Tuesday, August 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



India ceased to be a welfare state

Apropos of Mr H.K. Dua’s article Fiftysix years after: the neglect of the other India continues (Aug 15), I endorse his core argument that the Other India continues to be neglected. In the wake of globalisation and liberalisation, India has ceased to be a welfare state. The rulers are bent upon withdrawing even small concessions to the masses which were granted to them after our country got Independence. They don't seem to be accountable to the common people and Parliament. Instead, they are busy protecting the class interests of the business magnates and big industrialists.

I strongly believe that the capitalists are the real rulers of India. All political parties (except the Left) take huge donations from rich and powerful of the land and then sing songs in their support. In the name of caste, creed and region, they are blackmailing the common people.

Our television caters to the hobbies, tastes and whims of the elites. It really deceives the masses. Eighty per cent of the vast land of India is missing from its "well-conceived" programmes. Our glossy magazines glorify actors and actresses beyond all limits but they don't have space for our freedom fighters and martyrs.

Yes, this is a question of perception also. A handful of elites are imposing their will on the majority. They wish to define everything from ethics down to nationalism as per their vested interests. Unlike Mr Dua, I don't find the judiciary at the top very sensible towards the common people. Of late, it has delivered such controversial judgements which strengthen the hands of capitalists and powerful people of the land.


The elites will try their best to hold down the masses as long as they can but the Other India has millions of peasants and workers and it can wake up from its slumber at any time. Because only the minority (a small block of landlords and industrialists) is calling the shots at present in the name of democracy. Change is the law of nature. And change is not actually welcomed by the rulers.



The vote bank politics has played havoc with the lives of the people of the Other India whose denizens are fed on the staple diet of platitudes to garner votes. The gullible masses of the neglected India are easily tricked in. This speaks volumes for the low mentality of our ruling class and their ilk. The indifferent attitude of those who call themselves the makers of the country is deplorable and despicable.

Unless they understand the plight of the teeming millions of poor and work for their uplift, the gains achieved in economic, social, political and moral fields will remain negligible.

Mr H.K. Dua has aptly remarked that the politicians use the people of the Other India as their vassals to get their votes and to make them sing the national anthem which, I am afraid, they themselves seldom sing and respect. This negates the very purpose of the Independence Day celebrations.

The politicians should set high moral, social and political standards before they expect the masses to follow them. A corruption-free visage will be like the icing on the cake. Otherwise, the degeneration which has percolated to the grassroot level will continue to erode the fair image of India. The people demand the freedom promised to them over half a century ago so as to fulfil their aspirations.



I agree with Mr H.K. Dua that those who ought to be in jail for committing crime are getting elected to legislatures. The law-breakers are becoming law-makers. This is the bane of the present system.

At the election time, political parties promise the moon to the people of the other India. They resort to populism, without seeing the ground realities and economic status of the state. They just want to win elections without really taking care of the basic needs of the people.

It is said that a politician thinks of the next election, but a statesman thinks of the next generation. So, the need of the hour is more and more politicians should conduct themselves as statesmen, not politicians. Only then we can think of the welfare of the nation as a whole.



Mr H.K. Dua’s article presents a true picture of our "Free India". The people of "Free India" are divided into two main groups — the gainers and the losers of the fruits of freedom. Some Chief Ministers, ministers, politicians, and even bureaucrats live like maharajas and nawabs where as millions of people live below the poverty line. They have got no enough food to eat, clothes to wear while medical aid and education are far beyond their reach. No one seems to be bothered about them.

Politics is no more regarded as social service today but to fool innocent people with decorated slogans and thereafter to cheat and rob them.



In his article, Mr H.K. Dua has rightly explained the creation of “two Indias”. In First India, there is so much worry about pesticides in Pepsi or Coca Cola bottles. And in Second India, no one bothers about pesticides in the drinking water.

According to the National Family Health Survey — II (1998-99), approximately 80 per cent of the rural population has no toilet facility. Drinking of unsafe water causes worm infection and bathing in dirty water leads to skin infection. The UNICEF has warned that 44 million people in the country suffer the consequences of drinking contaminated water and it will seriously affect the health of the future generation.

Even after 56 years of Independence, hunger stalks the social landscape of rural India. A large number of starvation deaths occur even though the government's godowns are overflowing with foodgrains. Further, malnutrition is affecting the health of women and children.

Many schemes had been formulated to eliminate these problems by the Centre and the states. But there is no proper implementation. Because many politicians build castles in the air. Funds allocated for these projects have been siphoned off by the powers that be. This is the misfortune of the Indian people.

But then, we have to take the bull by its horns and work shoulder to shoulder to face all the problems and make the country prosperous.

Nohra (Nabha)


Sewerage block at Baddi

For the past one year, the sewerage of houses in Phases I and II, Baddi HO Housing Board, has not been cleaned up. The blockage of the sewerage system has become a serious health hazard for the residents. It has also affected my house very badly (House No. 482, HIG). Complaints to the Baddi Nagar Panchayat authorities have not evoked any positive response. Amazingly, no register is maintained by the authorities to record complaints.

Most of the residents in Baddi are tenants who are often harassed by the officials. They are also unaware of the officials to be contacted for redressal of their grievances and remedial action. Surprisingly, whenever I had telephonically enquired about the sewerage problem, I was told that the work has been done.

On August 5, 2003, a meeting was organised at Baddi in which the Chief Engineer, HP Housing Board, presided. I had raised the sewerage issue. The Chairman directed the SDO to liaison with the Nagar Panchayat and do the needful. However, no action has been taken till date. I appeal to the authorities once again to get the sewerage system cleaned up before the outbreak of epidemic.



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