Monday, January 13, 2014

'Janata Darbar' of Arvind Kejriwal and Moses of the Bible

On this Saturday (11th January, 2014), the Delhi Chief Minister from the Aam Aadmi Party, Arvind Kejriwal, and his ministers sat outside the Delhi Secretariat to personally hear the public grievances and to redress them.

The Delhi Public had such a large number of grievances and according to news reports, more than 7,000 people turned up for the event. Kejriwal, in spite of all kinds of refusal for security, had to run for cover to his office surrounded by a protection cordon to avoid a stampede.

This reminded me of the mistakes of Moses, the popular leader in the Old Testament of the Bible, and the wise counsel of his father-in-law Jethro. Here is that event as described in the Message Version of the Bible in the Book of Exodus Chapter 18 Verses 13-27.

13-14 The next day Moses took his place to judge the people. People were standing before him all day long, from morning to night. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What’s going on here? Why are you doing all this, and all by yourself, letting everybody line up before you from morning to night?”
15-16 Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me with questions about God. When something comes up, they come to me. I judge between a man and his neighbor and teach them God’s laws and instructions.”
17-23 Moses’ father-in-law said, “This is no way to go about it. You’ll burn out, and the people right along with you. This is way too much for you—you can’t do this alone. Now listen to me. Let me tell you how to do this so that God will be in this with you. Be there for the people before God, but let the matters of concern be presented to God. Your job is to teach them the rules and instructions, to show them how to live, what to do. And then you need to keep a sharp eye out for competent men—men who fear God, men of integrity, men who are incorruptible—and appoint them as leaders over groups organized by the thousand, by the hundred, by fifty, and by ten. They’ll be responsible for the everyday work of judging among the people. They’ll bring the hard cases to you, but in the routine cases they’ll be the judges. They will share your load and that will make it easier for you. If you handle the work this way, you’ll have the strength to carry out whatever God commands you, and the people in their settings will flourish also.”
24-27 Moses listened to the counsel of his father-in-law and did everything he said. Moses picked competent men from all Israel and set them as leaders over the people who were organized by the thousand, by the hundred, by fifty, and by ten. They took over the everyday work of judging among the people. They brought the hard cases to Moses, but in the routine cases they were the judges. Then Moses said good-bye to his father-in-law who went home to his own country.

This is possibly the first time in history where a decentralized organization was setup. According to Wikipedia  Moses lived in the time period of 1391-1271 BC. Aam Aadmi Party is talking about decentralizing decision making process. But when it came to grievance redresses it was trying to do it in a centralized way and failed on the first day somewhat like what Moses did initially.

I know that from the above Bible passage many lessons can be learnt without actually trying them by trial and error. Here is another passage from the Bible that reflects that thought taken from the First Book of Paul to the Corinthians Chapter 10 Verses 11 and 12.

11-12 These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

People, irrespective of time and space, are designed and created by the Almighty God in the same way. So, irrespective of cultures they will behave in similar way in similar situations. The Bible is often described as the Maker's Manual of Human Beings.The Bible Illustrations cover very large number of situations of Human Dynamics and can be used as excellent Case Studies on Human Behavior.

Update on 14th January, 2014.

Aam Aadmi Party has decided to cancel Janata Darbars. Now will only take online complaints.

Update on 22nd January, 2014

Enjoy the following 'Politoon' from India Today Group.

Dishoom- dishoom at AAP's Janata Darbar.

Update on 3rd February, 2014

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