As with every iterations of the elections, whether for the Lok Sabha or the State Assembly approaching the home stretch, the fevered pitch of all the political parties in the fray for their share of public attention and the all important sympathy is building up to a climax, more so with this edition of the election for the Lok Sabha representatives of the state being speculated to be the forerunner of the changes in the political scenario that is slowly but surely gathering storm in the country. And as always, the political parties have spread out their agenda and manifestos to woo the so-far neglected voters, doling out assurances and promises with uncharacteristic generosity. What has escaped the collective understanding of the people of the state is the absence of the actual show of consideration and genuine concern for the actual aspirations of the people by any of the political parties, a so-called manifesto of the people. Their presumption of the needs of the people only goes to show the lack of connect and respect for the wish of the public who still hopes for their opinions and suggestions to be sought and understood. Well then, what does the common man expect from a good government- the one everyone hopes to usher in? A better, progressive and stable life: not a great deal to ask of, as almost everybody will concur with. On second thought, has the government ever made any effort to ensure such a life for its people or made any attempts to understand how such a seemingly simple wish can be granted? For one, fear (read AFSPA) should be removed from the society. Stability means a stable society assured of disturbances against any threat to its territory, means of livelihood, traditions, customs and cultures. Providing legal and administrative safeguards to protect the rights of the indigenous population over the natural resources as well as against exploitation of these people, particularly women and children in view of the increasing importance of the “Look east policy”, reviewing the claims of many deserving and willing indigenous communities to be granted the constitutional status of Scheduled Tribes, framing of a State Drug Policy to check the increasing instances of trafficking and abuse of psychotropic drugs in the State, making every public place in the State “Barrier Free access” for people with disability, enabling active public involvement and maintaining transparency in implementation of all flagship programs with establishment of legally enforceable accountability structures, proper promotion of Tourism after social/gender impact assessment to ensure greater community participation for an ecologically friendly and culturally correct and beneficial interaction to the community as a whole and not be swayed by the corporate culture. Progress marches ahead only when food security is ensured. Thus, it becomes crucial to adopt appropriate agricultural land and water policies as well as uninterrupted and unhindered access to public distribution by implementing National Food Security Act. with special focus on marginalized sections of the society i.e. BPL, PLHIV, disabled, conflict widows and orphans and other disadvantaged populace. Ensuring effective and accessible healthcare services to each and every nook and corner of the state with adequate infrastructure, human resources and medicines will negate the predatory commercialization of healthcare services. Last but not the least, providing a solid legal foundation will ensure equal and swift justice for everyone in the state. These are a few basic requirements for ensuring a safe, stable and progressive society. The public doesn’t have to wait long before it can decide on the most likely candidate who can deliver the goods.
- Published in Editorial