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Development and its false notions.


We as the citizens of this country has been aspiring for development, Everybody wants to see our country’s progress because right for a decent living with minimum amenities in place to satisfy our needs is democratic rights of each and every citizen of this country. We vote candidates from different political parties based on plank called “Development”. Have these representatives of the people do justice to their promise to the people, I think this question lingers large on everybody’s mind. The most recent stampede in Mumbai on the railway overbridge proves a point beyond doubt that Govt priorities changes once they are elected to power, they consciously forget their responsibilities towards common people of this country because either they have an agenda to pursue which has been far away from the realities on the ground or a misplaced notion for development . However, they pursue policies to favour the rich and corporates, help them gain maximum profits for the corporates out of it. In today’s environment, it has been increasingly evident that the Govt policy measures are not in sync with the reality, But politicians have consciously tried to pass the message to the larger audience that they are trying to build a new India. what is this new India means to common people, Is new India, govt talking about leave farmers to die because of not able to pay their debts, or children die out for not receiving the oxygen on time , or scores of people are left to die while standing in the queue to withdraw their savings from the bank,But frankly speaking all these campaigns by those in power is nothing but an effort to keep us living in fool’s paradise with hope that sometime someday something better would happen . Now, let’s take the incident happened in Mumbai around 25 valuable lives had been lost in the stampede, it is well known and many times it has been brought to their notice that the railway overbridge is 120 years old with the narrow passage which inadequate to handle the volume of passengers who commutes daily. But on the other hand, we have seen PM launching a bullet train project from Surat to Mumbai with a project cost 10,000 crores. But left to lurch in perennial neglect Do you think it is because of the misplaced priorities and opportunity for photo shots to be in the realm of public life as” Vikash purush “. I think beyond that govt’s has scant regard for the valuable lives of the common people. So it is quite natural to think that launching a bullet train project attracts more eyeballs, improve the optics than the repairing, improving the existing infrastructure of the railways. The major source of income to govt comes from the taxpayers money through direct and indirect taxes, Out of that major source of revenue comes from the indirect tax sources which you and I pay while purchasing our grocery or filling petrol in our vehicles , but the moot question is where do they spend the money collected from us ? Had they been spending the resources wisely frequent occurrence of rail accidents could have been avoided.

Misplaced priorities.

In the last several decades and increasingly so in the last three years, the optics of development for this govt has been through series of announcements of schemes, But very little budget or money has been allocated to improve the situation. Take in the case of rural distress and farmers problem, in the last three years we have not seen any concrete or well thought out plans to address the problem faced by the farmers, Now we have started debating whether the demonetization has delivered its objective , still many argue that the long-term benefits would overweigh the short-term problems. How is it possible when Govt allowed the daily wage workers, farmers to starve and die of poverty. When you have global oil prices at all time low, how can they still allow it to be costlier in India without passing the benefits to the common people? These issues need immediate address rather than ministers after minister trying to justify the move by showing very less importance to issues affecting the common man on the streets.

Optics matter more than the reality.

A responsible government and its administration should be spending the time to address the issues faced by the masses and how they could solve the issues faced by the public at large. In the case of demonisation as the biggest administrative act by the govt has failed miserably, because the reports are out in the open which states more than 90% of the money in circulation came back to the banks. So the purpose of the demo has failed completely. One shock after the other flawed implementation of GST has destroyed the backbone of the economy further, So serious of shocks had already put the ailing patient in ICU, which takes for the patient to come out of the danger. But the optics created by Modi government being that they are sincere in their efforts to attack the black money and GST has been hailed as the biggest reform since independence. If Govt has had any seriousness in curtailing the black money in circulation they should have acted with resilience in bringing the black money stashed abroad, And also should have imposed more taxes on the elites, If they had done any of these it would have signalled some credence to their sincerity in curbing the black money. . Job losses have hit economy badly which really pulled GDP growth down, overall distress in rural economy has taken the situation to such a low, perhaps it takes time to recover.

Inclusive development

You cannot have changed priorities once you get into power Because elected representatives carry the hopes of millions of people who daily fight to survive, lead a life of dignity. So any development for that matter should be inclusive in nature which takes care of the basic needs of the common masses. Take for instances the agriculture’s contribution towards GDP has been declining steadily for couple of decades , Govt, after govt promised to take care of the concerns faced by the farmers, But little has been done to improve the situation, like this many sectors be it education or healthcare which needs a lot of attention and care to improve it. So a real development is nothing but taking everyone together, For the last 3years we have seen hue and cry happening over cow vigilantism and nationalism, Do such priorities of the Govt do any good for the
80% of the population?

Cost of Bullet train

The project cost is expected to be Rs.110,000 crore ie is which works out to be Rs.217crore per km. In 2016 Indian railways reported 186 deaths which go up to 325 deaths, why Modi goes for this expensive project when the entire railway infrastructure meddles with problems of long-term neglect. so it has been the classic case of misplaced priority.

Source:  Frontline October 13, 2017.

https://twitter.com/search?q=Bullet%20Train&src=tyah

The State of statelessness


 

History could have been much kinder to the Rohingya as a minority community. The hardship and despair the most prosecuted community in the world has been going through are beyond one’s imagination. I found it more surprised that their fellow majority Buddhist community is considered as the most peace loving religion in the world. In fact, throughout Buddha’s teaching, he embodied mercifulness, But the present action by the majority Buddhist community in Myanmar has been nowhere near what Budha taught or perhaps envisaged. The most prosecuted community in the world has been driven out from their state with no amount of humanity left from their fellow beings. They are left to sob in despair due to the losses incurred in their minds on account of most inhuman treatment meted out to them. They are now homeless, bewildered, raped both physically and mentally, now they are on their way to neighbouring locations in another country. How long it takes for them to recover from their unimaginable wounds, scars which have completely ravaged them. They might seek for refugee status in another country and it takes years striving for them get back to normal life forgetting all the pain they had been undergoing from their fellow beings. Their voices are being crushed with no one wishing to hear or no one forthcoming to heal their wounds. The state of their mind with statelessness is such harsh reality, very hard to imagine the predicament.

The atrocities committed on them just because they are being minority Muslim with flesh& blood, who has been living in the Rakhine state for many decades, have been trying to build their lives with hopes and aspirations like any other human being in this world , But now they are being rendered with no identity, experiencing the kind of treatment which is trivial and most unacceptable one, when human being as a species has been endowed with some many achievements since their evolution, But these actions are nothing but most heinous which takes us far behind from where we have evolved. With no element of empathy left in our souls. Destroying lakhs of people hopes under the pretext of being a minority community among the majority who follows different faith leaves us so small even less than the status of wild animals living in the forest. I don’t understand how a most evolved living being on this planet can act so cruel to their fellow beings.
Driving them out from their homes, physically exploiting them with retribution is nothing but an act of belittling our status as the most evolved species. The most interesting aspect has been the ruler himself who was the Nobel prize winner of peace completely seen dismissing the violence as fake news and false propaganda. Aung San Suu Kyi who has been considered as the most respected women leader under house arrest for many years in a military-dominated govt structure. However in all respects considering her stature, she should have stood strongly against the atrocities committed to “Rohingya”, But she seems to follow a deafening silence when the people of her country are driven from their homeland. Yes, terrorism has been plaguing the world for a quite some time, But viewing everyone through the same prism as a terrorist because they belong to a particular religion will be more counterproductive in the coming years. If world nations are aspiring for a peaceful environment, I think these actions would take us nowhere, perhaps amounts to create more breeding ground for the terrorist and terrorism to flourish. The most dangerous ideology floated by these groups gets shot in their arm to further gain strength. As responsible nations it is duty-bound to create an environment of trust, kindness, accepting everyone as equal.

The state of the statelessness is nothing but an act of denying them the permission to lead a decent and dignified life which every human being on this planet has the right to aspire for irrespective of their status as a minority, or the faith they follow. But when the state itself promotes hatred towards their citizens, promoting enmity within the same people. I think we as mankind we are only regressing not progressing.

Silencing the Alternative voices


The likes of Dabolkar, Pansare, Kalburgi & now Gauri are the few lonely voices in our societal landscape, who had sounded different from the popular narrative, they all had sternly & firmly stood for the causes of very people, who have been pushed to the margins in the name of caste, religion and superstitious beliefs.

It is widely known, observed that mainstream media in the country is least bothered to take up the issues of these marginalised, ostracised people living in an atmosphere of fear and hopelessness. The motive to crush those lonely voices is nothing but an act of fascism to define an archaic idea of India which never falls into the premise of our constitutional principles of pluralism, freedom of expression, equal treatment for all.

Ever since Modi government came to the power with a strong majority, right wing forces have gathered the confidence to silence every voices those they believe has never fit into their idea of India. The dangerous trend of selective targeting of people who challenge & raise opposing views is being brought down by bullets.

The liberal space for such intellectual to discuss, to bring the valid issues to the limelight are being treated with disdain. But the real fact is that these attacks on such people are nothing but an effort to contain them with brutal force. The role of our mainstream media in today’s environment is limited to browbeating what has been propagated by the govt, instead of questioning the govt tendencies media amounts to create a climate of an unnecessary frenzy on issues like nationalism & patriotism. In the hindsight, underlying larger societal issues which are at play have been sidelined.

The intellectuals like Gauri spoke sense and fought for those class of people who have been living under constant fear and insecurity, it is the responsibility of journalist-cum activist like Gauri to bring such issues to the forefront for the Govt of the day to address it sensibly. I think most the issues raised by these liberal intellectuals are getting brushed aside with a scant regard of not getting heard. As an agenda to oppose anyone with such liberal voices are not through serious discussions, but finds an easy route of resorting to violence, vandalism and murder.

The idea of India has been inclusive in nature not exclusive. If we continue the way we are doing right now would turn our country into a theocratic state, which is against the principles enshrined in our Constitution. The fundamental existence of India as a nationhood doesn’t lie on the idea of majoritarianism, but an idea which takes everyone in the society together with an objective of empowering all to build a strong nation which celebrates its vibrancy in unity in diversity.

It is very sad to see how insensitive we have become as a society, the ideas and values these espoused by liberal intellectuals ought to be right normal which we as a nation need to imbibe. The idea of divisiveness, communal politics, the illogical embarrassment of past culture is not going to take us anywhere if we really aspire to become a powerful nation in the coming decade.

The culture we have inherited as a society thrives on accepting every faith & beliefs inclusively. In contrast to that what we witness today is nothing but the blatant violation of silencing them with out constructive engagement. The systematic destruction of institutions of excellence in the last three years clearly point towards a singular idea of a new normal, with limited possibilities of voices of dissent, Our strands of defining nationalism today is very skewed & myopic. The intolerance towards opposing views, alternate ideas needs to be promoted more than getting wrapped as anti-nationalist.

The one-dimensional view through a particular prism would turn our country into a bunch of aberrations. The ideas or voices should be three dimensional and should be allowed to be discussed and deliberated in a central space, because you cannot view or govern a nation with narrow-minded ideas, silencing those with opposing views, who tries to bring issues plaguing us into the forefront for a very long time. If we really want to take the nation forward to greater heights, the need for accommodating the sensibilities of each and every one in the society is a must. As a society needs the patience to hear their concerns with empathy, not as an enemy of the state.

In the contemporary society, or as a nation with a multitude of practices, belief systems and food habits, the responsibility of the govt ought to be the role of a facilitator in providing the space for them to debate, survive and sustain. The role of such individuals who raises their voices, concerns needs to be welcomed with an open mind. I believe in today’s India extreme leftist ideologies or extreme right-wing ideologies are dangerous to our nation’s existence, the relevance of strong personalities like Gouri need to be heard, welcomed, but the recent series of actions against them proves that as a society we have been becoming increasingly intolerant towards individuals who take up issues of wider importance, which I believe is a very dangerous trend.