SP reels under poll promise strain
SP reels under poll promise strain
Dr SK Pandey from Lucknow
The new Akhilesh Government of the Samajwadi Party in UP has sworn in, heralding a new era of youth politics, and people’s expectations were soaring high. But no sooner did the Government announce its Cabinet and proclaim its foremost policies than the people’s expectations went falling apart.
In the very first public appearance of the government, people felt disappointed when Akhilesh Yadav gave clear signals that he was succumbing to the pressure of his father’s age-old supporters i.e. the ‘Mafiosi and Muslims’. And the rest is history. Akhilesh made the announcement that Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias ‘Raja Bhaiya’ will be the Cabinet minister and that all Muslim high school pass-out girls will be given Rs. 30,000 each.
Raja Bhaiya is not only given the portfolio of Food and Civil Supplies but also the Jail Department, where he has been locked away several times in the past, under various criminal cases of very serious nature. Now, what kind of message this government is trying to give to the masses? It is believed that the message that people got resulted into large number of incidents of violence and law-breaking in the State soon after the oath-taking ceremony. No doubt, the unruly scene create by the party-workers at the dais, where oath-taking had taken place a moment earlier, in itself was an ample proof of what the State is going to witness in the near future.
The declaration of Rs. 30,000 to the Muslim girls only is a mockery of democracy, and people wonder whether this, and many more such decisions in the pipeline, will hold the country together, and whether it will not lead to further division of the country. Everyone knows the ulterior motive of the political parties behind such declarations.
We have been facing such unseemly and unfortunate declarations in the past too, and we have also witnessed the public outcry against them. The intelligentsia of the country and all serious-minded people condemned the attempts of Sachar Committee, Rangnath Commission, Congress Government and Samajwadi Party for segregating people on communal lines, when the declarations of extra support and reservation for Muslims was being mooted by them.
People must rise against any such attempts in the future, if we have to stop anarchy and disharmony in the country. The Article 15 of the Indian Constitution prohibits any ‘discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth’. Not only that, the Article 16 of the India Constitution very categorically states that “no citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office under the State.”
Another unsavory decision announced by the government in a bid to achieve cheap popularity, is the declaration of reviving students’ union in the State’s university and colleges. This declaration and its implementation is likely to disrupt the academic atmosphere of the institutions of higher learning, which was put on the track after lot of efforts by all the stake-holders. The guardians and parents are the most worried lot. The centers of higher education are going to become the hotbeds of politics from the coming session, there is no doubt about it, and the hooliganism will prevail. And this will be very unfortunate for the State of UP, which needs great efforts to bring on the path of rapid growth and development.
The much talked about decision of the government to distribute tablets to all High School pass-outs and lap-tops to all Intermediate pass-outs, is also mired in controversy. The carrying of mobiles by the students on campus has already proved too hazardous for the maintenance of discipline and order, and now these new gadgets with net facility will take way all decorum and discipline that is left in the campus. The students will be seen loitering around and enjoying the mutual connectivity or chatting or even watching the movie through CDs or downloads on their tablet/laptop screen. Nobody knows how the principals and college administrators are going to cope with the coming truantry.
The unemployment allowance has already proved a flop, in as much as the government has declared that only those who are above 35 will benefit from the scheme, and even above 35 only such persons will be benefitted who are not involved in any kind of work including self-employment and MANREGA. It would have been better, if the government announced free application forms and free travels to the place of interview or examination.
The million dollar question is ‘Does an elected government have the liberty to do whatever it wants totally disregarding the welfare and betterment of the people?’ ‘Should there not be a procedure to take decisions by involving some non-political people also?’ We have seen how the BSP leader Mayawati selected some great leaders (whose greatness was in doubt) arbitrarily and erected their statues (along with her on and her party symbol i.e. elephant) in various newly developed parks at the cost of huge public exchequer. She even put up her own statues in some temples built by the public money. There must be a procedure and the governments can’t be and mustn’t be dictatorial.
Anyway, we must acknowledge the worth of some decisions taken by the new government, which suggest that the government is open to the common public. The chief minister’s residence that was made out of bounds to the common man by Mayavati is now within bounds and people can now move in and out after a little bit of inquiries. The government also seems to allow the people’s right to dissent. And it is going to permit staging dharna and demonstrations in front of Vidhan Sabha, which was completely prohibited by the dictatorial Mayawati government.