In the last eleven years, according to most of the concerned Jharkhandis, our Jharkhand has come to almost standstill or more appropriately we should say that it has developed only at a snail pace on almost all fronts, be it the Human Development Indexes or the Economic Development Indexes. With few exceptions perhaps in the fields of unbridled corruption and pocketing of tax-payers money meant for development and welfare of Jharkhand and its people.
On the occasion of Jharkhand Foundation Day celebrated each year on 15th November; the statements made by the leaders of various hues (barring off course those who belong to the political parties of the present ruling coalition, who claim everything is hunky-dory) slammed the ruling élite for being unable to deliver on the numerous promises made to us.
Here we are only talking about the overwhelming majority of the following class of people, in terms of 80:20 people (Pareto’s Rule)
1. Maybe Jharkhand State was laid on very weak foundation by its ruling élite, that includes Politicians from opposition parties too.
When India gained independence in 1947, it was blessed with far too many tall Political Leaders to lay a strong foundation for our country.
In complete contrast, Jharkhand, which won its independent statehood in 2000, was not so lucky. Since its inception in 2000, Jharkhand has yet to get any visionary leaders to lead the state in the right direction. In the last 11 years in at that time, it only got short-sighted and greedy people as its political masters, who squabbled among themselves to get larger share of spoils of the newly formed mineral-rich state of Jharkhand.
2. Maybe the wrong precedents, traditions, standards, examples, et al were established by the ruling élite in the last 11 years.
Every time the new government formation takes place in Jharkhand, the local media starts using the buzz-word “Malaidaar-Vibhaag” (it means the ministry portfolio with higher amount of budgetary allocation) would go to the elected representatives with more political clout in the ruling élite.
So in Jharkhand the ministries which control the following cash-rich departments are the most sought after by the ministers of the cabinet.
- Rural Development Department,
- Welfare Department,
- Energy Department,
- Road Construction Department,
- Secondary, Primary and public Education Department,
- Labour, Employment and Training Department,
- Food Supply and Consumer Forum Department,
- Health, Medical Education and Family welfare Department,
- Urban Development and Housing Department,
- Water Resources Department,
- Drinking Water and sanitation Department, etc.
But one should not draw conclusion that the higher budgetary allocation means that the incumbent ministers would get much more opportunities to do the development and / or welfare work and make the difference into the lives of common Jharkhandis. According to sources, it simply means much greater opportunities to skim the proverbial cream (Malai).
No doubt, the poor and common people continue to suffer in Jharkhand.
3. Maybe the common people in Jharkhand lack the political awareness about their constitutional rights and privileges.
Lack of political awareness among the vast majority of common people in Jharkhand could be the basic reason as they continue to suffer due to corrupt and inept political administration in the state. In the last 11 years, we have Jharkhandi Politicians who talk too much but deliver too little. At the same time they are all too eager to blame the central government to hide their own ineffectiveness and inefficiencies.
To cite an example, many blocks of Jharkhand come under the Scheduled Areas (having Schedule Tribe population) as defined by our constitution. Yet successive governments have simply tried to undermine the Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) and Tribal Advisory Council (TAC) in every conceivable way.
In 2010 the Panchayat Elections were finally held after two long decades in the state. More than a year has passed since elections; however the state government has not yet given real powers to the elected representatives, who won in the Panchayat elections.
Now regarding TAC, according to the provisions of our constitution the TAC should be established and it should advise on the matters pertaining to the welfare and advancement of the Scheduled Tribes in the state as may be referred to them by the Governor. The regulations may include issue of tribal land, money-lending businesses, etc. But TAC has never been given its due status and power in Jharkhand by the government.
To give you another example, successive Jharkhand Government have used shorter sessions of Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha to avoid being scrutinize by the opposition parties. According to the local newspapers, Jharkhand Assembly has only held 291 days of session in last decade.
Despite so many failures on governance front by the State Government, we do not see any major people’s movement to pressurize them to work.
Certainly, the poor and common people in Jharkhand have heard a lot about the good governance, however they are yet to experience it in real.
4. Maybe not enough corrupt politicians are behind the bars, many of them got away as they belong to the big political parties.
Madhu Koda, the ex-Chief Minister of Jharkhand and his cabinet colleagues (Hari Narayan Rai, Enos Ekka, Bhanu Pratap Shahi and Kamlesh Singh) are currently being investigated in the disproportionate assets cases by the various government agencies, viz., Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Income-tax (I.T.) authorities, and Enforcement Directorate (E.D.) and all of them are currently lodged in jail.
When one look closely at the list, it would seem strange that none of them belong to any major political parties, be it national level political parties or even state level political parties. With due apologies one could say that all five of them seem to be the political light-weights, perhaps a relatively easier than those who belong to bigger political parties. There is general perception among the Jharkhandis that many big corrupt politicians continue to remain away from law of the land.
5. Maybe Jharkhand is still being treated as an imperialist colony, wherein the ruling elite assist the outsiders to loot and plunder?
When one dig deep, few of the interesting facts emerge, for instance, Jharkhand supplies the huge amount of Coal but the headquarter (HQ) of government-owned coal company is based in neighbouring state Bengal, similarly HQ of a government-owned power generation company whose major part of operation is based in Jharkhand called Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) is based in neighbouring state Bengal, et al. As a result Jharkhand continues to lose major chunk of its exchequers and the employment opportunities for the local people.
The large-scale grabbing of precious resources, like minerals, land, etc. by the Mines-Mafia, Land-Mafia respectively too point towards the loot-raj.
Unless we elect M.L.A.s, with honest intentions to serve our state and its denizens; the agony would only prolong much beyond the last 11 years.
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