Is the demand for development, the domain of a few politicians ? Are others not responsible for development ?
In schools we teach that democracy is for, by and of people. That fundamental rights are guaranteed by constitution and fundamental duties are to be fulfilled by every citizen. Public opinion is meant to be a strong tool to measure the democratic process. Law of rule protects people irrespective of their birth.
Then how did we arrive at this stage where every lesson learnt is misinterpreted. Right or wrong interpretations, both need intelligence. Its sad that wrong interpretations are ruling the land while law is working at a snail’s pace.
Demand for separate states is the rhetoric of a few politicians and in some cases like AP and North East, it’s the tune of students too. My experience in the north east has given me ample evidence of how students are misled by politicians and royally ditched after their political gains.
The losers are students while politicians are busy cutting ribbons.
How many students ended up with a political career ? How many students who agitated for a separate state, achieved any progressive purposes for themselves or their sucessors ? Except asking for local reservations and more concessions, their demands do not have any value addition.
When I see the groups like government employees, mining workers, auto unions, cable operators joining the agitation for a separate , it reminds me of the freedom struggle . Tribals, tea plantation workers, factory workers, industry owners, farmers joined the freedom struggle.
But the irony is each one of them joined the movement for their personal gains.
Its not a free India that they dreamt of but freedom to hunt in forests, to move freely from one tea estate to the other, to get better wages, to get freedom from british restrictions on free production, and better wages and living conditions.
To them, freedom in their day to day life was more important than who ruled India. But we believe that people from different walks of life joined the freedom struggle for independence, while the reality is something else.
Whether independent India fulfilled the demands of above said or not is everybody’s knowledge. We still have farmers and workers crying for their right against exploitation.
In such a case where is the evidence that independence or separate statehood is a guarantee for development ? Development happens when generative work is done by every individual.
We teach about regionalism as a threat to democracy. While differences in natural resources are beyond our control, balancing the developmental time table is certainly in the hands of those administering the country for 65 years. Their political priorities create more imbalances than the actual situation.
With science and technology aiding us at every step and ample opportunities are available, development is no longer a political issue. It is the personal need of every citizen of this country. Having reached a stage where individual mettle is the criteria for happy living, why are people wasting time in getting reservations and concessions ? The same energies can be diverted to empower oneself to carve a life for oneself.
In this 21st century that we live in, agitations and bandhs are regressive. The cost of one day’s income lost can only be felt by a daily wage worker than a politician for whom every bandh is an investment for his political future.