Saturday, January 03, 2009

Democracy, Governement, Bureaucracy and Elections

The way Government and its Ministers make promises in India really surprises me. India is not yet fully democratic. Part of what is present is not truly democratic. Son becomes ruler after father, Wife becomes party president or minister if father dies or goes to jail. Leaders are big liers. They promise heaven to keep people happy, but they do not know basic work flow of how money comes and goes. I am not saying everyone is like this,but most of them are!.

Ministers do not have enough details on whether they can actually commit something to people, whether the budget allows new promises. But they know only one thing, they need to keep people or a particular sect happy, so they go on promising.

Governments are like white elephants. They are very costly in India. Not the 100% of the budget goes into public service. Our elections are costly affairs. All the parties need lot of funding. Ever wondered why this time the wine shop licenses got lot of money to Exchequer?(in the state of Andhra pradesh) Because this time we have elections. All of sudden, We see new roads (in Greater Hyderabad), probably this is to fund the present government and its leaders for the summer elections.

Well, well, well, everyone talks of this. What is there to a common man? Have you ever applied for a water connection? electricity connection? a ration card or a voter id card?

You name the service, the end user experiences are not pleasant. An year back I wanted to get a water connection, went to water board office in Rajendra nagar. They gave me a "Form" but said we need to submit the filled in form in Khairatabad. yes I did that after struggling to identify where that office is, took few months of serious follow up with various people, Satyanarayana and Mr. Laxman Rao (Water board Rajendra nagar Manager), Finally I got the approval. They are supposed to send their workers to provide me the connection. It never happened. So I went ahead and got it done.

Why this story?, Last week I visited the same office (they got new building) for a water connection again (for my neighbour), this time the answer is "Form" is not available.

Well, The "Form" is not in TELUGU, but it is in "ENGLISH", I wonder how many can really read and fill in the "Form".

But for those who are little scared of this complex process, Please talk to Mr. Satyanarayana or someone in that office informally (pay them a thousand or something extra) and you get the connection without any problem.

Ever tried to apply an electricity connection?, everyone scared me about it and they told me to contact one JLM (Mr. Fakruddin), He took little over 3000/- for a new meter installation (in 2007 august).
Few months back while fighting for something with APCPDCL (about not issuing proper bill for new meter connections), I found that actual cost is just 1300/- or so and it is a simple process (Go to APCPDCL customer care center and there will be some one to help you on this). But it takes 2 weeks or so (standard time).

Again there is a problem with "Form", its in "ENGLISH". How many people can really fill in English? I do not think we really have a choice here.

In 2007, when I was in Scotland, I saw some booklets "Know your government" or something, having Urdu translation as well, Because there are many Muslims from south Asian countries.

Do we really care for "What a common man needs?" Surprisingly not many of us know "What is needed", not the governments, not the opposition parties, and not even by those NGOs.

Regarding the ACB rides(Anti corruption bureau) rides, and finding some big fishes (senior bureaucrats involved in corruption), everyone is shouting on this, but Is there any proper "Root cause analysis happening on this?" Not really.

Government (of Andhra pradesh) is fully on shopping spree, they want to sell every acre of government (including the land of poor people), and then build some big concrete jungles (Lift irrigation schemes), irrespective of whether we really are going to have enough power to run this plants (Everyone knows about the power problems we are facing, all the villages in the state get only few hours of power supply daily).

Government want to release as much money as it can, borrow as much as it can,and fund their party workers to grow rich. You know "Congress is fat and smiling".

When you spend like hell, isn't it your responsibility to have a proper analysis, execution, auditing etc? Even properly planned and executed projects find lot of issues. When you do not plan anything and go on spending, well people will try to get benefit of the situation. Bureaucrats will earn "CRORES" of rupees and properties for doing favours to contractors.

Is it only problem with bureaucrats? No not really. Bureaucracy represents "Government". I strongly believe they are like "Mirror image" for government.

Whether we agree or not "Money, Power, Wine and Women" rule us irrespective of whether it is medieval times or modern era.

Irony is that, we are in democratic country but do not have to choice to choose our future.Wether we vote or not, some one will win and rule us.

Probably we need to bring awareness in people about 49-O. read more about more about 49-O rule here

I re-print 49-O here.

49-O. Elector deciding not to vote.-If an elector, after his

electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters

in Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon as

required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to record his

vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in

Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb

impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark.

Isn't it time that we say "No" to everyone? let there be elections multiple times, let every political leader become poor because they end up spending all their earnings? May be we need to evolve mechanism to conduct elections with "Least cost" possible so that it doesnt cost much to conduct elections time and again.

Let there be elections as many times required, till it proves that all these afluent political leaders run out money.

Well, for me a "Fair Election" is the one, where individuals vote based on their personal understanding about the candidates, not by the money, sarees or the wine provided by these candidates.

On the side note, I think it will be a wonderful idea to impose "Prohibition of wine shops and supplies" for at least 3 weeks before the elections and 1 week after the elections.

1 comment:

vageesh said...

Dear Reddy your write upis thoughts provoking.
Nice to see writing of a conscitious citizen