Elections. This is one word that has somehow managed to come up each day that has gone by, whether it’s the newspapers, casual discussions with friends, family or teachers. It is everywhere. And of course, the trend will follow.
Every day the politicians have something interesting to say or do. These elections have even forced the usually humble Rahul Gandhi to speak evil of the opposing party. Such is the competition this time! However, sadly, this is what has remained of it. Competition. It’s merely a fight for power rather than a fight to bring good to the nation. The elections are no more meant to choose the political party. The challenge for the democracy is to choose the ‘least worst’ of all.
Former chief minister, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal’s visit to Gujarat, has once again raised the question of the truth of what is actually happening in Gujarat. Corruption, Inclusive Growth, RTI, Development Model etc. are some of the issues which probably get most of us thinking. Mr. Kejriwal has alleged that there was a lot of corruption in Gujarat, contrary to the claims made by Chief Minister Narendra Modi. According to him, people of Gujarat themselves have complained of the presence of corruption in towns and villages. In his words, “People have to give bribe to get BPL cards and to get jobs. People are very unhappy with the corruption. So how can you claim to have eradicated corruption?” He also pointed out that the conditions of government schools in Gujarat to be very bad.
Among others who are raising fingers at Mr.Modi’s development in Gujarat are Senior Congress leader and Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge and Rajya Sabha MP Shivanand Tiwary.
According to Mr. Kharge, the much-touted ‘Gujarat model’ of development cannot be replicated across the country as it is not aimed at ushering in inclusive growth. He alleged that the Gujarat government had given priority to big industrial houses, ignoring common people, Dalits and tribal people. Gujarat’s human development index was unimpressive. The 2011 Census showed that the literacy rate in Gujarat was only 77.3. The questions raised by Shivanand Tiwary were on similar lines.
However, much interesting were the clamis of Mr. Rahul Gandhi who called Mr Modi “Hitler” and accused him of stealing land belonging to farmers, calling him a thief. I was taken aback a little given that Mr. Gandhi has hardly ever spoken ill of other parties and I was kind of glad too that at least the young Gandhi is now doing the dirty politics too. (Can never have enough of political drama, can we?) Ridiculing Modi for his request to the people to make him the “chowkidar” of the country, Rahul said, “This man says make me the chowkidar and corruption will go. How can he be the chowkidar of India when in Gujarat he has stolen farmers’ land and gifted it to select industrialists?” Rahul added, “Chor ko chowkidar kaise bana dein?”
He also mocked Narendra Modi’s claims to eradicate corruption by reminding the people of the fact that Gujarat got Lokayukta after a decade on December 2013 only on the intervention by the Supreme Court.
The claims are numerous. Some call him a Dictator, some see him as hope that would pull our country out of the evils of inflation and the low GDP growth rate. Question is, will he? Are there any lessons from Gujarat that we, as citizens, need to learn? Isn’t it our responsibility to take some time out of our busy schedules and give this whole issue a little more thought and dig a little deeper before coming at a decision?
I am doing my bit. Are you?