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Odd-Even Plan
We need to work for our own safety. There are far too many cars on our roads, there are far too many cases of road rage, there is far too much of stress out their in driving: unless we work this out we would actually be killing ourselves.

Arvind Kejriwal may or may not be a crackpot, depending on which side of the bread you decide to butter. As long as he was, seen fighting the UPA government he was a messiah. There were of-course many who mocked him saying if he wanted to bring change, he should get into politics.   He spooked them by doing just that.   

Kejriwal first won with 27 odd seats and then threw it all up by resigning on what he called was his inability to pass the Jan Lok Pal bill because the Congress and the BJP ganged up. Yes, he plays it up to the theatre of the absurd, but then in today’s world I guess you need people who exaggerate. In the polls that followed he smashed the BJP that was riding a Modi wave, and killed the Congress. Smarting under humiliation, the BJP, with the help of the Lt. Governor, managed to tie down a majority government’s hands.

Now while all that is not exactly in the past, and while AK 47 has the penchant to go over the top, we need to discuss one wise plan that his government has brought about.  Let me tell you hat I am no fan of the AAP. In fact years ago in this very column I had said his “My way or the highway” is anathema.   However on the Odd-Even plan I am with him. To those who ask, “how does he hope to implement it?” I have a counter question: “Why should he implement it?” Once he passes that out as law is it not the job of the citizen to follow the law, both in letter and spirit?  What kind of a nation is it that indirectly says that it would break the law and taunts the government to “Catch me, if you can?”  After all, the advocates in Madurai, did almost just that, albeit in a different context. I am however a tad upset by Kejriwal exempting 25 categories of people. Now that’s a  huge laundry list and reeks of royal fiefdom.

Delhi is reeling under air pollution. The courts have banned registration of diesel vehicles. While the odd-even plan may not be a masterstroke, it's the beginning of change. If we can have one car-free day, why can’t we have everyday a half-car day. True, Delhi may not have the infrastructure to handle this in the sense that it does not have an exciting alternative transport system. But then this is the chicken and egg story.   What should come first: a perfect transportation system or people’s adherence to self-restraint?  It is the old question of whether we should have fine roads and then have great cars or whether great cars would lead to fine roads. India adopted the latter practice rather successfully.


Copy pasted from abroad

The citizenry of Delhi needs to show that they can lead from the front. They should ignore the mock that some of the national leaders have thrown out at Kejriwal. This is a plan that has been successfully adopted in several countries, including in the vastly populated China. So there is a global experience to draw from.

We need to work for our own safety.  There are far too many cars on our roads, there are far too many cases of road rage, and there is far too much of stress out their in driving: unless we work this out we would actually be killing ourselves. There are some who mock that the odd-even plan will push people to own two cars: one with odd number and another with even number. If it does, so be it. After all, we spend far too much time to find loopholes in law. That is the reason why I said it must be followed in letter and spirit irrespective of what the moneybags do.  If a cancer patient says he will smoke behind the back of the doctor, well, that’s his funeral.

We are a strange country. Internationally, top politicians travel on the tube like a commoner and pour petrol into their cars like a commoner.  It’s time our politicians also followed that example.  The odd-even car formula is a good beginning in cleaning up the mess in our roads.  With or without the politicians, let us start.

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