May 26, 2006

State Management

OK.. I am late by 2 weeks but it hardly matters.. the new Govt. has been elected for power in Tamilnadu.. Looking at the vote distribution and the glitch in our democratic system, it is unique that even if 75% of the population hates one party, it can still, in theory, come to power.. All it requires is, at half the constituencies, it has to get atleast 1 vote more than the next large party.. That apart, if the DMK government asks me (!) how to rule the state, my advice would be as follows:

The public problems of the people have two types of solutions: global and local.. The former includes projects such as power plants, river-management, industrial policies, etc., which the 'ministry' has to implement and these are usually long-time projects as well.. The 'local' problems involve those pertaining that particular constituency/district, which include drinking water, schools, infrastructure, etc. These vary from district to district.. and that is one reason why every small region elects one representative (MLA) to take care of their needs by acting as a bridge to the government... Obviously, most of them dont do their jobs and badly fail.. Inter-party and intra-party politics apart, the MLAs need some kinda watchdog to make them take care of their constituencies..

The new government has got 5 years.. and we have 234 constituencies.. that is ~ 47 constituencies per year, or, ~ 1 constituency per week.. back calculating, with 260 weeks of service, the government CAN afford to focus on 1 constituency a week and still manage 26 weeks off. Addressing the local problems is a very very good way to gain votes as well, isnt it? The involvement should be at the CM-level..On every week, the CM and the corresponding ministers must spend Monday, W'day and Friday on one particular constituency, taking care of its core problems.. The MLA has to be in the constituency the full week, with 1 or 2 local ministers and the Collector/Tahsildar, and make a list of 'to-do' things.. I am sure most of the common problems would be road, water, electricity, sanitation and schools..

Road: Doesnt matter even if the contract for making it goes to a party person, the roads HAVE TO BE laid.. every village which has a PIN code should have a 2-lane tar road.. every street that has address must be attached to the main road by a decent road.

Water: Desilt all the lakes/ponds in every area; if some are illegally occupied and if they have 'political connections', doesnt matter.. no need to disturb them.. we would still have enough bare land to make new ponds. Every road has to have atleast one water pump which supplies water atleast once a day.Again, desilting contract .. give it to whoever does it..

Electricity: Every residential road must have electric lamp-posts, at such a distance that no region in the road is 'dark/unseeable'.

Sanitation: Construct a public toilet in every poor residential area.. employ the cleaners and make them permanant government workers.. doesnt matter if govt. money is spent in paying them.. they are not going to smuggle their salary to other countries/states.. they would spend it to run their family..

Schools: New schools should be built and made to function every nook and corner of the state, such that, from any particular residential road, a nearest school must not be over 2 kms.. Similarly, later, government arts/science colleges have to be built for taking care of every 50 square kilometer area. If Kamaraj could do it in '60s, surely the 21st century govt. can, too..

Well.. I dont want to sound like Shankar.. the above are my wishes.. the catch is, if the govt. can do these things constituency-wise, they dont have to worry about what coalition of parties it is fighting against in the next election, who is starting new party, or how to bring the public-dividing policies such as 'reservation quotas', etc. If it utilizes its tax money intelligently to all the above sectors, the money would come back to it, in the form of the various taxes. There are certain districts which are in 'Immediate attention required' category.. such as, Dharmapuri, Theni, and Ramanathapuram.. they have to be taken care at first.. IMHO, the simplest way to gaining votes is by serving the people right.. the communists have gained power for the 7th consecutive time in Bengal, despite that state having poorer infrastructure in almost all the departments than Tamilnadu.. the reason? The first time around, they just abolished the 'Zamindari' system of land-owning and distributed to people.. simple communism.. sufficient enough to convert an entire state as its 'KOttai'..


sks said...

man raju,
write something in english please.

Nag said...

hope politicians will develop some sense and some of these things u menioned will be followed over a period of time. But i think literacy is what makes all these things alright directly or indirectly.

tt_giant said...

All of it sounds do-able. Let's see if they can attempt do it, once they are done with their "own" agenda!

Nitin said...

yeah, good points Raju, hopefully they resolve some of the issues such as water problems, and good roads. have you been watchin Ind vs. Wi, India doesn't seem to be doing good. They are not batting well to WI bowling. Somehow, this series goes by fast, i basically check scores at cricinfo, and the 50 overs comes by really fast, and they have low scores, maybe its the pitch.

Raju said...

Sanjay, hey sorry yaar.. since it was on Tamilnadu, thodi thodi tamil-mein likhna padega..
Nagesh, good point. No child should be left without basic education.. actually, TN govt. has some populistic schemes like free lunch with eggs, free bicycles, free books, etc. but still many children dont study.. It should be made illegal to not send a child to school, warranting imprisonment..
Deepak, yeah.. alongside their own agenda, if they keep these things going, I dont really mind..
Nitin, after the team's win against England, I was thinking that may be we have got rid of 'Sachin-dependency' syndrome.. Sadly, it doesnt seem to be.. That now appears to be a victory gained over depleted England team, in favorable home conditions.. The team needs a solid opener and a strong personality like Sachin..

The Talkative Man said...

GP ellathukum sachin-a ulla kondanthiruvengale...neenga Tony Greig thambi-ya? :)

Nag said...

I think our politicians also should have minimimum education
say Bachelors or Masters atleast

Raju said...

Ttm, that was a nice clip.. LOL'ed at that guy.. he was good.

BTW, Tony Greig is an easily excitable guy.. For pretty much any good innings, you can see him shouting and screaming, in his trademark style..

IMHO, Sachin's absence disturbed the top order.. Dravid, his century in the first match not withstanding, is not natural at opener's position.. he is best suited in #3-5 positions.. And the team did a mistake of not playing Uthappa from the beginning.. Dravid getting out cheaply in the games 2-4 destabilized the middle order too.. Sachin varattum.. appuram parunga.. :)
Nag, yeah.. it is a good idea.. but a few great men have shown that, to serve people, education is not necessary but a good heart and will to serve.. e.g. Kamaraj..

Anu said...

Your second para regarding the constituencies, sounded like Vijayakanth in one of his movies :))
Jokes aside,It was a good post however,unless the people enable the goverment nothing positive will happen in our country . LEt the electoral public put the pressure , then the utopia that u have given will definately come true

Raju said...

Anu, appadiya? Though I like Vijayakanth's entry into politics, I dont watch his movies nowadays..

The government would never take such a risk of allowing the people to retract their elected representative.. ever..