Sunday, June 29, 2014

How bad is bad enough?

Within less than a month of the anointment of Narendra Modi as the nation’s Prime Minister and the supposed ushering in of ‘Achche Din’, Barak Valley seems to have plunged into an even deeper morass of backwardness.

On one hand, the Railways have announced a ‘mega block’ of services for the final leg of broad gauge conversion work from 1st October, on the other, the arterial National Highway 6 (erstwhile NH 44), that connects the valley, Tripura, Mizoram and parts of Manipur with the rest of the country, has become virtually unmotorable thanks to the PWDs of Assam and Meghalaya, which are shining beacons of corruption and inefficiency.

To further add to the woes, national carrier Air India’s ATR services have been discontinued from Silchar from 1st June apparently because the North Eastern Council has refused to pay the requisite operational subsidy to the airline company. The power situation also has not improved one bit despite the resumption of production in Palatana. While all these hardships have been inflicted on us by the Congress ruled governments at Dispur and New Delhi, the new dispensation certainly will have to take remedial measures if it aspires to be seen as a government with a difference.

Unacceptable: Condition of National Highway 6. Photo Courtesy: Dainik Jugasankha
Yes, we are all inconvenienced by these problems. Yes, we are all extremely frustrated with the state of affairs. Yet, we are carrying on with our mundane lives, compromising every moment with our basic rights as citizens of this country. We are cribbing, pleading helplessness and moving on.
But the question is why? Do we deserve to call ourselves human beings if we continue to accept such blatant violation of the minimum human rights? Now, things have come to such a passé that there are apprehensions that after the discontinuation of the railway services in October, adequate food supplies may not reach the valley, since the almost utopian dream of the Mahasadak is far from being fulfilled and NH 6 via Meghalaya is unmotorable. 

Now when our stomachs will start going empty, will we finally protest? Many pundits have argued time and again about the possible panacea to Barak Valley’s problems. Some have suggested separation from the colonial rule of Assam while some others have suggested greater autonomy within the Assam government.

However, to us, the moot issue is the level of consciousness of the common people.  If the citizens of Barak Valley continue to be as laid back as they are now, there won’t be any perceptible change even if the valley is carved out as a separate state or union territory because the same scoundrels masquerading as our leaders will continue to cheat and fleece us. 

The real requirement at the moment is a concerted mass movement led by a new leadership that loves the valley. There are many democratic means such as the Right To Information Act and the option of filing Public Interest Litigations through which we can keep a check on the functioning of the government.

At the same time, we must completely denounce each and every leader who claims to represent the valley now. They are corrupt, dishonest and most importantly harmful to all us. Supposed stalwarts like Santosh Mohan Dev, Dinesh Goala and Kabindra Purkayastha have ruled this region for ages. But what legacy have they left apart from amassing huge amount of wealth and promoting their own scions?

In Uttar Pradesh, leaders like Mulayam Singh Yadav are not exactly known for their pro development policies. Yet, even they have developed their home towns with integrity. But our leaders are so humungously shameless that they have not even bothered to do that. We now need new faces that have the right level of commitment and vision to take us forward.

But for that to happen, we the people have to change. In the last couple of decades, election after election, we have repeatedly voted on communal lines paying scant regard to the credentials of the candidates. This has turned the valley’s elections into sheer mathematics. Silchar and Karimganj constituencies generally vote for one particular party, while the minority dominated areas vote for another. Whichever candidate cracks the mathematics wins.

So, are we prepared to change this time? Are we prepared to believe that even if the candidate doesn’t follow the religion we do, he might still work for us?  Only time will tell. After the collapse of communication, power, education, health and law and order, the last standing basic human requirement – food, now may become scarce due to poor connectivity.

In case, you are hoping that the government will do something to turn things around, you are wrong. Trust me, these leaders are perfectly capable of starving you to death since you have never dared to ask them uncomfortable questions or punish them for poor performance. They know that you might vote for them again even with an empty stomach.

Therefore, now the question is not whether Barak Valley should stay with Assam or not. The question is whether, we the people, can take any more shit from these buffoons. It is high time, we raised our voices or starvation might well be imminent!!!


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  2. Condition is same in many parts of India.Govt must do something.


Silchar through the Lense