Delhi: The farce and fantasy of AAP govt

12 colleges funded by Delhi Govt have been asked to divert funds from students’ welfare to pay salaries. Meanwhile, AAP merrily spends Rs. 400 cr on publicity & Rs.100 cr to put up 500 national flags

Photo courtesy: social media
Photo courtesy: social media

Giraj Sharma

The Delhi government’s love and hate relationship with Singapore continues. Some time back our man AK had made a big issue about a so-called ‘new’ Covid strain in Singapore. The Delhi CM went on to demand that the Centre cancel all air services with Singapore as the strain was ‘very dangerous for children’.

It led to a diplomatic embarrassment for India and for once it was not on account of the JNU alumnus who heads External Affairs Ministry S. Jaishankar. Matters reached such a boiling point that the Singapore High Commissioner had to state that they reserved the right to invoke Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA) over the statements made by our man AK.

Not surprisingly, the MEA had no inhibitions in acknowledging that our envoy in Singapore was summoned for a demarche by the city nation’s foreign office– something that it rarely does oth erwise. Back home it took AK’s deputy, Manish Sisodia, to put up a defence of the CM. That’s where the hate for Singapore of the Aam Aadmi Party ended.

The same Manish Sisodia made a statement recently on how much he admired and appreciated what Singapore had achieved. He proclaimed that AAP government’s target is to raise Delhi’s per capita income to Singapore’s level by 2047. One doesn’t know if Singapore knows where its per capita income will be in 2047 but our Deputy CM surely does.

But why project so far ahead? Seems this malady of projection of a distant future is a trick that AAP is picking from some other occupants in Lutyens Delhi.

If one were to take some of the assertions from AAP seriously then you would have a Delhi that looks like Europe with a per capita income of Singapore. Does one hear the cynical Dilliwallahs scream ‘first get my Old Monk and other regular brands available in Delhi stores and then tell me to dream’?

This, of course, is quite understandable because it will be difficult to visualise all this without some degree of intoxication.

Imagine a string of eateries and pubs lined up on the banks of Yamuna – a replica of the riverside of Seine, with that trickle of a river frothing like it did on those days of Chaath Puja! Not to mention the toxic air that one would inhale and have mosquitoes for company out there in the open.

Guess we Dilliwallahs will be happy with lower per capita incomes, better air quality, a rivulet of clean water, well-stocked liquor shops and fun trips to Chandni Chowk. To hell with those European and Singaporean dreams!

The irony of this per-capita matching Singapore claim was not lost on the professors and non-teaching staff of twelve Delhi colleges funded by the Delhi government. The staff in these colleges have not been paid salaries for months.

Interestingly, it seems one of the suggestions of the Delhi government to the colleges was to release the salaries from the student welfare funds. Audacious as it may sound but then it is also rumoured that the Delhi government wants these 12 colleges to offer courses that will bring in more cash so that these institutions become self-reliant. A government that spends over Rs. 400 crore on publicity in a year is hurting from a wage bill of the staff of just twelve colleges!

It is not that the Delhi government is cash starved. It has made close to Rs. 9,000 crore from the new liquor licenses issued recently. And besides the huge amount of money being spent on advertisement and promotions- the AAP government is also planning to spend over Rs.100 crore on installation of 35-metre-high national flags across 500 locations in Delhi.

Now, if by staring at the national flag day in and day out could inculcate a sense of national pride, then most people who keep the flag on their desks or hoist it regularly would not be polarising the society or manipulating the system to enhance their asset base.

Jai Hind!

(The writer is a blogger at

Views are personal)

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Published: 20 Nov 2021, 1:51 PM