Johar Anna Hazare Ji,
After postponing it for a while, finally tonight I have managed to gather a bit of courage to write a letter to you. Although, I have great difficulty in writing this letter, as my village does not have electricity. Yet I am resolute, I want to share my pain with you; the pain of living in dark-ages, even in this 21st century. I am told that my village share similar misfortune like most of the villages of my Jharkhand State. So, I can no longer delay writing letter to you. In this pitch-dark night, I sit in one corner of my small semi-concrete-&-semi-thatched house with pen, paper and the small dibri (small light-lamp).
Corruption in Jharkhand
Anna Ji, most of us in Jharkhand had already lost all hope in our corrupt State Government, till you came along and shown us a light. I and many other Jharkhandis truly admired your courage to stand up and lead a fight back against the cancerous growth of corruption that has afflicting our entire government set-up, both at Central and State levels.
Here, I would talk about my state government at Jharkhand.
After my retirement from active services in Army, few months ago I had returned with my family to Jharkhand from one of the border township.
It was early fresh morning, after getting down from the train we somehow we managed to reach the flooded and muddy Bus Station at the state capital, Ranchi. With filth occupying the greater part of the city bus station, it was impossible to avoid the stinking and slushy sewage spread all around us. But most of the local travellers almost took foul-smelling muck in its stride; perhaps they have become accustomed to the rubbish lying all around them. That many of them do not even mind.
Anyway we took the private bus, as the state government bus services are almost non-existent in most part of Jharkhand. We sat in our allotted seats and waited patiently for bus to get jam-packed. After an hour or so, well-past the schedule departure time, the bus got filled and then it whimpered back into life to budge towards its destination.
Rural Areas of Jharkhand
It took us almost 3 hours to travel the distance of 100 km as the state highway resembled more like moon’s rugged terrain. During our 3-hour driving ordeal, we were tossed up and down on our seats like ping-pong-balls. Sometimes we banged our head onto the roof or landed on our bottom on the seats with a thus; depending on whether the bus was going up or going down the potholes roads. Nonetheless, thanks to the experienced bus-driver we managed to reach in the vicinity of our village without encountering any accident on our way.
Our village lies 5 km south of the state highway but it is still inaccessible because of absence of rural-road. Anyway we decided to slowly walk the remaining distance carrying luggage and children in tow. After a tiring and backbreaking march on the kaccha-rasta, we somehow reached our village in the fading evening sunlight. It seems not much has changed in our village since the British days; though I see few signs of prosperity amidst the despairing and all-pervading poverty. But few pucca-makaan cannot really change the fate of our non-descriptive village.
Next day in the bright sun-light the plight of villagers spoke silently but loudly about the plethora of many government poverty alleviation programs failing to reach the poorest of poor in village like ours. The clean drinking water, electricity, irrigation facilities, schools, health services, fair-prices shops, etc. are still distant dreams for most of Jharkhandi villagers. Maybe most of these are only boastful election promises, which are only meant to be broken at quite regular intervals by different leaders at different point of time. The fact is my village shares its depressing fate with thousands of other village like ours dotting the landscape of Jharkhand.
No doubt few of my army buddies call Jharkhand as the land of Broken Promises and Bleeding Hearts. Many of these friends from other states often point out that we, Jharkhandis, do not really understand the value of our precious vote and usually never question the prevailing anarchy and chaos amidst us. Maybe they are right; we have yet to experience the so-called “good-governance” in our home-state Jharkhand. On 15th November 2011, our Jharkhand Government is going to celebrate our state’s 11th anniversary with great pomp and show, they are again going to make false promises, but we villagers know that the ground realities are not going to change.
Hope that day is not far off when the mighty ruling class would visit villages like ours and perhaps silently see the dying dreams in the moist and sad eyes of average Jharkhand citizens. That might persuade them to do something about the tall promises made to us. I am optimistic that I will be alive to see the change in government’s attitude towards our promised development.
I along with many fellow Jharkhandis wish that, one day Anna Ji, would take up our cause and expose the misdeeds of successive Jharkhand Governments. We, the common people, are ready to unite and fight against these non-performing corrupt governments. As I know that in my heart, “One can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but one cannot fool all the people all the time.” Hoping that Anna Ji would come to Jharkhand.
Ex-Fauzi from Jharkhand.
Copy to: All the Politicians and the Government Servants of Jharkhand.
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