Maybe The Idea of Acche Din Is Not Really Meant for Jharkhand. Is It?

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For a state yearning for Acche Din (Good Days), it was not surprising that they bought the whole idea of Acche Din being propagated by the BJP’s P.M. Candidate Narendra Modi. They were even willing to overlook and forget the non-performance of incumbent BJP M.P.s (Members of Parliament) during the last Parliament term from 2009 to 2014; for they believed in this grand dream being sold from all possible channels of modern and traditional communications.

Riding on the wave of popular promises, the BJP won 12 out of 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand. The Jharkhandi electorate did their bit too, to add to their tally and get them absolute majority in the Lok Sabha.

Now it was the turn of 12 BJP M.P.s and not to forget 2 M.P.s of JMM to get the voices and aspirations of Jharkhandi people across to the new Union Government led by BJP’s Narendra Modi.

But that didn’t really happen.

I won’t really blame 2 JMM M.P.s as they are not the part of the ruling NDA government.

But the silence of 12 BJP M.P.s is really disturbing.

Have they forgotten about the interests of their state and its people?

Let’s see.

# Rail Budget 2014

It is pertinent to mention that Jharkhand is one of the leading states as far as mining of valuable minerals is concerned. No doubt the Indian Railway earns sizeable freight revenue from the state.

For instance, the Dhanbad Railway Division earned major chunk of rail-revenue of Rs. 11,500 crore in the Financial Year 2013-2014.

Yet when it comes to extending the facilities to the Jharkhand and its people; it is apparent that Union Railway Ministry becomes tight-fisted.

My home district Gumla doesn’t have Railway connectivity. The present Lohardaga M.P. Sudarshan Bhagat is a Union Minister, yet he failed to get anything for his parliamentary constituency Gumla. The same story gets repeated across different Parliamentary constituencies of Jharkhand:

  • Khunti (BJP M.P. Karia Munda),
  • Singhbhum (BJP M.P. Laxman Gilua),
  • Chatra (BJP M.P. Sunil Kumar Singh),
  • Dhanbad (BJP M.P. P.N.Singh),
  • Giridih (BJP M.P. R.K. Pandey),
  • Godda (BJP M.P. N. Dubey),
  • Hazaribagh (BJP M.P. Jayant Sinha),
  • Jamshedpur (BJP M.P. B.B. Mahato),
  • Kodarma (BJP M.P. R.K. Rai),
  • Palamau (BJP M.P. V.D.Ram),
  • Ranchi (BJP M.P. Ram Tahal Choudhary),
  • Rajmahal (JMM M.P. Vijay Kumar Hansdak) and
  • Dumka (JMM M.P. Shibu Soren).

The presence of 12 BJP M.P.s in the state didn’t really help Jharkhand.

The reality is that for all their efforts, Jharkhand managed to get only 2 trains in this budget:

(1)    Ranchi – Raurkela passenger train

(2)    Tata – Bangalore weekly express

To put this issue in perspective, it may be noted that Railway Minister’s D.V. Sadanand Gowda got his home town Bangalore 15 new trains and 1 high-speed ride to Chennai.

Hope, one gets the picture of utter neglect that Jharkhand state got.

# Union Budget 2014

To reiterate that Jharkhand is one of the leading suppliers of numerous mineral ores to the entire country, yet the step-motherly treatment continues unabated.

In the recent Union Budget 2014, the Finance Minister did promise to give one new institute for Farming and Agro Technology. But is it enough? Does it fulfil the promises of youngsters here?

Last I checked the state does have Birsa Agriculture University, located in vicinity of Ranchi town. Of-course the research facilities in the BAU should be upgraded technologically.

For a state where big proportion of students migrate to other states to get themselves educated in the fields of Engineering, Medical, Law, Science, Arts and Management; the announcement of 1 new agriculture institute seems like a mere tokenism. It’s like giving 1 drop of water to quench the thirst of entire generation of young students of the state.

When our neighbouring states, namely Chattisgarh gets new IIT, Bihar gets new IIM and West Bengal gets AIIMS. Don’t you think that Jharkhand should also get similar institutes in the state?

Isn’t it?

But that didn’t really happen in the recent budget.

Do you why?

Well, because majority of Jharkhandi voters pinned their hopes on tall claims made by the vociferous P.M. aspirant.

But I think, it’s wrong for Jharkhandi people to put all their hopes on one Gujarati leader, for their better future. In the list of P.M. Modi’s priority, my Jharkhand state is not going to figure prominently. He is going to look at the bigger picture and perhaps his parent state Gujarat first. Only at later stage the needs and demands of Jharkhand shall be looked into. And that too shall only happen when our present Jharkhandi MPs put forth their demands for betterment of Jharkhand and its people. This is one of the ways to get the desired budgetary provisions and allocations for the Jharkhand state.

The harsh reality is that in the race towards economic prosperity Jharkhand continues to lag far behind the other states, despite so many natural resources. Sadly Jharkhand has become identified with corruptions and scams. Not to forget the coalition governments with bickering political parties. Also the decade long poor-governance by BJP certainly didn’t really help.

Perhaps it’s time for some fresh thinking on part of both political parties as well as the Jharkhandi electorate. It’s time to punish the non-performers and show them a way out, say in the upcoming Assembly Elections. Also the electorate should elect one political party with an absolute majority. Once the new state government takes charge, then they should ask them to deliver on the poll-promises made to its people, besides ask them to demand fair share of the Union Budget.

We live in the country with limited resources. So we must realize that in the era of competition among states for increased facilities for themselves and their denizens, an outsider non-Jharkhandi leader might not help; as the above mentioned examples have clearly shown. I can say emphatically that only a Jharkhandi leader can usher in era of good days in Jharkhand, no one else.

No point in dreaming about Acche Din, at least not now.

So Jharkhandi people need to wake-up and face the reality and do some serious thinking ahead of upcoming Assembly Election in the state.

Then maybe……Acche Din……

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Sameer Bhagat

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Social-Activist. Author of SALVAGING ADIDWEEP.


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