Parivartan Series: Amethi
The battle has begun… India, world’s largest democracy, is going to witness its most awaited showdown when people of this great nation will cast their votes to elect their representatives, their members of parliament who, by all definition, will work for the development, security and many more essential services for their people.
I know Dr. Kumar Vishvas as a Professor, a Poet and in last 2 years I have seen him transforming from a revolutionary to leader of mass. I saw him fighting for the causes be it Nirbhaya rape case or Anna’s movement on bringing JanLokpal. Recently, I had an opportunity to travel and experience the pulse of Amethi where Kumar has challenged the iconic root of dynastic politics, The Gandhi dynasty.
Integrity or Identity:
“Credentials are essential…” be it business or politics. Many times we confuse ourselves with what we mean by it. To be a Great leader, you need not to be from a political background. No matter whether your ancestors held positions and offices in Govt. What it requires the most is “How better, effectively, fast & more cohesively one can understand people’s problems, work out amicable solutions and execute them as they were perceived. To understand their issues, you just can’t do Aerial Surveys and behave like guest professors.
It is evident that in his 10 yrs tenure as MP from Amethi, Rahul Gandhi had not spent adequate time listening to the people who had voted for him. Congress scion has another fundamental flaw that he is, arguably, supported by agents who take care of his “political business” when he heads the “board meetings” at his Delhi office. Rahul Gandhi has miserably failed in earning that much talked distinction that ought to be possessed by a leader who aspires to be Prime Minister of India. His public orations have earned ire than appreciation. I wont be wrong to say that he continues to score self-goals that are turning to be suicidal for his party and instead helped his rivals for their political vendetta.
On other hands, Kumar offers a candidature that has all it needs to be a representative of masses. He is submissive and not only hears you patiently but gets involved with you. He tries to make you comfortable irrespective of your background, caste or religion and even political alignment for that matter. His upbringings, socio-economic and educational backgrounds have nurtured him to be acceptable by others. As a poet he has earned much deserved fame & has better acceptance amongst people of various age groups and this is perhaps his new journey to further strengthen and enhance his persona, vividly.
Kumar has distinctions in public speaking; he speaks flawlessly and without any script while Rahul needs prompters, pre-written scripts or misses the track when he is asked tough questions. For his party, Kumar is most demanded, most desired and most accepted speaker while where does Rahul stand is a matter of debate.
Values vs Virtues:
The character of election campaign at Amethi is completely different from what is found in other parts of the country. On one hand you have people who have been on receiving hands since last six decades while on the other side of it you will find liaisoners who have nourished dynastic politics for their vested interests. In my interactions with locals, I could not find that one most required assurance, confidence or a will which makes a person feel important for his MP, his own representative amongst nation’s law makers. Rahul, seemingly, restricts his stay within a circuit house at mutthiganj and interacts with set of people who never interact with ‘People’. Rahul has not been accessible to most of them in last 10 yrs. Herd of Villagers from Chhatoh, parshadepur, gauriganj and nearby villages told me that there marathon efforts go in vein and they always struggle to even get a glimpse of his MP.
It would be appropriate to classify people of Amethi into two sections to understand them better; (1) Old-age conservative people, (2) New Age young enthusiasts. While the latter has access to information, knows what is happening around and what could be best for their own multi-facet development, the earlier are yet to come out from their shells. For first kind of people, affiliations and old bindings are important while for youth, socio-educational development have become the priority. They are found coming in open and demanding for what their parents have been deprived. They have gathered courage to ask questions on Where, When and How multi crore funds have been spent? Where are schools? Where are degree colleges? Where are roads and other basic facilities? What has been done for the skill development & employment creation? These basic but essential questions are indeed challenge for Gandhi scion who have enjoyed power due to his legacy.
Value based political representation is much needed in the constituencies like Amethi, than the virtues of old association. You just cant feed your kids with your one-sided relationship & emotional bonding. To make them grow and sustain, you have to provide them food, shelter & education and help them develop a value system so that they can contribute well to the society.
Battlefield of Amethi:
Amethi is amongst one of the most talked & most watched constituency that is known as Congress bastion from last 60 years. Be it Indira Gandhi, Rajiv or Sanjay and “undeclared PM candidate of Congress” Rahul Gandhi. Despite its own struggle and share of betrayals, Amethi gave them what all they wanted, The Political mileage. But in the history of this culturally rich soil, this constituency has been known as congress foothold and nothing more than this. Spread across 256 Sq km area, comprising 05 legislative constituencies, 16 blocks and approx. 1300 Gram panchayats…Amethi still awaits its share of growth & development.
Jagdishpur, Amethi & Gauriganj are amongst main towns of Amethi which was made a district by Mayawati led BSP govt. Perhaps the objective could have been to polarize vote bank in the name of giving a district level facilities but rivalries of parties took its toll and Amethi missed the bus. At the onset of his political journey from Amethi, Kumar was able to bring shivers in Gandhi camp. I remember how hurriedly, Cabinet Minister for Road and Transport was sent to Amethi to give a nitrogen push to road construction & other turtle speeded projects. I wonder why these politicians always forget that no cosmetic surgery can get you the glow of reality? You can’t succeed and score well if you are studying a night before writing your exam papers.
Distance between lip & cup:
Get down off the roads, drive 3 km deeper and what you will witness will be inverse of what the nation has been hearing for last so many years. Leave apart the facilities like roads, schools and hospitals; there are 100s of villages, struggling for potable water and they still depend upon the natural water reservoirs that evaporate as the summers arrive.
• Believing onto what residents claim that (between Oct’13 to Feb’14) more than 18 ladies were forced to deliver their babies on the roads while commuting to nearest hospital, 130 km away at Raebareily.
• Govt Schools exits on records. Many of the schools that I had visited during my week-long stay at Amethi, were in worst state, I have ever seen. Students were forced to sit on the ground to write their exams. Roofs were missing from building; people have made them dump yards and rotting garbage.
• 100 acres of lands were acquired in the name of developments from the performing farmers. One can find from the records that much hyped industrial development did give nothing to the locals here. Over the time all small-mid sized industries turned metamorphous. They vanished faster than they arrived and locals were left trapped in the game of politics. Industrialists were given subsidies for no traces, they defaulted and vanished and farmers were left to be laborers.
67 years have passed ever since India became independent and embarked on the path of growth and making efforts to make it a true democracy where Governance will be by The People-For the people-To the people. I will be called senseless if I say there has been no development & growth in last 6 decades. Of course, we have moved far ahead from where we started six decades back but if I am allowed to relative comparison of what we wanted to be and what we could have been… I am confident; I will get more affirmations than criticism.
|| Sarve bahvantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Niraamaya||
|| Sarve Bhadrani Pashyantu, Maa kashchid dukh bhaagbavet…||