Tuesday, January 29, 2008

An affirmative action that's no lip service

In a walk-the-talk instance, the BJP has adopted 500 farmers in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. This is good news. The BJP, in doing so, shows that it is serious about such issues & is focused on development for the people. This place had been in the news all for wrong reasons.

This indeed may be the first instance a political party in India has taken such a step, rather than lending lip service. It has done this to highlight the failures of the UPA government, which have been many. One may argue that the BJP may be doing this with an eye on the general elections, however, when you consider that it is actually going to adopt these farmers & not drum up assurances or make mere promises, it is a sign of it’s seriousness & commitment.

In view of such measures, the UPA government’s (especially Dr. Singh & Sonia’s) assurances look like hollow promises. It assumed power by it’s much publicized agenda for the ‘aam aadmi’ & governance with a human touch. After 4 years, it has little to show towards that.

Dr. Singh visited Vidarbha when the suicides were at their peak & it marked assurances for help from him. But what followed were little help & more suicides. Maharashtra has it’s very own strongman, Sharad Pawar, as the Union Cabinet Minister for Agriculture. But, that hasn’t helped either. His multi-crore BCCI duties keep him busy leaving little time to carry out his ministerial obligations. One would think, the leaders we elect to serve us would do what their duty demands of them, but this is not to be.

Dr. Singh himself has been guilty of not delivering on his promises. The ‘aam aadmi’ continues to be ‘aam’ even after 4 years of his premiership. His involvement with Project Tiger has failed to yeild results. His government continues with minority appeasement, caste & now religion based reservations. He has failed to act tough on terrorism. The non-Congress ruled states have accused UPA leadership of not aiding them enough.

But, the BJP does not get it right everywhere. It has to get all the leaders to understand it’s agenda & set an example by providing good governance in the states it is in power using it’s Gujarat experience. It needs to continue on it’s development agenda & set a benchmark for Indian politics. This will lead to a positive cycle in India, when the people will expect more of the good from governments & be intolerant to non-performers. This will go a long way in earning people’s trust. In doing so, it will really be a party with difference.


socal said...

I'm not very pleased with this move. Election or not this is a token measure, and hardly a comprehensive solution. Of course one can argue that opposition cannot help much but do at least token things.

I believe Pawar diagnosed the problem correctly when he said that peasants ought to have a side-business like poultry or some other stuff to ride over the adverse cycle. His region doesn't have so many problems but somehow Vidarbha continues with the crisis with no respite in sight.

Dosabandit said...

I look at it like this, most opposition parties simply make a lot of promises & list the failures of the ruling one. In this case, a party has taken it upon itself to do something about it on the ground. It certainly is not the final solution to the problems in the region. It's a start. This will pressure other parties to do something, else they'll get questioned - well, are you going to do something about it, or just cry hoarse?
Pawar is right, the farmers there need to have a fall-back source of income to supplement them, but they'll need help & the government did not do that. He needs to do the same he did for his region. I've been to Baramati once & he has done fine for his region.