It was on 9th November, 2000 that Uttarakhand acknowledged the constitutional recognition as the separate state. It is on this very day every year since then that the successive and the current governments have been celebrating this day with with complete fanfare using the tax payers’ money by way organising government functions and issuing advertisements highlighting their so called inflated achievements to impress the innocent electorates and protagonists in and outside Uttarakhand.
The two major national parties Congress and BJP have ruled this state turn by turn during the last more than one and a half decades n the latter is still at the political and administrative helm since the last eight months. I also wish to convey you all my heartiest greetings on the 18th foundation day after completing the 17 tumultuous n challenging years after its official formation in the year 2000 after so much of sacrifices and relentless struggles and thousands of activists going to jail after tremendous torture, physical, mental and psychological.
On this day the government of the state, its chief minister and his cabinet colleagues also get a golden opportunity to put forth their so called achievements and the news analysts a reason to asses the successes and failures of the political outfit in power. However it is an open secret that people of Uttarakhand have witnessed 8 chief ministers during the 17 year rule and number of scandals with no single politician going to jail for alleged corruption.
Thanks to the successive governments for their failure in appointing a state LOKAYUKT , despite ample and umpteen commitments. The electorates have always been kept on dark on pivotal issues of health, employment, quality education, their socio economic and all round development during all these years and the unholy nexus between the politicians, corrupt bureaucracy, liquor, land, building, illegal mining and forest mafia always had their fullest say. Even the finacial aid meant for the welfare and well being of the tragic Kedarnath victims of June 2013 have been embezelled.
If honestly anybody have been outrightly benefitted at the instance of achieving statehood 17 years ago, they are obviously and undoubtedly the politicians and the above unholy nexus whereas the families of the real and hard core Uttarakhand movement activists are in immense financial mess.
The politicians have allegedly amassed huge wealth, property and heavy bank balance with bright political future to be conveniently carried forward by their sons and daughters. The pivotal issues of appointment of Lokayukt, capital Gairsain, employment generation, decentralized all round development at the block level has taken the back seat and instead people are being misled under the populist slogans like ” Selfie in your village and Raibaar (message ) by organising highly ostentatious government events without the adequate participation of the village populace and the people who actually matter.
There is complete lack of participatory democracy in the development process of the state. What have we achieved during the last years? Is it the staggering fiscal deficit of 42000 crores. Massive migration of 32 lakh people. Locks in 2.5 lakh village houses. 3000 villages devoid of population . About 2.5 thousand schools closed in the interiors. Hospitals devoid of doctors, compounders, equipments and basic medicines. Lot more is there to be said but time and space is the constrained.
SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM