Yesterday a friend commented about this blog on Twitter after reading one of my posts, saying ” This is what u do if u love ur motherland: Applaud every good thing that’s happening there & constructive criticism”. My heartfelt thanks to him. He seems to have got to the bottom of what I feel. He is perfectly correct and that feeling reflects in my catchphrase ” Trash politics – Talk development”.
But when we say development, what exactly is it ? And who is responsible for delivering it to a community, a state or a country ?? Let us figure this out on this Deepavali. After all, confusion on any issue is darkness and clarity on the same is light. What better time than Deepavali to drive away darkness and bring in some light !!
Every matured commentator on civilizations will tell you that its the people who are themselves responsible for what happens to them. In the bygone era of monarchies, it was ” yatha raja..thatha praja..” But in a democracy, its ” yatha praja.. thatha raaja”. Quality of any government is a reflection of the quality of the people it represents. Which CM or PM will try to strive for something that the people themselves do not care about, or conversely which CM or PM will ignore what the people really care for. So it all boils down to what people should care for. In a half baked democracy like ours where citizen enlightenment is still a work in progress, I would stick my neck out to say that our people are still confused about what development really means.
So on this Deepavali, here is my wishlist for my fellow Andhrites. A list of dos and don’ts. Some of you may differ with some of them. That is fine. I stand corrected if I am wrong on any of these.
- Demand transparency: Make your government accountable. Let them not hide anything. Either good or bad. Don’t let your political preferences come in the way of demanding transparency. Governments should disclose all matters, except on some very few highly confidential issues.
- Trash parties, talk policies: Never get caught in the web of your likes or dislikes for either TDP, YSR, BJP, Congress or communists. Leader worship or party worship will help only leaders and their parties, not you and me or any other common man.
- Shun casteism: Don’t think that more leaders from among reddys or kammas or kaapus or any other caste for that matter, will be helpful to commoners from that particular community. Don’t act as cheer leaders for people of your own kulam. Never be delighted that your community, whatever it is, dominates the society today. Remember it will always be a zero sum game. A few years of domination will always result in a few years of alienation later. And always remember, no society can develop if some communities remain backward and only a few are marching forward.
- Don’t play the Vijayawada vs Vizag Vs Kurnool game : Until and unless you are equally at home in Jagadamba junction as well as in bonkula dibba or Besant road or Rajvihar centre or Gokul hotel junction, you don’t qualify to call yourself as an Andhrite. If your world starts and ends either in Benz circle or in Seethammadhara or on Srikantham talkies road, you better get a broader view. You are just too narrow in your outlook.
- Switch off from political statements: Telugu media concentrates too much on politics. What did Babu say about Jagan and what did Raghuveera say about Venkaiah ?? Please understand that you and me are not at all going to be benefited by this tu.tu..main..main. Don’t bother about who is saying what. Always understand what is being said. Pl understand that all politicians are politicians first. They care about themselves more and if they still have time, they might peep at us.
- Understand economics : If development means more people getting out of poverty and getting prosperous, it is all a function of economy. So go fully into details. If Babu says that he has given water to Rayalaseema this year, don’t just nod your head in acceptance. Try to get as much information on how much water has actually been given. If the government says that more industries are coming to AP, follow each and every detail. In these times of internet overload, there is no shortage of information, should you really care to look for it.
- Care for environment: Resist any damage to the environment and ecology. Welcome new projects, industry, new companies or any thing only as long as they do not damage the environment.
Andhra Pradesh is particularly vulnerable to casteism, political favouritism ( TDP vs congress kind), mob mentality ( if more people are agreeing, it must be the correct choice), and leader worship ( Chandrababu can do no wrong.. Rahul Gandhi can do no right ..kind of beliefs). Telugu media too, in general, acts on these lines as these kind of stories appeal more to our senses. But this template is too old and outdated. AP can not think of truly developing if it continues in the same vein.
We may be able to build a new shining capital and also succeed in attracting investments. But that will only provide temporary relief. After all what is the use of developing a 6 pack body, if you are suffering from cancer inside those fab abs ? If that is the case, you are anyway going to die soon.