Transformation Of My Jharkhand Into A Bazaar

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Almost a year ago, a lot of artificial buzz was created around the so-called “Momentum Jharkhand” in my home state. Not much has happened since then.

Truckload amounts of the tax-payers money was spent to make the Government sponsored event a grand success. I still remember, running into quite a handful of senior corporate honchos during that event. In fact some of them invited me to attend the lavish breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet spreads in the top hotels of our capital city of Ranchi.

When I politely declined, at that time they laughingly told me, “Sameer, don’t be shy! After all each and everything here has been paid by you, taxpayers of Jharkhand. So, go ahead, take a plate and join us.”

And I reluctantly joined them at that prestigious star hotel.

When I enquired about their investment plans, to my surprise, not many of them sounded enthusiastic.

And when I prodded further, one of the Corporate Heads said, “Sameer! Let me speak completely off the record, as a trusted friend of yours. In your Jharkhand state, until and unless you improve the basic infrastructure, man-power quality, law and order situation and tackle corruption. Not much will happen in terms of investment by leading companies. It is wrong expectation on the part of Government.”

And that talk summed up the sentiments of the majority of the invited investors in my state.



Today, let me take this opportunity to share a Hindi poem to talk about the less-heard sentiments of the Jharkhandi people about the so-called investors’ summit that ignores natives’ hopes and dreams.

This hindi poem “बाजार का झारखण्ड” was written by poet Shri Mahadeo Toppo way back in 2002, yet it aptly conveys the feelings of Jharkhandi natives, which are often less heard and talked about.

 

बाजार का झारखण्ड

कवि महादेव टोप्पो

 

Bazaar Of Jharkhand

Poet Mahadeo Toppo

 

झारखंड के नाम पर

खुल गया

एक बाजार नया

 

In the name of Jharkhand

have come up

a new Bazaar

 

बिक रहा है जहाँ

झारखंड के नाम पर

झारखंड का लेबल लगा

ताज़ा, सड़ा-गला, पुराना

हर प्रकार का माल

 

Selling everything

in the name of Jharkhand

branding them as Jharkhand’s

fresh, rotten, old

every kinds of goods

 

तुमने कभी ‘जय झारखंड ‘ कहा की नहीं

कभी झारखंडी जुलूस में शरीक हुए या नहीं

क्या फर्क पड़ता है?

झारखंड गठन के बाद हो झारखंडी

 

Have you ever said Jai Jharkhand

Have you ever joined Jharkhandi march

How does it matter?

After creation of Jharkhand, you are Jharkhandi



In that Momentum Jharkhand summit, one of the most misused words was “Brand Jharkhand”. All kinds of propaganda tools were used to inform us that never before our state was packaged and marketed as such. It was a Global Investors’ Summit and we must bow our heads respectfully and salute the vision of the present Government. And we were educated about the Branding and Repackaging of Jharkhand.

So let once again pick up the threads of so-called Branding and try to narrate Jharkhandi views on the same Labeling exercise.



 

बस लगा लेना है झारखंड का लेबल

और उतार देना है बाजार में

बिरसा के नाम पर एक नया उत्पाद

या खोलनी है एक दूकान

 

Only get yourself branded as Jharkhandi

and introduce it in the market

New product in the name of Birsa

Or open a new shop

 

क्यूंकि यह है पूरा इलाका

नयी जरूरतों का बन गया है बाजार

जहाँ बिक सकता है अब

झारखंड के नाम पर कुछ भी

 

Because the entire area

has become Bazaar for new needs

One can sell now

anything in the name of Jharkhand

 

बस लगा लेना है झारखंड का लेबल

या लेना है बिरसा का नाम

झारखंड बनने के यही है फायदे

 

Only get yourself branded as Jharkhandi

Or take the name of Birsa

that’s the advantage of new Jharkhand

 

कि –

झारखंड के हर शहरों में खुल गए हैं –

आय के स्रोत नये

किन्तु, इसकी खबर नहीं मेरे गांव को |

 

that –

in every town of Jharkhand

new income generation sources have come up

but, my village does not know about this news.

One year has gone by and almost every other week, some new astonishing news about the Momentum Jharkhand events continues to come up. Most of these local Hindi newspapers have highlighted the basic flaws in the said investors’ summit called Momentum Jharkhand.

As a Jharkhandi, I do wonder, why can’t a mineral rich state with only 3.3 crore population come up with the governance solutions that benefits all strata of our society?

I sincerely believe my Jharkhand state requires a new development-model that honestly tries to address the concerns of both corporate and Jharkhandi citizens. One cannot allow an elected Government to take a big chunk of piece from citizens’ plate and hand it over to corporate. Both of them need to find a common ground, a win-win scenario. And this can be done only in an honest manner. Not otherwise.

I pray that in a new year, hopefully a new set of ideas will emerge in my Jharkhand.

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Sameer Bhagat

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Social-Activist. Author of SALVAGING ADIDWEEP.

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