Red Her­ring

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - In­dra­jit Hazra

Pol­i­tics is the art of the pos­si­ble. But in the most in­geneous hands, pol­i­tics is the crafty craft of dolling up the im­pos­si­ble not just as the pos­si­ble, but also as the only re­sort left to avoid cer­tain doom. And in this re­spect, no one has more in­geneous hands than Chief Min­is­ter St Arvind of New Dilli. With the odd-even scheme back on Delhi’s roads, this time round with his­tory re­peat­ing it­self not as a Jan­uary ex­per­i­men­ta­tion of uni­ver­sal broth­er­hood but as a sweatier, no­longer-novel farce for the well-heeled’n’wheeled, St Arvind is less coy about what he's re­ally up to. No one grudges politi­cians (and doc­tors) if they stand to profit a bit while they solve our ail­ments and trou­bles.

Clearly, if Delhi’s air be­comes as clean as what comes out of a Volk­swa­gen’s ex­haust pipe and the na­tional cap­i­tal also gets at least a late 20th cen­tury pub­lic trans­port net­work be­cause of odd-even, ev­ery­one, Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi in­cluded, should vote for him as the next PM. The prob­lem — a prob­lem for only those find­ing ‘Odd-Even’ prob­lem­atic to ne­go­ti­ate, of course — is that in typ­i­cal Party Aadmi Aam-style, the scheme has put the cart of halv­ing pri­vate cars be­fore the horse of in­ceas­ing amenable pub­lic trans­port. But why oh why would St Arvind make life so tough for the well-heeled’n’wheeled if clearly odd-even alone won’t solve Delhi’s air pol­lu­tion — or class divi­sion — prob­lem?

Be­cause of his vote­bank, a term

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