The Cleaning-up that India has to do on a War-footing II

The Cleaning-up that India has to do on a War-footing II

Dr. Amartya Kumar Bhattacharya

BCE (Hons.) ( Jadavpur ), MTech ( Civil ) ( IIT Kharagpur ), PhD ( Civil ) ( IIT Kharagpur ), Cert.MTERM ( AIT Bangkok ), CEng(I), FIE, FACCE(I), FISH, FIWRS, FIPHE, FIAH, FAE, MIGS, MIGS — Kolkata Chapter, MIGS — Chennai Chapter, MISTE, MAHI, MISCA, MIAHS, MISTAM, MNSFMFP, MIIBE, MICI, MIEES, MCITP, MISRS, MISRMTT, MAGGS, MCSI, MMBSI

Chairman and Managing Director,

MultiSpectra Consultants,

23, Biplabi Ambika Chakraborty Sarani,

Kolkata — 700029, West Bengal, INDIA.

E-mail: dramartyakumar@gmail.com

The Government of India has to do the following cleaning-up on a war-footing. The Government of India has to

1. Root out government servants having a criminal record. To start with, the government should dismiss and try Salil Haldar, Sujay Kumar Mukherjea, Basudeb Bhattacharyya and Koustuv Debnath, all of whom are employed as teachers at Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Shibpur, West Bengal, and all of whom have criminal records.

2. Root out bribery and corruption in government offices. Only a very small fraction of government servants are honest.

3. Demolish the conception, prevalent among most Indians, that government service implies the right to take bribes. While punishing the guilty, the government should laud the very small minority of government servants who are honest.

4. Make an earnest effort to uplift the suffering villagers of India.

5. Make sincere efforts to remove slums and ghettos in Indian cities and towns.

6. Build a government based on trust, not suspicion. At least four identity documents are prevalent in India today — Passport, Aadhaar Card, PAN Card and Voter’s Identity Card. Since, excepting a Passport, an Indian does not really need the rest, the government should abolish the unnecessary documents. Different sets of government servants are currently issuing different identity documents and taking bribes for issuing the same.

7. Recognise that widespread rigging takes place in Indian elections and make sincere efforts to root-out the same. In view of the widespread rigging prevalent now with local toughs ruling polling booths, Indian election results are devoid of any relation to the will of the people.

8. Ensure that a son inherits his father’s property. This usually does not happen now unless the son pays hefty bribes to government servants. The government must do some soul-searching and feel ashamed that a son currently finds great difficulty in inheriting his father’s shares and electricity connection — just to cite two examples.

9. Eradicate the current habit of government servants taking bribes to, for example, sanction a building plan, mutate a landed property and provide an electricity connection.

10. Simplify the procedure for getting Indian Passports. The government servants at the Regional Passport Offices must be courteous and helpful and not harass citizens as is the case today.

11. Ensure that retirement benefits are released immediately after retirement and not after four or five years. Many people get their retirement benefits between four and six years after retirement. My mother received her retirement benefits four years after her retirement. The government must punish government servants who withhold retirement benefits of retired citizens.

12. Eliminate feudalism. Corrupt government servants have taken the place of erstwhile zamindars in rural areas.

13. Eliminate the current ‘trickle-down’ economy. The government must ensure that the lower strata of Indian society is also a beneficiary of economic progress and is not left behind.

14. Remove the criminal-government servant-politician nexus. This is extremely important if India is to progress.

15. Remove the difference between ‘the rulers’ and ‘the ruled’. The government must ensure that democracy does not remain a sham and that government is truly ‘of the people, for the people and by the people’.

16. Place a greater value on human life. The government must not think that, simply because India is a populous country, a few lives lost in an accident, for example, a bridge collapse — such as the one that happened in Howrah some time back — does not matter. The government must acknowledge that every single human life is valuable.

17. Eliminate tokenism.

18. Eliminate window-dressing before a politician visits an area. The government must be sincere in its development efforts and ensure that not a single development project announced turns out to be an eyewash designed to fool the population.

19. Ensure internet access and continuous power supply in rural areas. Internet access outside of the metropolises is pitiful and power outages are common. Yesterday evening, there was a power outage at my office in Kolkata.

20. Be sensitive to the suffering of the people. The length and breadth of Kolkata is flooded during the monsoon season and no regime has done anything about it.

21. Understand that slogans like ‘Bekari hatao’ and ‘Roti, kapra aur makaan’ are useless if they remain mere slogans without any attempt to implement them. The government must ensure that the fundamental needs of the people are fulfilled.

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