Mr. Politico, Have Some Mercy On Us!

Posted on May 9, 2009 in Politics

Read on as our special correspondent, Vikasendu Agarwal, raises questions which matter and also leads us to solutions that we must demand.

Yesterday I woke up to see a very convincing and serene Mr.Amar Singh on some news channels .He was very much disturbed by the fact that by telling us the obvious that the investigating agencies work under influence of political party/parties in power, Rahul Gnadhi has suddenly systemized misuse of the same by political parties. His concern was even more appealing since his own party, Samajwadi Party, has enhanced the level of politicking in India by reforming so many hardcore criminals and giving them entry into the highest temple of Indian constitution. Also, his party as an upholder of highest values in public life has every moral authority to find the utterances of Rahul Gandhi objectionable. What they do not find objectionable is the fact that 37% of their total MPs are such reformed persons(Most of the mainstream political parties have a more than 10 of their MPs from this category, in fact they might be the single largest group in the parliament and many state assemblies).

But, then what are they supposed to be ashamed of-Hamam mein sabhi nange hain. Every political party has her own shares of musclemen/women/hardcore criminals being given tickets for legislative assemblies and parliament. If people like Shahabuddin,Ateeq Ahmad,Mukhtar Ansari,Krishnanad Rai(Late),Pappu Yadav,Brij Bhushan Saran Singh etc ,etc…… are able to attend assemblies/parliament, then we do not need ISI supported terrorists to attack our parliament. Our political parties are doing their job, and much more effectively. If you want to destroy a country, break the morale of its people first. What moral authority can an administrator/police officer have after saluting and protecting the likes of such. Not being able to stop the entry of criminals in the political system has been a big failure on the part of the legislature and judiciary and as more and more criminals with more and more heinous crimes keep on entering assemblies and parliament, we will all have to sit, take stock of the situation and take some concrete steps before goons take over the system fully.

Also,it is very convenient to forever shift the blame for the grim scenario, so called Intellectuals are also to be equally blamed. Most of the electronic media has gone insane in their quest for ever elusive TRPs. If they had any serious regard for the cleansing of political system, they should have devoted their prime time slots to election related issues(mind you not gossip but real issues) instead of sensational Jyotish related/crime file/superstitious trash that has become routine for almost all the news channels. Anybody and everybody is a celebrity, some channels keep on interviewing these Media made celebrities and showing programmes related to them for many days continuously and what is more appalling is that these interviews are not conducted by some obscure third grade journalist but the same high profile political editors who have the calibre of asking most incisive questions and taking on most obnoxious politicos. I’m really at a loss to understand how they mentally prepare themselves to do these sleazy shows, I mean it is really pitiable to see a top notch political analyst/editor interview a lowest notch Item girl(who coined this term?)But, I think that money (read as TRPs) take precedence over all and everyone and our poor intellectuals do understand this and one after another they all jump into the fray-one interviewing, another flexing his muscles in a court(Adalat).God have some mercy on them and let them realize that good quality humanitarian stories might also gain same TRP(and, what the hell, had they joined Journalism for increasing TRPs of some news channel?).

As I sit and dissect dispassionately, I find that there are many things which we have helped our political parties systemize by not opposing and neglecting the important discussions and not giving proper and thorough coverage to issues related to these. First and foremost issue of accountability must be “Education”.

The fact that even after 61 years of Independence, we still have to provide reservations to a vast majority of our population itself shows the utter neglect of education system for the lowest strata of society. No political party could provide to develop a system and to provide quality education to the children from lowest socio-economic background. Instead of asking “Why reservation even after so many years?”, we helped them systemize caste based reservations fragmenting the society. The politicos got everyone busy in discussing how much reservation and to whom, and were thus successful in deflecting the fundamental question-“WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE STATE OF AFFAIRS WHERE WE STILL HAVE TO PROVIDE RESERVATIONS AFTER SO MANY YEARS?”. Then we helped them again by voting on caste lines because they helped us get reservations. If a group is really backward then the real issue can never be who helped get this group Reserved, the issue should be who tried for their overall upliftment by initiating the process of opening good schools with dedicated teachers, better job opportunities in the pockets of this particular group (which incidentally does not mean big factories only; good vocational training, target based coaching institutes whose teachers do not treat these as a way of earning some extra money but are passionate about their jobs, organising dedicated and honest self help groups are the best ways of increasing job opportunities), providing health care facilities, education about sanitation and most of all, a feeling of being self-sufficient.

What happens is exactly the reverse, there are no schools of any quality, if they exist, the teachers are totally demotivated, absenteeism is rampant, more amongst the teachers than students, drop-out rates are astronomical, nobody seems to care about job opportunities; instead a myth is propagated that reservation is the only cure for all the problems never mentioning the fact that in today’s India, a very minuscule proportion of jobs are in the government sector and covered by reservations, and, education is the only key to upliftment. The baseline is that parties are not doing any good to anybody by promoting reservations, ground situation is just opposite and indicative of failure of our political system, demanding and providing reservations has nothing to do with upliftment of anybody, political parties have been using this ploy for keeping their vote banks consolidated by dividing the larger society and people. One should demand a system/society where they are uplifted to a level which makes reservations meaningless by bringing them educationally at par with so called forward classes.

How is all of this possible!

Some suggestions-

1.Start from the scratch-Open residential schools starting from class 1 to class 12 with full state sponsorship-books, dress, lodging, food, fares for occasional home visits and nearly everything.

2.Find dedicated teachers, people who enjoy teaching and take pride in the outcome.

3.Give these teachers at least double of what their counterparts get (for staying in the campus and for performing.)

4.Develop a system of incentives and disincentives —both for the teachers and students.

5.Plan well in advance so that all types of provisions are available well before time. Everything from books, stationary, dresses, money for food, repairs, whitewash, phonebill, maintainance of the building (this is just a small list, what I mean to say is provisions for everything, smallest to largest should be planned well in advance).

6.Fix responsibilities for everything.

7.Take these responsibilities seriously-any delay poor performance on any front should be taken seriously with in-house and if needed external audit of every single deficiency in service.

8.Do not allow people from creamy layer in these institutes.

9.Develop a mechanism sans beaurocratic delay and if things are delayed due to unnecessary nitpicking by beaurocracy, take them also to task.

10.Make these institutions totally free of political intervention of any kind- from local village/town level politics for admissions to higher level politics (say when services of a teacher are terminated after continuous poor performance).

11.Keep thresholds low- Do not tolerate any nonsense, any stupid nonsense for delayed procurement/delivery of provisions or excuses for poor performance.

12.Demand results- Chalk out clear objectives and demand to see the same achieved.

13.Audit the performance regularly and severely.

More I think more I believe that these are the only solutions to educational upliftment of the backward classes which will eventually lead to their overall upliftment. After all, what is the state providing by reserving seats for these classes, marking a certain percentage of seats in government higher education institutes, government jobs, being filled by SC/ST/OBC candidates whatever their performance might be. Why not try and elevate performance to a level where they corner not only their reserved share of seats but on the basis of their merit only , corner a much larger chunk. This will be real upliftment ,nobody can grudge it,people from all walks ,all sections of society will support it and might actually participate if things are run in such a way that some confidence in governments’ good intentions and capacity to actually move things in the right direction is restored.

There are many more issues like minimum job security, health, childcare, right of access to clean water, proper basic sanitation etc..,etc….I will try to cover them one by one.

Coming back to the original topic, Dear Mr.Politico don’t get disturbed by honest, though off the mark admission of a young leader, he is only stating the obvious. Instead feel ashamed for systemising almost everything rotten-Systemising Criminals(Not the ones with political cases, hardcore criminals —people having case of murders ,attempted murders,rapes,dacoity,damage to national property,people who are in the most wanted list of their local police stations for heinous crimes) in the assemblies/parliament(Even the upper house), Systemising dividing the society in the name of caste/religion, Systemising giving reservations in place of education, Systemising getting elected with one political party/ideology and supporting/taking support of radically opposite political party, Systemising neglecting the voter or worse still showing scant respect for public sensibilities, Systemising political clowns as political visionaries, Systemising ministers with criminal records in the Union cabinet, Systemising Halla Bol(remember Guest House incident at Lucknow).This list is also endless and everyday shameless chameleons called political leaders keep on enlarging it making the previous offence look many times smaller to the latest insult .I have no doubt that if Dawood Ibrahim comes back to India and somehow becomes our home minister(Do not drop your jaw, it is only a matter of one political party initiating the process of offering him a ticket, at least ten will follow immediately),he will not be able to cause so much harm as these thick skinned, shameless creatures can do by their divisive, all polluting politics.