Delhi Musings: Double standards that get you ROFL

What makes this party believe that citizens of Gurgaon can manage their drinks better than Dilliwalahs? We are living in an era of double standards and doublespeak

Delhi Musings: Double standards that get you ROFL

Giraj Sharma

The saga of name change is never-ending in Delhi and not only it reeks of double standards, it also defies logic. Consider this: While the name of Aurangzeb Road was changed to APJ Abdul Kalam Road a few years back, the municipal authorities had shown mercy to a lane on the same road and that lane still survives as Aurangzed Lane.

It now seems that the decision to let this lane be was neither an act of tolerance nor was it an act of omission. It is likely that intent may have been to keep the issue in abeyance only to rake it up at another opportune time. So suddenly now the state unit of BJP wants to change the name of Aurangzeb Lane along with that of Humayun Road and Shahjahan Road.

Dilliwalahs wonder that if the angst against these rulers is so deep rooted then why is that the structures built by them are used for important functions such as the Independence Day celebrations. Dilliwalahs also cannot fathom as to what was our honourable Prime Minister doing at the grave of Bhahadur Shah Zafar, a descendant of these rulers, and that too while visiting a foreign land.

Dilliwalahs also recall that one of the founder members of BJP, Mr LK Advani, had paid rich tributes to Mohammad Ali Jinnah while visiting his mausoleum in Pakistan while the current crop of the party leaders do not hesitate in finding similarities in their opponents to Jinnah in a manner that is somewhat derogatory, to put it mildly. Double standards are norm or so it seems.


Representational image
Representational image

Meanwhile, the Delhi Government headed by our man AK is determined to increase its revenue streams and the thing that the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi has learnt is that one of the fastest flowing revenue taps are the ones of liquor. The Delhi government generated Rs. 8,900 crores just through the licence bidding process which along with other taxes will make the government fetch an extra forty per cent.

After moving in to pass laws that will allow banquet halls to serve liquor, the AAP government is now on keen to allow the bars and pubs in the city of Delhi to operate till 3.00 am. While the official stance may be to improve Delhi’s night life – the prime motivation seems revenue generation.

The Deputy CM went on record to praise the night life of Mumbai and wanted Delhi to ape the commercial capital of the country. We hope that he or any of his colleagues do not venture out on a pub-hopping trip in Mumbai to check out the night life just as he had gone to Finland to study the education system there. It is slightly odd to imagine a DJ at a Lower Parel pub in Mumbai announcing well past midnight, “Guys, we have Ministers from Delhi in the house” with Yo Yo Honey Singh playing in the background.

Coming back to this comparison of life in Delhi versus Mumbai, Dilliwalahs are highly amused for they want to know why just look at life post sunset? Why not when the sun is out? Or is it that we have a better life during the day in Delhi?

More hilarious than this stance has been the posturing of the BJP. It stinks of such double standards that you will roll on the floor laughing. Consider the party’s stance in Delhi post this announcement by AAP government to consider allowing pub and bars to open till 3.00 am.

They have run to the cops requesting them to object to this proposal. The party, in its wisdom, believes that this move is ‘not in public interest’ and that it can lead to a further deterioration of the city’s law and order. One of the party’s spokespersons has even gone to extent of giving gyan on how it would impact the family life of Dilliwalahs.

This is truly a high moral ground stance. But then look at what the BJP-ruled neighbouring state of Haryana is plotting. Apparently to counter AAP’s moves to gobble up more revenue through liquor sales, the liquor vends in urban areas of Gurgaon are all set to stay open 24 by 7. The excise policy for 2022-23, which was passed by the Haryana government recently makes a provision for liquor vends in urban areas to stay open all night long and operate much beyond the previously stipulated time of 8.00 am to midnight in Gurgaon. Is there a hidden message there?

Dilliwalahs are highly amused by such double standards. What makes this party believe that citizens of Gurgaon can manage their drinks better than Dilliwalahs? And how come operating liquor vends 24x7 in Gurgaon is ‘in public interest’ while in Delhi even in a restricted environment of a pub or a bar equipped with those well-built bouncers in their grey safari-suits and with cops hanging outside with breath analysers is ‘not in public interest’?

If you are reading this column after downing a few pegs then you may even consider the likelihood that this kind of competitiveness between states will lead to agility, improved federalism and better local governance!

However, on a serious note, it is plausible that we have reached a tipping point when we need to meekly surrender to the fact that we are living in an era of double standards and doublespeak.

The hard fact is that Dilliwalahs better start respecting their brethren in Gurgaon not just for the fancy glass-steel structures that they work in and the smart condominiums they live in but also for the fact that a political party believes that they can manage themselves better when high. And that this party believes that a typical Dilliwalah is more likely to make a mockery of self if there is access to liquor post-midnight. So long, Bacchus!

(The author blogs at Views are personal)

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