how is it possible to provide WiFi connections, that too for free, to each and every citizen of a whole state. And please beware, your posters said : poori dilli mein free WiFi (Free WiFi throughout Delhi). At times our telecom companies fail to meet the needs with their telecom towers, at a point, if too many people start talking on their phones, how do you expect that the infrastructure will support so many people? From an economic point of view, I understand that is quite a big promise made. I can't even imagine the costs involved and to be borne by the state's exchequer to make this happen.

Anyways, just a thought came up. What a bicycle rickshaw puller do with your free wifi? one who sleeps on his own rickshaw, under some flyover, or some bus shelter, in the night, for the fact that he can't earn that much to afford renting out a house. One who has to look for a traveller, early morning, willing to hire him, so that he could make some money to have his breakfast-cum lunch, who knows whether he'll be able to have his dinner or not? For him, it's just luxury, isn't it? For a country, which is still at 135th place in the Human Development Index, among the countries of the world, one which is sending unmanned missions to the Mars to show it's technological prowess, one which claims to provide millions of software developers to the world, still has to hide her face when it comes to the children dying of malnutrition, and where thousands of people struggle everyday for the want of food to live another day to again look for ways to arrange food. Why not start doing something for the most commonest of the men, whom, you claim to represent? Isn't that their right? Isn't their life not that important, as most of them, have come from different states for the want of work, and do not have a right to vote and decide for themselves, who would be the one to lead their way to prosperity? Grow up sir, change your agenda. You claim to be different, stand up to that claim, otherwise, we're already getting fooled for the last 68 years, you'll be added to the hordes of the fool makers.

3. Sasta Bijli Paani: The issue of cheap electricity and free water to all, as a right, sounds good, really good. Something that can get you votes in multiples of thousands, but, it's not something your USP. Is it? Take a look at the manifesto of the other two main opponents, they also have almost the same array of lollipops to get votes from the electorate. What's different in yours? We all know that Delhi is rarely producing any electricity, and that there isn't any scope to do that in future as well, using the traditional ways. You talk about, tapping Solar energy, great.  I welcome that. It's the need of the hour. You talk of getting audits done for the discoms, again a great initiative. You say about consumers being able to switch operators, for electricity, just like their telephone operators? What? What did you say? I don't believe that. How do you expect the operators to do that? Atleast, from a common man's point of view, I can't seem to understand that. The electricity lines are same, when an operator (discom), is allocated an area, it is their responsibility to lay the infrastructure, i.e. the electricity lines, electric meters and other such stuff. Why would they be interested in sharing that with a competitor? Why sir, why? Leave alone the discoms, do you have any idea the losses, in terms of revenue these discoms report every year? Loss of revenue due to theft of electricity. This indirectly goes in to put a dent on the facilities I would have got had the taxes they were supposed to pay on the profits they churn out of the consumers? Who is the one involved in this theft of electricity? I guess no one bothers to know, or put up a stop on it. As I've already said above, we Indians are quite shy when it comet out to shelling money for something, we feel is our right, that's the reason we bargain when we are supposed to pay bribe as well. And still seek guarantees from the bribe taker for our work to be done. Just to share with you, a lot of the employees of these discoms, who are supposed to provide connections, have their ways to earn money, by doing "things" to the electricity connection, that would fetch the consumer, lesser bills, and for them, some under the table money.

What to say about those who still like putting up a hook to the HVD's distribution boxes, the discoms have increasingly been putting throughout the city. As a Chief Minister, your government needs to take a look and resolve this issue of power theft as well. Just reducing the tariff rates will not make the thieves do away with theft. You need to take stringent actions against these thieves for the betterment of all.

Coming to water, your 49 day government, as it promised in the last assembly elections, did provide free water, atleast 20K kilolitres to each household every month. That's a great thing to see a government do. However, the duration this is going to continue seems to be dicey. Why? Because, again, there's a huge gap in the demand and supply of water. Delhi, since it  produces no water, has to depend on other neighbouring states for its drinking water needs. Much to the Delhiites' woes, the summers are back and the shortage of water we are going to face, we know the pain of it. Much to our woes, the Delhi Jal Board has been accused of sitting idle and doing nothing, to resolve the problems faced by us. Often the water supplied to our homes, is literally sewer water. Anyone will not go ahead to use that water for even the worst of the purposes, let alone drinking that "potable" water supplied by Delhi Jal Board. What do we do then? We can buy cans of mineral water, afterall, we have to drink it. Just like the power theft, there is rampant water theft as well. What is water theft you ask, when everyone is entitled to get 20K Kilolitres of free water? I guess, whoever, without having a legal connection to get drinking water draws water from Delhi Jal Board pipeline is stealing water. And unless the Delhi Jal Board accounts for these people too, who drink the water for free, before planning the water needs to supply, there is no way they are going to fulfil the demand.

4. Mehngai Maar Gayi: And regarding inflation, somewhere I saw a big hoarding saying "Mehngai toh Kejriwal hi kam kar sakta hai". (Only Kejriwal can ease inflation) How is that sir? As far as I know ecomomics and Indian Economy, the government, doesn't control prices of anything, except a few items, and except under certain circumstances. If that is true, how do you claim that you can control inflation? I guess Delhi is no small a state to convert it into a state controlled communist regime where the state will decide what is being grown and at what price it is being sold, and who can buy it.Talking about the vegetables, a news item I watched quite some time back, discussed that the APMC is being (man)handled by the touts and businessmen, whose sole aim is to earn profit. Once a vegetable item leaves one of the various wholesale markets, it's upon the regional heads of the flea market associations to decide upon the prices at which vegetables or fruits can be sold. I guess that is the reason we were forced to buy tomatoes at 160-200 Rs. a kg or onions at 100-160 Rs a kg and potatoes ~40 Rs. a kg. If you come to power, it will be a huge responsibility on your government to crack down on such forces at play, to control the prices. As we have already seen in the past, the minister used to give a statement in the media in the evening about shortage of something, and the very next morning, the prices used to soar 2-3 times to that of the previous day. What can one make out of it? even before confronting actual shortage, the people engaged in trading something went on to churn out traffic, as much as they can. Just as we know it, there is a lot a government can do to control prices, but a government does a lot less than it actually can do to do it.

I guess, this is already a long enough a letter to be actually called a letter. So, I would like to stop here, as I know there is almost no way you will answer any of it, or even read it. Anyways, I wanted to put up some questions, to the person, I would probably be voting for, to rule the city I live in, for the next 5 years.

As a dialogue in a video that went pretty viral during the last time you became the CM of Delhi, 

"Sir, vigilante justice karna bandd karo, aap CM ho Shaktiman nahi!"
You need to realize that, so do we, that even if you come to power, with a full majority, you, or for that matter any other person, whoever it is, doesn't have a magic wand that can be used to set all the things right at the blink of the eye. I said you need to understand that, because, you (and your party) literally need to understand that. Projecting yourself as the saviour of people and doer of all things good and the follower of honesty doesn't make you one. As we already know, even in our own hands all the five fingers are not equal, so does the party as well. Of late we have seen a few people leaving the Aam Aadmi Party and joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including a few notable people like Shazia Ilmi claiming the party doesn't have internal democracy, and you hear to just a handful few. Whatever the reason be, they left the party, and you're left to answer. Isn't it? So, why try and project your party like that? Let your actions do the talking for you. Irrespective of whatever profile checks your party does to check a candidate's background, there are huge chances of tainted candidates making into your party and standing up in the elections. I just don't feel the need to cite a couple of such names.

Anyways, you, your party, your volunteers have done quite a great job, connecting to people, this time again. I would like to wish you best of luck for the upcoming election on 7th February. All the Best!