I was just going through the highly thought provoking detailed article of Sanjay Bhartiya in facebook and was greatly impressed and influenced by his writing on the lifestyle and the simplistic way of living of the chief minister of Tripura Manik Sarkar and his wife who just retired as secretary of the social welfare board. Manik Sarkar who is the chief minister of Tripura since 1998 draws a meagre salary of merely Rs 9200 every month which is deposited in the CPM party fund and the party allocates him Rs. 500 for the entire month.
He washes his own clothes and so his former Secretary wife. Manik Sarkar has now crossed 65 and after tremendous reluctance as the age does not permit him to wash his own clothes his wife has bought a washing machine out of her own pension. The total expenses of the chief ministers house that includes washing of clothes to curtains etc are borne by his wife from her pension. Manik Rao and his wife travel by rickshaw and lead the life of a commoner with the bank balance of just 10 to 15 thousand Rupees at the most.
The total assest declared by this left CM of Tripura since 1998 is merely 2.5 lakh that includes a dilapidated tin shed accomodation of his late mother. Both the husband and wife have no house, no personal or government vehicle, no air conditioner, no cooler and nothing luxurious which may give an impression of a comfort living. While the chief minister is engaged for most of the hours with piles of files on his table, his wife works and stays with Asha workers for the upliftment of the poor and the economically deprived women and children.
Just imagine on the one hand you have chief ministers like Manik Sarkar believing and practising the notion of KHALI HAATH AAYE THE, KHAALI HAATH JAYENGE and working tirelessly for the overall welfare, well being and development of a backward state like Tripura and its inhabitants including tribals for the last 19 years winning every election with majority hands down and gaining peoples’ faith and confidence incessantly, on the other hand you have politicians and Yogis amassing myriad wealth and properties worth thousand and thousand of crores wearing saffron robes and appearing on television channels given hollow sermons to countrymen.
Just imagine on the one hand you have a CM with just 10 thousand Rupees as bank balance despite at the helm of the state for the last 20 years while on the other hand you have politicians and Yogi’s in saffron robes minting the assest worth more than a lakh crore in just 4 years of a little time. What a tragedy of an open democracy?
Manik Rao’s example is indeed the rarest of the rare one not only in India but globally as well.