Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Open Letter to the Young Turks

Dear Rajdeep and Susmita,

It is indeed a refreshing feeling that for the first time ever, we have two candidates contesting the assembly elections from Silchar, whom we can address by their first names.  Grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles and aunties have ruled here for ages and it feels nice that whoever wins between the two of you, a young turk will represent us at Dispur this time.
BJP candidate Dr. Rajdeep Roy (second from right) during an election rally with senior leader Sushma Swaraj (Photo Coutesy: Samayik Prasanga)
 Your electorates, that is, the people of Silchar have high hopes from you. We firmly believe that you are educated, suave, articulate and have the vision to take your town out of the sloth and morass it finds itself in today. Both of you have travelled around the world and have probably seen many models of development. Therefore, it should be easier for you to detect what ails the system here.
Congress candidate Susmita Deb with Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee (Photo Coutesy: Samayik Prasanga)
 You are also not products of our traditional system of churning out political leaders where the local goons with proven criminal records grow to become public representatives. Because you are new to the political arena, you do not have any background of corruption either which gives us a lot of optimism.

However, what worries us is that, both of you are scions of former political bigwigs, who also are answerable to the people of Silchar, for the decay the town is in today. There is always a chance you will succumb to the very frailties that prevented your fathers from churning out a new path of development for our lovely town.  

A coterie of yesmen always surrounded your fathers during their reigns. They not only gave them the wrong advice on many occasions but also conspired with the babus to usurp public money meant for development. Even on occasions, when your parents had the right intentions, these unscrupulous characters scuttled the plans. It will be a massive challenge for both of you to avoid these characters.

It is amazing that the people of Silchar still believe in the ethos of democracy despite the fact that the democratically elected leaders have failed and cheated them time and again. The roots of naxalite violence in central India or the flurry of separatist movements in the north east lie in the fact that the state and its functionaries constantly kept duping the people and pocketed all the funds that were sanctioned for development creating huge resentment among the people.

Our backs have been pushed to the wall. Six decades since independence, we still have no roads, no railway, no medical facility of some standard and no avenue for employment generation. This time please do not test our patience again.

It is criminal of Bithika Deb to conveniently ‘retire’ from politics after five years of complete misrule. If there was even a shred of accountability in our system, she could not have escaped so easily. We fear that, our ‘non functional’ MP Kabindra Purkayastha might also manage to make way for his son in the Lok Sabha elections after doing nothing in his five year tenure.

However, the patience level of the people of this town has reached its maximum. Take your tenure as MLA seriously and try to make a difference. Otherwise, you might not be able to escape the way your parents did.

All the best and Good Luck,
Team Concern For Silchar


  1. (Originally posted in response to another post, I reiterate my suggestions to the young turks here)

    Well, may be I can give a suggestion for better roads. At least the ones connecting our three districts. In the pas couple of years I had the chance to visit North India quite a few times. All the infrastructure development taking place is not exactly Government done or controlled. Its more Privately controlled. To put it in a nut-shell, quite a few companies like JayPee Infra or Aditya Birla Group remain interested in bringing up expressway projects. These actually are good profit ventures for them, as expressways are mostly toll-roads. So what I am talking about is we can invite companies to build up their very own toll roads connecting the three distrcits as also roads to Agartala and Aizawl and make them a partner in the profits.

    Coaxing the Corporate Honchos wont be much of a problem when they actually learn about the amount of trucks, lorries and commercial vehicles plying on the way. Besides they are always welcome to build townships and profitable ventures on both sides of the highways. This wont be a problem as most roadways are surrounded by hillocks(non-agricultural land) on both sides. Once completed, this may boost up tourism in the region as well, as by and large Barak Valley has always been peaceful.

    The Key People - When political leader become a failure, academicians should come up. We have an NIT and a Central University in our region, which have a good rapport with the corporate sectors via training and placement programs. And its the perfect time to take the relation to the next level. Besides, when politicos can coax Businessmen from Calcutta to build a Private Medical College in Karimganj, my suggestion are far more simpler.

    The Downsides ???- May be the idea of paying extra 50 bucks for a road trip sounds extravagant, but it will be worth the money spent. And trust me this is going to be profitable for each one of us - upper or lower middle class. However there will always be our Sarkari roads totally toll-free.

    C'mon Silcharites, lets just show the world that we are educated and we know how to change the world around us - without having to wait for some DEV-ine force...!!! (Contd.)

  2. In continuance of suggestion for privately built expressways in our region, I would like to add some points as to the viability of such a project.
    1. Transportation:- NE region, especially Barak Valley and the surrounding areas, does not have an expansive railway network. So it depends mostly upon trucks and lorries to transport essential commodities in the region. With bad roads, the truck owners have to spend more on fuel and vehicular maintenance. (Result: - Higher prices and more vehicular emissions). With better roads they sustain lesser expenditure. Even when they pay the toll, this will be lesser in comparison to the former expenses. Better roads will mean more mobilization of resources and finally more welfare.
    2. Housing Projects – Since the past 2-3 decades, people have been coming to Silchar/Barak Valley as a favored retirement retreat. With better residential options, more of the influx can be diverted to the region. Needless to say anyone would prefer a serene and peaceful place rather than a clogged apartment in Calcutta or any other metro. And, with upcoming medical and educational facilities that’ll make Barak Valley an educational hub, professionals like Doctors and Academicians would also be interested in staying on.
    3. SEZs – When we have shimmering 8-lane bifurcated roads on display, Corporate people can hardly resist to invest here, give them an SEZ or not. Given the manpower and other conditions most likely industries can be – Pharmaceutical, Construction materials, machine parts, tools etc.
    4. People and Economy –
    For the people – More and better jobs, better amenities, better educational and learning environments – all in all “the good life”
    For the economy – Even if the project is made tax-free, it’ll be good for the economy, considering the fact that Central funds never reach the people. A penny saved is better than a penny wasted. The money saved can be used to build up ancillary Govt. projects in the region – like rural roads, water supply, and electrification.
    5. Tourism – Along with housing projects, Hotels, Resorts, Animated parks, Malls and Public places will also start coming up in the natural course. NOW DID I JUST SEE THAT WHITE MAN AND HIS FAMILY LANDING AT KUMBHIRGRAM?????
    Now, if someone is still apprehensive about the time this is going to take, I repeat that this will be a corporate concern. And they better know, how to get the work done – On time !!!
    Thus it depends upon us, how we work things up.
    No conclusive summary. Just a one-liner from Gandhiji – BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.


Silchar through the Lense