Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jago Voter Jago!






One of the penalties for refusing to participate in voting is, you end up being ruled by your inferiors…Plato.

As expected since last full month every human being of the country & the media’s attention is on only one thing & that is general elections of assembly & why not, it’s something which happens after five years & we are proudly largest democracy in the world. With nearly fifty crore of Indians having cell phones & sure half of them with internet & with millions of FB & Twitter accounts in the country, this time election has very much reached to end level. What more important is effort of not just Govt but every ones to appeal the people to vote & it that context I came across the above quote of the great Greek philosopher.

Agreed first step of any change or development starts from the vote but is that all? This is what intrigues me more as by now most of the major parties have published their manifestos i.e. agendas of what their priorities will be if they come in power. Similarly in our city Pune also individual candidates have published their individual agendas for the voters. Needless to say Corruption, Inflation (mahangai) seems to be the major issues for the opposition & ruling party hasn’t touched it as that means acknowledging their role in the same! Roads, Public Transport, Water, Slum-Rehabilitation, Employment & Affordable Housing in Metros are common on every body’s agenda. There are Clean River promise & infamous BDP i.e. Bio Diversity park topic in few agendas but that’s all about environment. 

Are we not forgetting something very important as a voter of the country not just our city? If you see the issues as well aspects mentioned in these agendas all are speaking like the elections are of local body? As giving water, road & infrastructure is job of Municipality & electricity comes via MSEB. The BDP is part of Development Plan of the city & so is river improvement so what these things have to do with General Elections? Again we may think what it has to do with real estate & the city, well real estate deals with land use & for that every policy counts, especially infrastructure & environment related. Only those cities have prospered which have been successful to accommodate the ever migrating load of population or else they have just swelled & failed as a city for giving good living atmosphere to its residents!

We are electing people who will be representing the city at national level & will be part of National Level policy making. Agreed we can’t segregate the local issues & follow up at top level is expected by the MP but what about local issues like connectivity to other cities, condition of state as well national highways & railways? What will be the elected members stand on environment issues like forest conservation & green cover? As all around the city forests are being cut & man –animal conflicts with wild animals like panther entering in to city & villages are becoming more & more common! What about tourism development of the city as well conservation of heritage structures like Sinhagd fort around the city? Then the city has many defense establishments & their ever changing policies for the surrounding areas, is always a threat for the development. Simple thing like tree census hasn’t been done for years & nobody cares a hang for it! City is fast losing its biodiversity index & common city birds like sparrow are getting rare due to no place to live. We are human & we too have problems but the problem with tress & hundreds of species like sparrows is we acknowledge that they have life in them but we don’t allow them to vote! So who will represent them & solve their problems? Then everyone is silent about the issues like garbage which is becoming grave with each passing day & no surrounding village allowing place for dumping the garbage. The list of all such issues can go on & on!

No candidate has mentioned what will be his stand on issues which may not be concerning directly with this city but after all the city isn’t an island; we are some way related to Nation also. So what about unconventional sources of energy generation & research about the same? Biodiversity sensitive zones like Western Ghats are also very much important for development of Pune as well surrounding areas. How we are going to protect these zones without affecting development is the main question. Conservation of forests along with strengthening of forest department, it is very important for the future of entire forests of the country. And for that lots of reformations are required like redrafting of age old forest act! Similarly for proper growth of the cities with balanced biodiversity within the city Urban Development related acts for acquisition of lands for such purposes is very vital as the more delay in such process the more chances of these lands getting surrendered for encroachment & illegal structures are there! 

What will be role of the MP for getting long delayed PMRDA i.e. Pune Metropolitan Regional Development Authority, as promising affordable housing is one thing but how it’s becoming a reality? People want that answer from the candidates. Apart from this, what happens to these agenda post election is a well known truth! Why these agendas or manifestos can’t become a binding contract on the elected member & a periodical review of the same should be made mandatory for them. As it will ensure the voters that they have not been cheated by false promises!

Unfortunately candidates are silent about all these & more unfortunate is no voter is interested in asking all such questions. It’s nearly 70 years now to our independence & yet we have to make people aware even for very basic thing of democracy i.e. to vote in first place! No political party or NGO took any awareness campaign of voters prior to elections for what they should expect from the candidates! As for a country of seventy years of age we are too immature to vote judiciously & time is running fast! Mind it friends & get aware or else there won’t be much time left to save the largest democracy to be named as largest doomocorosy!
 
Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

MSEDCL (Power) Committee, Credai, Pune

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http://visonoflife.blogspot.in/2013/01/identifying-good-builder.html


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