Kejriwal launches English translation of Swaraj
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Anti-corruption activist and leader of India's latest, unnamed party, Arvind Kejriwal launched the English translation of his book Swaraj, hours after his press conference over "black money" stashed abroad.
Swaraj, a manifesto of his political party, argues that the current political structure places too much power at the Centre, and calls for a transition from representative to direct democracy.
At the panel discussion on the book, Shekhar Singh, Kejriwal's former colleague from his RTI days, said he was disappointed with the book.
It raised important issues, but its analysis is inadequate and the solutions it offers trivialise the challenge, he said.
Good or bad cannot be decided by a majority vote, he said, citing an example from the book about Vaishali, the capital city of the Licchavis, one of world's first republics where all decisions were made by gram sabhas.
"If the solution is so simple, why hasn't it happened so far?" he told The Indian Express after the discussion. "Haven't we any honest politicians or political parties?"
The closest "solution" that emerged from the discussion was from columnist Pratap Bhanu Mehta, who said over years, the Indian state has created a labyrinthine structure that makes it impossible for people to always be honest. Sector by sector, we must develop solutions for corruption, he added.
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