Delhi Musings: Deshbhakti in dry ‘European’ Delhi
The AAP govt in Delhi seems to have a European fixation. Remember how this govt was keen on bringing in Finland’s education system to the capital?
Despite incessant rains in September, Delhi has been dry due to the new excise regime unleashed by our man AK. Most liquor stores are empty as there is a switch that’s taking place of the liquor licences. Though the State Government promised a smooth transition with no shortages – the ground realities are completely different as it is with most government claims.
The change, however, is likely to yield Rs 10,000 crores per year to a cash-starved government that keeps promising a lot of freebies. A corollary to this move will mean that every time Dilliwallahs buy a bottle of their favourite poison from liquor stores, they make a contribution towards development of infra-structure in Delhi.
Not that Dilliwallahs needed another reason to get high – but this may still give some impetus to spend the evenings in company of a Teacher or an Old Monk or a Kingfisher. Or even with that fella Jack who hails from Tennessee.
AAP’s Arc de Triomphe: The AAP government in Delhi seems to have a European fixation. Remember how this government was keen on bringing in the education system of Finland to the capital? We do not know what this government aped from Finland’s approach to education. We are also not aware of how Finland inspired a Deshbhakti course in Delhi.
All we remember is that Manish Sisodia, the education minister, had flown to Finland along with officers, apparently to study the education system of that country. That obviously led to a lot of heartburn and soon the poor minister was called back by the then Lt Governor, Najeeb Jung. Now we hear that our man AK and his team are desirous of giving Delhi roads a ‘Europe-like’ makeover. So now you know where to find some of the AAP ministers next summer. This is smart forward planning indeed.
Well, AAP mantris better remember that someone in Lutyen’s Delhi wants to make all foreign trips by himself (ask one Mamata Di if you have doubts). And the only change is that a Baijal now occupies the office that a Jung did once.
Giving Delhi a European makeover has prompted wild flights o imagination. Think of being served on a Delhi street Huevos rotos or a tortilla instead of the standard bread-omelette? Or the aloo-chaat guy hawking Bayerische Kartoffel in a dona-pattal or that momo-selling auntie selling Spaetzie instead? What fun!
You can visualise Chankyapuri having silver birch, oak and rowan trees instead of neem, mango and jamun. Poor Pradip Krishen – he will have to re-write his book on trees in Delhi. And what about those expletives that Dilliwallahs punctuate every sentence of theirs – will those become European too? Nah! That can’t change – Europe or no Europe.
Marks Jihad?: Not all things in Delhi have been European in flavour– some were outright unsavoury. A Professor from Kirori Mal College, this writer’s alma mater came up with a post on social media using a highly provocative term- ‘Marks Jihad’. He was pointing at the influx of students from Kerala into Delhi University.
His social media post upset a lot of Dilliwallahs as well as people of Kerala. Seems he neither knew much about Kerala and its education system nor did he seem to know anyone from that southern state who calls Delhi home. He now knows better.
DU issued a statement distancing itself from his statement and talked of equally valuing the academic credentials of all students. Not that one expected anyone at the centre or for that matter even our man AK to call this professor out. Elections in Kerala are still four years away!
(The writer blogs at stateofdelhi.in
Views are personal)