The political party which has no sound policies cash in on populist measures to gain power. If such a political party somehow manages to register its presence in corridors of power, it proves to be an ominous sign for the growth of democracy. Uttar Pradesh is facing similar crisis in the regime of Samajwadi Party. Right from series of communal riots in various parts of states to administrative failures in various major cities the state has been held hostage to dangerous elements masquerading in various forms. The Samajwadi Party wooed young voters by promising laptops and nobody questioned the utility of launching such scheme at cost of taxpayers’ hard earned money. Look at the irony involved that state is reeling under worse power crisis. It appears laptops provided by this government get recharged by darkness! The same money spent on laptops, tablets and etc. could have been diverted to improve the infrastructure involved in production of power. It’s no secret that most power houses operating in state are operating with help of worn out machinery. However, you can’t expect such measures from a government run by unethical minds.
Allahabad, most important city after Lucknow, which is on paper getting 21 hours power supply, is facing huge power crisis. Let’s take into cognizance working of one of the power substations operating in Allahabad, which is home of eminent intellectuals, bureaucrats, writers, poets, judges and journalists. One example is suffice to have idea of how the system is operating under this government’s rule. Kareli power house, an important substation, which supplies power to Kareli and other adjoining areas like Bhavapur, is in total disarray because of its incompetent officials and poor management. It’s now very clear that may be in Mayawati’s regime there were huge scams at ministerial level, the bureaucratic machinery still remained under awe of strict punishment in case of non performance of duty. Under this regime absence of such threat of getting punishment has led to lawlessness and haughtiness on part of officials.
The Kareli substation under Maywati’s regime was one of the best substations operating in the city having a smooth supply in both Hindu and Muslim colonies, even in peak hours during some important festivals like Dussehara or Eid. A telephone was always there to register the complaint of aggrieved consumers and the fault was dealt with in a conscious time bound manner. The same substation is now working in most shabby manner. The employees stationed here are rude while dealing with consumers besides being incompetent. They are not bothered as to how to ensure smooth power supply. Many linemen/technicians on condition of anonymity stated that there is nobody to check huge power theft in this area. As a result of this power theft as many as 20 transformers have blasted in one single month. The staff operating at power houses often gets beaten at the hands of angry public. Prima facie one always blames citizens for such display of violence and angry reactions but if we delve deeper into the cause of mob violence one would realize that ordinary citizens are not that guilty.
For instance at Kareli substation during some critical faults there is no one present to register the complaints of consumers. There is also no telephone, and thus, one living at a distance has to travel many kilometers to reach this substation. Imagine the state of the mind of such consumer if he/she finds that gates are locked from outside during working hours! If the same consumer tries to contact with higher officials over telephone, the officers at the other end don’t give much importance to his/her problems. So what options do power house officials leave for aggrieved consumers other than to react violently? Bhavapur area which is major Hindu colony having distinguished citizens faced 18 hours power failure for two consecutive days which included Dussehara day. Can one imagine the level of collective anger of such residents?
Most of the areas, falling under this substation, for past one and half months are facing huge power cuts. Earlier it was informed that feeders were being changed along with replacement of incoming panel. The residents of this area kept quiet but people lost their cool when even after removal of major faults the areas like Bhavapur, Nihalpur and etc. remained dark for more than 10 or 12 hours at a stretch while the adjoining Muslim areas like Akbarpur remained above such power cuts! The whole Navaratri celebrations along with tableau exhibition was marred by absolute darkness. In fact, this substation is working in a dangerous way too. That’s because no employee of higher rank is placed at this substation. As a result of that staff which is comprised of linemen and few technicians are either missing in night schedule or if that’s not the case they are involved in drinking of beer. Just few weeks ago, a lineman involved in repairing work at Kareli substation in inebriated state suffered serious injuries.
This government has failed to realize that citizens are not impressed by populist measures. To win their hearts the government needs to improve the functioning of public administration. What prevented it to improve the quality of services provided by government bodies? Instead of doing that it’s engaged in divisive policies, which involve huge wastage of taxpayer’s money. It’s time for the electorate to realize that during voting it’s better to have in their view right aspects instead of being swayed by flawed populists measures of parties devoid of vision and sound principles.
(Also published in Northern India Patrika, Sep. 28, 2013)
Uttar Pradesh expected better developments in the regime of young Chief Minister. However, such expectations turned out to be a great illusion. Akhilesh Yadav, who represents the spirit of youth, gave way to same means exhibited by worn out old minds, proving beyond doubt that mere youth force is of no use but youth force backed up by noble vision and sound policies does the real magic. No wonder Uttar Pradesh is today witnessing one of the darkest phases of its existence as a state. Since the time of his becoming Chief Minister, a year and a half, the state has witnessed series of riots, making it a disturbed zone. The bureaucratic system has fallen prey to casteist politics, to an extent that even an impartial constitutional body like Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission (UPPSC) is finding hard to retain its glory of yesteryear. The honest bureaucrats like Durga Shakti Nagpal are being harassed and bullied on concocted grounds. Ironically, the real culprits who are actually disturbing the communal harmony, a ground cited as a cause for suspending IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, are roaming scot free.
Coming to riots of serious magnitude which hit Muzaffarnagar couple of weeks ago, one needs to know the actual reasons which triggered them. The mainstream media circulated state sponsored corrupt version of actual reasons, marred by half lies and manipulation of facts. It’s believed that an incident of eve teasing led to this riot. However, that’s an insignificant reason blown out of proportion to hide the real factors. It has been very cleverly suppressed that for past few months Muzaffarnagar region was simmering with anger over series of rapes with Hindu girls committed by Muslim youths. The ineffective state machinery remained mute spectator to such rising number of sexual assaults on Hindu girls. It’s real shame that although this nation witnessed an unprecedented level of protest in case of Nirbhaya the Damini gang-rape case, the series of brutal rapes in this part of Uttar Pradesh were not taken into cognizance by anybody. Any conscious citizen would like to know why were state machinery and Central government so unconcerned about these rape incidents?
As a result of this bureaucratic apathy and partisan approach of mainstream media in reporting such incidents with same intensity, the local community organised a mass meeting to deal with such grave developments, mainly to ensure the safety of women and daughters. On September 07, the participants going to attend this meeting were attacked, leading to tense situation, which later spiralled out of control. What added fuel to the fire was that subsequent developments were remote controlled to allegedly benefit Muslim community. It’s learned that Jat-Muslim equations in this area constitute a huge vote bank. That was cited as a main reason as to why riots came to hit this area. However, it’s far away from truth. This might be one of the reasons but not a strong ground to give way to riot of this volatile nature, which made even the prime minister Manmohan Singh hail it as a “big tragedy”.
Mazaffarnagar riots, one of the worst riots to hit this country, revealed shades of murkier politics involved in riots, making it clear that riots are often well planned in advance and execution of these nefarious designs take place effectively by the hidden hands at a suitable time. The witnesses of Muzaffarnagar riots categorically stated before the media that police did not respond to the calls of victims crying for help. The victims also stated about inaction of police before the PM and other senior leaders from the Centre. This corroborates the alleged involvement of State Minister, who was seen in a sting operation instructing a police official to act in a irresponsible way!
In fact, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh bluntly stated that Akhilesh Yadav was “masterly inactive” during the heated phase of riots. “On Muzaffarnagar, none of us will keep quiet. What he (Akhilesh) has done is inexcusable.” Let’s not forget that one of the allegations against Narendra Modi is that he did not act swiftly during the riots in Gujarat, and thus, secular media quickly labelled him as the architect of pogrom in Gujarat. Ironically, the same secular media remained silent over the Godhra victims and Muslim perpetrators involved in burning of the train- a prime cause that led to the start of riots! Will these riots be attributed to Akhilesh as controlled pogrom the Gujarat way?
This is a serious issue which involves a key question: What is the way to ensure the complete elimination of anti-social elements present among the minorities? Since we cannot expect political heads to answer this sensitive question, the Supreme Court, taking suo moto cognizance of such critical developments needs to deal sternly with such anti-national developments. Why should members of one particular community be not subjected to stern actions in an attempt to wipe out wrong elements? It’s laughable that Muzaffarnagar riots are being stated as fallout of eve-teasing incident, making the focus of probe get limited by minor aspects. These riots have exposed serious loopholes in our intelligence mechanism besides revealing the nexus of politicians with negative forces. It’s these aspects which need to be dealt with by the mainstream media and legal enforcement agencies.
Social media which is not the part of paid media, dictated by politicians, should stop the great game played in name of empowerment of women and upliftment of minorities. It should honestly reveal the unsaid. Needles to state that most of the programmes in the garb of improving the lives of women and minorities have wrecked the citadels of Indian society. They both have become convenient way to enter in crude vote bank politics. The institutions like Supreme Court, High Court, and impartial bodies run by conscious citizens should come to the fore to prevent the nation from going to dogs. There is no other way left to make this nation safe from anti-social elements. The Muzaffarnagar riots have revealed that so-called politicians talking about honouring the ideals of democracy cannot be relied upon. They are dangerous wolves masquerading as human beings.
Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission is a constitutional body, which has been assigned the task to make selections in various governments department at a State level. One expects it to discharge its duties in impartial and sound manner. However, of late, this prestigious constitutional body has become like a caged pigeon in the hands of its incompetent officials, who are acting at the behest of political masters. The latest reservation policy row provides insight into the mindset of officers working at this prestigious office. The implementation of caste-based quotas at the preliminary level of many important examinations, mainly to benefit certain “caste”, without worrying about the collateral damage caused by it is an ominous sign. It’s supposed to act in neutral manner so as to ensure that the selections take place in a fair way. However, the new mantra for it seems to be that “foul is fair”. The appeasement of political masters is more important than selection of meritorious candidates through right process.
This government agency some decades back enjoyed a good reputation of conducting examinations, and later, making final selections in honest way. It had such an impressive track record that many other government agencies sought its help in making proper selections in their own departments, granting it the authority to conduct examinations. However, the scenario inside the office has changed dramatically in last few years, especially in the regimes of Bahujan Samjwadi Party and Samajwadi Party- the political parties which were in control of Uttar Pradesh in last few years. Their casteist approach demolished the reputation of this prestigious body. In their regimes, the key positions went to officers who played havoc with the selection process.
The students who ensured that controversial reservation policy gets scrapped are absolutely right in demanding that a high level inquiry committee should be formed to take note of the irregularities made in selections during last few years. The students need to be appreciated for their act of seeking relevant information in this regard under Right to Information Act. At present two officers from Yadav community are holding key positions in this office. Isn’t it highly shameful that students now treat Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission as ” Yadav Selection Commission”? Most of the bright students after completing the graduation go in for examinations conducted by Public Service Commission since selections to most of the the key administrative posts are made by it. Don’t these corrupt officials realize that by making selections in such arbitrary manner they are causing irreparable damage? First, they are destroying the future of genuine applicants, and second, they are paving way for incompetent people to act as government servants in future. What sort of decisions such government officials would make who got selected through such flawed process?
The reservation was introduced by makers of the Constitution for a specific period to enable marginalized castes attain a dignified position in the society. The sentiments of people, who introduced reservation, were really aimed at the welfare of weaker sections of society. However, that’s not the case now. It’s the most effective tool to destabilize societal structure. It’s the instrument to remain in power. It’s a weapon in the hands of dirty political minds to ensure that they remain relevant in political landscape. It’s high time courts and conscious citizens teach fitting lesson to corrupt political leaders and bureaucrats, who are demolishing the image of constitutional bodies.
The Assembly Election Results in UP have virtually shattered all the premeditated orientations. The apprehensions of the psephologists about the hung assembly have now been proved totally wrong. The elections prove that political pundits have still not been able to discover fitting instrument to gauge the moods of electorates on the eve of elections. They rely more on sponsored or paid T V Channels which is bound to be misleading and erroneous. Most of the time such predictions are used as a tool to create some sort of wave for a particular political party.
Anyway, coming back to results the majority gained by Samajwadi Party has hugely disappointed all conscious electorates who voted in hope of gaining better governance. They are stunned to see that Samajwadi Party which was routed by Bahujan Samaj Party in previous Assembly elections on ground that it promoted “Goondaraj” ( law of the jungle), being party run by criminal elements, have once again managed to be in the driver’s seat. This magical transformation , at least in the eyes of electorates, which enabled Samajwadi Party to gain the power is something that needs to be brought under the lens.
Let’s begin with the speculations about the mass voting fraud. I do not have concrete evidence to sustain the facts favouring the mass voting fraud but on reports based on hearsay gathered from public meetings of various political parties taken place in the aftermath of the declaration of results such a possibility is not a remote possibility. After all, it’s not entirely impossible to tamper with the voting machines. Remember, Uttar Pradesh is a state wherein murders can take place even inside the jails! Against this backdrop, even though it might appear far-stretched, one cannot ignore such grim possibilities. One is really baffled as how come some people with serious criminal charges have also managed to win with huge margin?
The Election Commission needs to explore the possibilities in this regard. I mean it should try to ensure that electronic voting machines are not being manipulated during or after the voting session. The Election Commission also needs to grasp this fact very well there has been many instances in American presidential elections wherein heavy voting fraud took place despite tough measures to prevent it. Even the recently concluded presidential elections in Russia are not above the allegations of voter fraud. If that can be the case in Russia and United States, one can certainly be forced to view such unexpected results with great degree of suspicion.
Now let’s analyze the mass voting done by huge Muslim population in favour of Samajwadi Party. The BSP’s vote bank of Dalits and Samajwadi Party’s Muslim vote bank is pretty secure because of the presence of herd mentality exhibited by people dominating these two very communities. Even though both Congress and SP love to enter into appeasement of Muslims, there is subtle difference in their methodology. The Congress, unlike Samajwadi Party in tune with regional sentiments, is party with national character with an ideology that it retained from days of freedom movement. It’s pretty alert about ramifications of cashing-in-on the lesser sentiments of Muslim in hardcore way. That’s not the case with Samajwadi Party. Having just one prime goal of ruling Uttar Pradesh, it entered in all cheap gimmicks to woo the Muslims. If you see its past history it has always been in close proximity with lesser concerns related with Muslim societies spread across the Uttar Pradesh.
In other words, the Samajwadi Party proved to be more shrewd in making use of the insecurities enveloping the Muslim population. The Congress, on the other hand, failed to promote its shamelessness in an effective way. Needless to state, the major factor which ensured the defeat of Congress had been flawed policies pursued by its government at the Centre. It’s also evident that if both BJP and Congress wish to fulfill their dreams of being in the driver’s seat, they need to be pretty more strategic in ensuring Muslim votes. They need to shatter the herd mentality present in the Muslim sections. They need to make believe that better future lies with them and not with parties devoid of national character and strong ideology.
Let’s see why future of Uttar Pradesh seems to be doomed unless Samajwadi Party under the youthful leadership of Akhilesh Singh performs incredibly well. That seems to be a herculean task given the inherent contradictions that exist within Samajwadi Party. It like BSP is not guided by ideological instincts but rests on patriarchal tendencies. It’s guided by interests and not principles. The conflict of interest is bound to hit the party sooner or later. It remains to be seen how Akhilesh manages to curb the nefarious designs of people lurking around him as advisers. One needs to recollect that when Samajwadi was dethroned some years back the main element that caused the eliminations was its protectionist attitude towards the criminal elements. It nurtured criminal means as the valid method to get the thing done.
I am really stunned over the wisdom depicted by the electorates in U P that it found Samajwadi Party as the ideal alternative!! So one thing is clear: Electorates went in for Samajwadi Party not as an ideal alternative but as a mean to get rid of malpractices prevalent in Mayaraj! However, in my eyes, choosing Samajwadi Party over Bahujan Samjwadi Party is like finding “Naagnath” better than “Saapnath”. It’s like having few seconds of momentary pleasure when you scratch with nails the parts affected by scabies!!! Undoubtedly, electorates of Uttar Pradesh depicted a great deal of immaturity in demonstrating their discretion ability. Such a checkered judiciousness exhibited by the electorates makes Uttar Pradesh to have more turbulence in future days.
Electorates wishing a state on road to progress should have been extremely conscious in selecting their representatives. In fact, had Election Commission brought in existence some path-breaking measures like granting option to electorates to reject the candidates then it would have led to different picture altogether. Right to recall based on evaluation of performance needs to be introduced as early as possible.
The rejection of Congress is understood as the party infatuated with ambiguous policies or because of its psuedo secular credentials has lost credibility in eyes of the electorates. I also do not agree with Rahul Gandhi’s statement that it performed poorly because of its weak political networking. It flopped because of its unprincipled stand on critical issues. It would be interesting to analyze the performance of another party with strong ideological roots. I am talking about party with a difference : Bhartiya Janta Party. It’s tragic that electorates are not willing to forgive the BJP for its blunders. A flexible approach on part of electorates could have not only acted as lifeline for the party but also given some new hopes to Uttar Pradesh reeling under Mayaraj or Jungleraj !
However, BJP needs to grasp this fact very well that unless it manages to converge the Hindu votes it would not be possible to get hold of power in UP. It desperately needs some charismatic leaders in Uttar Pradesh who can demonstrate dynamic tendencies than one mired in feudalistic ethics. That’s again a tough nut to crack. It needs to rebuild its party cadres with some vision and better progressive policies. Let it begin the homework right now.
Let the Hindu votes do not gets fragmented or divided. Let’s not forget BJP has got political skill to convince the various other sections of the society including the Muslim sections that it alone is in a position to provide them a better alternative.
If Narendra Modi can perform so well in Gujarat or, for that matter, if Nitesh Kumar in Bihar can convince the electorates what’s preventing the BJP from believing that it can win the electorates again in Uttar Pradesh? Learning right lessons from past blunders, it’s time for BJP to be on right track once again. Lastly, about UP election results I must say , at least, for me it’s hard to believe that “Naagnath” will serve our interests better than “Saanpnath”. I refuse to nurture such illusions.