Every morning, I sift through about sixteen news papers. I am not describing this to claim anything, but it has become a daily routine for me for the past many years. Amongst Kannada news papers, I read Kannada Prabha, Praja vani, Vijay Karnataka, Samyuktha Karnataka, Udaya Vani and Hosadigantha while in English news papers, I start with Mint followed by Economic times, DNA, Deccan Chronicle, Times of India, Indian Express, Deccan Herald and The Hindu.
Occasionally, a strange thought occurs to me that on most of the days, none of the news papers greet “good morning” to me. Instead, they seem to compete each other to say ‘good mourning’! It was the same experience this morning too.
Was it a selective refusal by the media to handover that one positive and elusive Good News to the citizen of Karnataka who is reeling under the theatre of absurdity of State’s Political drama.
Yes, today’s Good News is that our State of Karnataka has achieved the SECOND place after Gujarat in a list released in Delhi yesterday. This achievement is in the fruitful implementation of UPA’s 20 point program that focuses on poverty eradication and rural development schemes.
Congress is leading the UPA government at the Centre. But, the BJP ruled states are in the first four positions. Gujarat stands at the top while Karnataka, Jharkhand and Punjab are at 2nd, 3rd and 4th positions respectively.
The ambitious Twenty Point Program scheme was launched by late Indira Gandhi in 1975 and restructured in 2006 with the focus on improving the living standards of the poor and down trodden section of Society. The important thing is, this review was conducted by the Union Ministry of Statistics and program implementation.
Yes, good news may not be considered worthy news. Because it may not be ‘breaking’! I came across this info as a small news item in the page 10 of Times of India and reasonably prominent in Kannada prabha. And that’s it.
Rahul Gandhi travelling in sleeper a coach has more ‘appeal’ than this not so appealing developmental achievement.
October 27, 2010
My column on the past fortnight’s sad events has been published in today’s Vijay Karnataka. Resort sojourn by the MLA’s, riotous Assembly proceedings, rumours about purchase and black mailing of public representatives, AND in the midst of all these same oasis attitudes. Please read on.
October 18, 2010
Regardless of how you define success, it takes effort to achieve it. Sincere, dedicated effort I mean. That too, if it is an event organized by a Government machinery, it takes that much more effort to make success a reality! Red-tapism, political interference, lack of immediate accountability, all such things prove an impediment for any ambitious program to become a reality in a government set up.
I am mentioning about this year’s Dasara festivities at Mysore. It had all the stumbling blocks, the confines of course.. Yet, the State sponsored festival, is an astounding success this year. Successful because, it was more of a people’s festival managed more efficiently.
Like any other year, well ahead of preparations of Dasara, a planned setup was put in place. The difference was sticking to that plan and execution. As part of preparations, there were loads of suggestions taken from the common man, senior citizen, former and present people’s representatives, literatterus, veteran journalists, and alike to make Dasara more colorful and distinctive not compromising on the traditional flavor. It was ensured that most of the sensible suggestions are implemented in true spirit. I am happier, that even after me relinquishing the position as District In-charge Minister of Mysore, my successor Mr.Ramadas has carried on with the spirit to a logical conclusion.
When I was given the responsibility to implement this year’s Dasara, I had my task cut out. My foremost desire was to make it more a people’s festival.. Simpler in approach, sophisticated in implementation. It was a journey; I took to Mysore by train too to garner some suggestions on improvising Dasara this time. Some of the firsts that added up to the fervor of the festivity this time are here.
- Uttarakhand is a State which hosts Kumbh mela. The mela has become more famous by its elegant administration. To a State with just a 15 million population, an approximate 80 million people had visited this year’s Kumbh mela sans any security lapse. No one commented about overbearing government administration. Fascinated, it prompted me to speak to the Chief Minister of that State, Mr.Ramesh Pokhriyal. I wanted a people friendly police for this Dasara at our own Mysore too. Uttarakhand administration was kind enough to send their DIG to share their experience with our police. Our police force deployed for Dasara festivities were given a thread bare training to be more generous and people friendly. Result; there were no security problems and no complaints from people too. In fact, Times of India wrote an exclusive story on this changed image of our Police.
- There was also DASARA THALI- a special menu for all those who visit hotels in Mysore during the festival time. Hotel associations were kind enough to provide sumptuous food at a very low price.
- We had put a blanket ban on the posters and the flexes in and around the place of celebration. This was well received.
- It was a conscious decision not to carry the pictures of any politician except the Chief Minister on all the posters, banners and buntings that are put up at the designated public places and those released to media. This was implemented in true spirit.
- ‘Kingdoms that ruled Karnataka’ was the theme that was decided for Tableus that were to be put for procession. It was decided well ahead of time. We had a video conference with all the District Administrations too and explained about this concept. When I watched them on TV’s yesterday, the scene was really colorful and attractive.
- Manaranjana Dasara was a new event organized this time which show cased some real good local talents too. Yuva Dasara was also a hit considering hundreds of youth actively participating in it.
- Balarama has been the cynosure of all eyes during the famous Dasara Procession. It was one of the longstanding demands that the 750 kg Ambari (howdah) need not be put on his back as early as two hours before the start of the march and make the poor animal to suffer. This was taken in right spirit. And this year Ambari was placed on Balarama just few minutes before the green signal and he was saved from the unnecessary torture.
- There were not many political speeches involved and importance was given to the events and their success.
Many such newer initiatives, more people friendly and lesser political influence were tried this time which really collaged well to bring more fame to our prized festival. Behind all this success, there was an effort which deserves appreciation. It was a commitment by the District administration, the Police force and political leaders, who co-operated by whole heartedly agreeing to the above said changes.
Although I was not involved in the final moments of this Dasara, the professional management of the show has given me a great satisfaction that reinstates people’s belief in the system. My heartfelt acknowledgments to all those who were part of this grand success!
October 15, 2010
The Assembly ruckus of last week was replaced by diligence and pragmatism yesterday. We proved that, we too have “good behavior”! Thankfully, Opposition friends too were actively involved and were gracious enough to accept the verdict! Behind smooth conduct of yesterday’s proceedings, there were elaborate security arrangements. Hundreds of white clad marshals were all in place ready to face revolt either physically or verbally. They had the ‘noble’ responsibility to keep the House in order by politely shifting the nonsense creators out of the House, meanwhile silently encountering any kind of chagrins by them.
It set me thinking, for whose good all these arrangements? Members of Legislature are law makers in literal sense; they have the vested authority to lead the common man, frame the laws, so that the Society looks up to progression. Look at the paradox. The System weeps silently for a protection from their impatient fury!
What we are repeatedly witnessing from politicians these days is the relentless wielding of strings of power wagon to their personal agendas, which otherwise should have been a tool to build the Society. I am afraid we are increasingly crossing “Lakshman Rekha” of power and seem to be leading people only through negative examples.
The last Monday’s action and the reactions that were reported later in media and elsewhere have only delinked the already weakened chain of trust between the common man and his representative. The ghastly scenes of a member who was a Minister just a fortnight ago tearing off his shirt and expressing his mouthful of anguish standing atop the benches and few others kicking the doors of the August House by threatening the duty bound Police, will surely be remembered by the people for a longer time. Mind you these ‘galattas’ were not for upholding the common man’s right, instead they were for the sake of ….. ..! Can the persons representing people behave in such a despicable manner? Have they been authorized by people authorized to conduct this way?
It’s a typical case of people knowing more about their rights but never want to be controlled by rules and regulations. It is high time, the political leaders think and start finding out the real remedy, lest these wounds fester further and swallow the whole of remaining minimum.
Depressingly, Governance again takes a complete backseat by the tumultuous petty politics. My sentiments are with those who are deeply distressed and disturbed.
October 13, 2010
This is an instance of struggle paying off. 'Chiranjeevi' a young lad has rechristened success for himself by toiling hard amidst a non-conducive atmosphere. I only wish it motivates present day youngsters to pursue their goals to success. Pls read my new article in today's Vijaykarnataka
October 01, 2010
Allahabad High Court verdict is unique in nature. It might have generated mixed feelings. BUT it has certainly succeeded in NOT generating any wild repulsion.
It is a good sign of a matured (some may term it as maturing or forcibly matured) leadership. The reactions too of the political and religious leadership are simply – sober in nature.
Media has also refreshingly behaved in an exemplary manner exhibiting lot of restraint. Today’s Economic Times banner Headline has succeeded in communicating the mood of the nation in just four words. LAND DIVIDED, INDIA UNITED- best explain the verdict. It is a classic example of how a headline should be. It is catchy, meaningful and tells everything. Similarly, Deccan Chronicle too has come up very creative “JUDGES DIVIDE AYODHYA TO UNITE INDIA” – Just excellent.
In total, the verdict – though delayed but not totally denied – the Reactions of the leadership across the Country, the coverage by the media- have shown that we have grown sensitive, as well as sensible.
Hope this mindset spreads!