Crucial Time to Decide Change or Perish

lead-storyNew political situations are coming up in the country, but the people with big money seated in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore and the political leaders seated in the capitals of the States including Delhi are not paying attention to them. I am not advocating Naxalism or Maoism or rebellion. But I feel that looking at the situation which is developing, if the industrialists seated in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore and the people ‘running’ politics do not listen to the words of Anna Hazare, then they will hand over this country to Naxalism, Maoism, anarchy or rebellion. All these people may ignore this today, but the coming future is going to be fraught with a lot of danger for them.
Almost 272 districts in the country are in the grip of Naxalism. When Manmohan Singh became the Finance Minister in 1992, then approximately 55 or 60 districts were in the grip of Naxalism. At that point of time, Manmohan Singh had said that in the coming 20 years there would be electricity, roads would be made, employment would be created and poverty would reduce in the country. Along with these arguments he had made many other promises in Parliament to make the country prosperous, and along with this market oriented and neo liberal strategies were implemented in the country. With the implementation of these strategies the basic objectives of the Constitution were adversely affected. Our Constitution had given the responsibility to the Government to fulfil all the basic necessities of all the citizens living in the country. There is a concept of a public welfare state and a resolution of construction of a socialist society in the Constitution, but with the policies which Manmohan Singh implemented under the leadership of then Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao, he changed this basic spirit of the Constitution and did not even let the people of the country get an inkling of this. The middle class which had the responsibility of exposing such cleverly made changes to the country, itself got caught in the tempting trap that their children would go to America and their homes would be filled with happiness and money.

Almost 272 districts in the country are today in the grip of Naxalism. When Manmohan Singh became the Finance Minister in 1992, then approximately 55 or 60 districts were in the grip of Naxalism.

The media of the country also got trapped in this paradox. Nobody gave attention to the fact unemployment statistics had increased by leaps and bounds, the harvests of the farmers have been destroyed and the farmers were leaving farming and heading towards cities. Farming is becoming an ‘andha kuwan’
(blind well ) of loss and debt, as a result of which lakhs of farmers have already committed suicide. Foreign capital came, but it was used in the consumer sector instead of the priority sectors, as a result of which big industrialists began the campaign of wresting the lands of the farmers with the connivance of the Government. The youth of the country, even after getting education, did not get employment and their voice was also ignored by the media. Instead, efforts were made to divide the youth in the name of religion. The youth are feeling cheated today. The condition of the labourers is even more pathetic. Their organisations have been weakened , they do not get a fair share of the profits from production and they cannot even raise their voice. The outcry which has been raised by inflation in the country is reaching neither the ears of the people with big money, nor the ears of the politicians or the bureaucrats. These three believe that the more inflation increases, out of sheer frustration that part of the middle class who are in service would get more involved in corruption. Because, after all, they have to run their household and their involvement in corruption would provide a ‘logical sanctity’ for the corruption of politicians, industrialists and bureaucrats and they could then say that corruption is everywhere. Inflation has made the lives of people hell and the funny thing is that who are in the Opposition in politics and the media, who have the

responsibility of bringing this problem to the fore front, both have become blind and deaf.
Analysing corruption or revealing where it exists, where it is doesn’t, has become meaningless today. After 1992, the market and the Government  in a planned manner ran such schemes in the country which did not increase employment opportunities but provided the ‘opium’ of involving people in villages in corruption. Schemes were run for the poor which reduced their will to work hard and stand on their own legs. They became a part of corruption, and getting tangled in it paralysed their efforts. On the whole, so that no voice could be raised in the country against corruption, a certain atmosphere was created by the market and the Government together. The framework of the education system was deliberately shattered. The health services were intentionally destroyed. This was done so that foreign capital could go to all the villages and only 2 per cent people in the villages receive the benefits of costly education and costly health services and the rest of the people become their ‘gulams’ (servitors). This has been happening from 1992 till date and because newspapers have become concentrated in capitals and their owners have become the fourth partners in the game of earning money along with the Government, industrialists and the bureaucrats, the voices of the movements that are running against this loot and injustice in the country do not find a place in newspapers while television channels intentionally try to make issues of non issues. Television channels have made the suffering and ‘destruction’ of the people a source of entertainment.
Among the poor of the country, the worst condition is that of the Muslim community, which is in a dilemma. For years it took upon itself the task of making people win or lose in elections, but it did not decide what it wants for itself. On hearing the voice of Anna Hazare, a big section of the Muslim community began to think that not only do they need to participate equally in the new movement for change, but they must also participate in the decision making process on issues and questions which have an impact on education, employment and the life of the nation. The Muslim youth, boys and girls want to be free of old shackles and this restlessness is a good sign towards the coming change inside the Muslim community, but is it the truth? I would like to tell all the people with big money seated in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore — the leading names being Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani, Kumaramangalam Birla, Ratan Tata, Bajaj, and the remaining names can be added by you — that if your liberal strategies would have benefitted the people of India then in 20 years there would not have been an increase from 60 to 272 districts under the influence of Naxalism. Outside the capitals, neither are there proper roads, functional hospitals, viable sources of employment and nor is there any hope of getting them. So the chance of increasing the number from 272 districts to 400 districts appears to be very strong. The Naxal ideology is conveying to the poor people that the Government, politicians, rich and media will never address and remove their problems. So they should pick up weapons and retaliate against such a system. What is being done by the Government, politicians and the rich is making the people stand in favour of the arguments of the Naxals.

If 35 per cent voters of any area say that they do not have faith in their representative then voting should be done again in that area for the recall of that candidate. A new possibility can be seen here. If the political parties of the country remain silent on the questions raised by Anna Hazare, or oppose him, then there can be a beginning for a new political movement in which the public itself would change into the form of a political party and select such candidates who can actually build a new system for them.

This is where the relevance of Anna Hazare is seen. Anna Hazare is a ‘Gandhiwadi,’ he is 75 years old and he is upset at the situation of the country. This was the reason that the entire country stood with him when he went on a hunger strike in 2011. Anna Hazare is saying that the country needs such a Parliament which would be answerable to the public. Answerable to the public means that the system be changed immediately in such a way that it stands in favour of the public. Anna Hazare is saying that the villages be made an independent unit and a federation be made of villages of one block, so that anything thing which one village lacks could be filled in by the resources from another village. There should be coordination among the villages of all the blocks and the district should be the final coordination unit. The first basis should be availability of water, agriculture, marketing of harvests and source of income in all the villages. The coordination of this would be done by the IAS officer seated in the district and if anyone remains unemployed in the village, anybody dies of hunger, anybody’s harvest is destroyed and there is unavailability of water anywhere then he should believe his career has come to an end. The villages could make plans for their own development and coordinate among themselves at the district level. However, the district should not be the decision taking unit; instead it should be the unit for coordination. The responsibility of development of schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, means of communication and a network of the system of the market would be that of the district coordination unit. Anna is also saying that any official who becomes an obstacle by taking a stand making a distinction of caste, religion and community, should immediately be suspended and sent back home. It is very important that the youth should get not just employment but also become a part in the decision making process. Anna Hazare is saying that if society expects a youth of 18 years to be sent to the army and give his life for the country then society should also have the faith of including this youth in the unit making decisions. Anna is saying that there is an abundance of such economists who try to find ways of dividing the people. He has called for such economists who believe that villages will be the main units in a challenging environment and keep the blueprint of a new economy in front. An industrial net should be spread so that the raw materials of the country can be utilised fully but while saving the water, forests and land of the country. Anna is saying that education beyond 8th standard should be vocational and a production unit should be built along with all the schools and colleges. According to a World Health Organisation report, in the coming 20 years there would be deficiency of milk and milk products in our country. So all the schools and colleges near riversides, which form natural pastures for grazing, should be linked in a productive way with milk and milk products. These schools and colleges should be vested with the responsibility to ensure that no one within their range of 5 to 10 miles should be left illiterate in the coming year. The Government should buy the products produced by these schools and colleges on the basis of quality, because the Government has the army and para military forces along with many other organisations with it where these products can be absorbed. Anna is saying that not only crores of people would get employed immediately, but they would also get the motivation of becoming self dependent. In the same way wherever there is weakness in any of the districts in the health services, the officials from those districts would have to face tough consequences.
This kind of thinking from Anna shows that these are ‘the first steps of change’ in the system. Anna is speaking of change in the system because he does not want rebellion or anarchy to spread in the country, he does not want to have riots in the country and he does not want murders to take place. These indications given by Anna give new hope to the poor and the deprived people of all the classes of society. The manner in which Anna is getting support from the entire country, it gives a feeling that the Parliament which would be formed in the future will scrap colonial laws and would make new laws. Anna is saying that Lok Sabha candidates should give an affidavit that ‘I shall work on these principles and if I am found not working on them then my resignation be accepted by the Chairman of the Lok Sabha’. This might be the first step towards right to recall. If 35 per cent voters of any area say that they do not have faith in their representative then voting should be done again in that area for the recall of that candidate. A new possibility can be seen here. If the political parties of the country remain silent on the questions raised by Anna Hazare, or oppose him, then there can be a beginning for a new political movement in which the public itself would change into the form of a political party and select such candidates who can actually build a new system for them.
As a journalist, as a scholar of social sciences, I want to humbly request the people with big money seated in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai and the leaders of all the political parties to heed Anna Hazare, there is time today to listen to Anna Hazare, because hundred crore people of the country are listening to the words of Anna Hazare, and people like General V. K. Singh, P. V. Rajagopal, Rajendra Singh and Moulana Syed Sufi Jilani have started travelling across the country. All those organisations that are carrying on their struggle alone against this situation are also sending messages of uniting under the leadership of Anna Hazare. Not only this, the people who are sensitive inside the political parties, they too are sending messages to Anna Hazare that they want to join his campaign. Anna Hazare has made a beginning in drafting an affidavit for them. The affidavit will specify the affidavit based promises which they will have to make to the public if they join his movement. The development of a principle for a democratic people’s candidate can also be seen in this.
If the industrialists, politicians and bureaucrats of the country listen to the voice of Anna today and help in bringing in a new system then their lives would be saved. The country is standing at a dangerous turn. A sensible politician is one who can make an estimate of the incidents likely to take place in the next 20 years and can prepare the country on that basis. History remembers such people as good leaders. Otherwise they are included in the list of those clobbered with shoes by history. The leaders of the country and rich people have to decide whether they will support the efforts of Anna for building a new system for the people or become a part of the conspiracy of sending the country into a civil war, rebellion and anarchy.
30 January is a major ‘test’ day for the people of this country. If, without any resources, only 50 thousand people reach Gandhi Maidan at Patna at the call of change from Anna then it will be a final warning for those people who are standing against the interests of the people, who are destroying the future of the youth and those who want to maintain this political system. It has been decided that 30 January is the day to make the deaf ears listen to the roar of ‘Inquilab’ ( ‘revolutionise’).

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