A thought on Politics!
Way back in 2002, I clearly remember the day when load shading started in Maharashtra. 3 Hours a day in municipal cities & 6-8 hours a day in villages. Then slowly it increased to 6 hours a day in cities & 10-12 hours in villages. Our then chief minister very confidently promised us that, within 2 years load shading will be stopped. Today we are in 2013; load shading is still going on. Due to increase in population the demand of electricity must have increased by now. Maybe due to this reason this problem is not yet solved. It was also announced that within 10 years Maharashtra will have surplus power by 5000 MW. Today our state is having backlog of 5000 MW. And this number could have increased by few thousand megawatts. But due to lack of power some big companies shifted their plants in other states like Gujarat. Hence load is reduced. But my question is different. How exactly Maharashtra government has acted on this issue? How many new power plants have been initiated? And if they are initiated, what is the status? Power plants worth capacity of 4270 MW are under progress from last 6 years. Even if they get completed in next 2 years, are they going to serve the existing backlog of 5000 MW? And what about the future requirement? Power plants worth 8850 MW are under planning stage. God knows when they will get commissioned. It takes 2-3 years to complete a power plant project & start production. If government would have started one project at a time, still we could have commissioned 5 power plants in state in 11 years! What is the problem? We don’t have space OR We don’t have manpower OR We don’t have money??
From so many years we are hearing this again & again that “There has been a draught this year. This is going to affect the crops”. There may be several reasons for draught which are uncontrollable. But what action Maharashtra government has taken on controllable reasons? Maharashtra government has not started any major water project in last few years. We have one of the largest seashore in India. What are we doing with it? For how many years people in Vidarbha & Marathwada are going to suffer? You can’t provide water; you can’t provide electricity then what the hell our farmers are supposed to do? As per the nos. from irrigation deptt., only 20% sown land in Maharashtra is irrigated. We are ranked 19th in country in irrigation. And our central agriculture minister says, “Farmers of Vidarbha are inefficient!”. Well ….efficiency is defined as Output/Input. If there is no Input, there will be no output. Then farmers commit suicide. But still we wait till the death toll reaches 10000!
Mr. Ratan Tata announced to shift Nano project from West Bengal. Within few hours from this announcement, Gujarat’s technical team met Mr. Tata & proposed him to shift his plant to Gujarat. Few days after this, I read our chief minister’s statement in newspaper, “I am hopeful to get Ratan Tata’s appointment soon”. This is not acceptable. Gujarat got the project, and he is hoping for mere appointment. If Gujarat government can shift entire manufacturing base of country to Gujarat, why can’t we atleast sustain what we have? Why the industry in Maharashtra is centralized only in Western region? Why can’t we have 2nd Automobile hub of state in Vidarbha? Why can’t we have IT parks in other cities? For how many years people from eastern Maharashtra will be migrating to Pune & Mumbai?
Few days before, 12th Five year plan (Panchwarshik Yojna) is made & submitted to central government. Few shocking truths came forward during this process. While reviewing the outcomes of educational section of 11th five year plan, it is observed that all targets for Maharashtra are achieved. Because there were no targets set for Maharashtra in it. Not a single new university was proposed for our state. And none of our leaders had taken objection on this. Because they never knew this!
It’s not about pointing a particular party. Because these Kakasahebs, Mamasahebs n Raosahebs are there in every political party. Just rewind few years in your mind; the issues which are listed above were the burning issues at the time 2004 elections. Then they were repeated for 2009 elections. And same will be used for 2014 elections. Now let us question the opposition parties. Why they allowed this to happen? Let us put aside the figures of corruption. Because it needs separate attention. But the issues mentioned above are just underlining “We Care a damm” attitude of our leaders.
Many such problems can be listed out & can be elaborated. But let us focus on the real problem. What is it?
The problem is we don’t have leaders who believe in constructive politics. Now, what is meant by constructive politics? Politics doesn’t only mean eliminating your enemies. It also means to connect with the people. It doesn’t only mean to just highlight their problems & creating issues. It also means to own & solve their problems. It doesn’t only mean to create your impression. It also means to create your footprints. It doesn’t only mean “grabbing the opportunity”. It also means “Creating the opportunity”. Politics doesn’t mean just go on asking questions to your opponents. It also means to be answerable sometimes.
Leaders should consider their voters as stakeholders!
Now, in democracy, stakeholders are not limited to particular cast, religion or region. While defining & implementing new policies leaders must think about every stakeholder. And this is where the destructive politics starts. Our policies are made in such a way that, irrespective of its benefit to some stakeholders it damages all other stakeholders. For ex; while allotting reservations to a particular cast, no provisions are made for the other casts which are getting affected. OR while declaring special economic zones in an area which will be beneficial for industrial development, its after effects on other industries are not considered.
Leaders are elected as representatives of a territory & NOT the rulers of that territory. They are bounded by a constitution & NOT there to bound the constitution. They should become the Idols & NOT be Idle. They are responsible for the development & NOT there to develop the irresponsibility.
This also calls for change in our mindset. Development never happens in one day. We should be clear about our definition of development.Development is an endless process in which every stakeholder gains something at the end of every stage in it. And before entering to new stage, every stakeholder should have a sense of belongingness. Stakeholders should respect their gains. Development will start the very moment when all the stakeholders start thinking that this development is “for them & by them”.
Constitution has given us the right of voting. First of all, we have to use that right. And we have to use that in right way. Let us keep our eyes & minds open. We have not chosen our friends based on their cast. So we should not choose our leaders based on that.
It’s a high time to think. It’s a high time to act. Because if we don’t think now, soon there will be a chapter in history,”Ek Hota Maharshtara !”. And if we still don’t act, there will be a new chapter, “Ek Hota Bharat!
A thought on Politics!