Friday, December 7, 2012

Reform but not deride politics for achieving Surajya: Dr. JP

Surajya Movement Convener Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan counseled people to strive to reform politics instead of blaming, hating and deriding politicians. The ultimate responsibility for the present pathetic state of affairs rests with voters and not the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister or law makers all of whom they elect.

Addressing a large gathering after calling off his three-day Jana Chaitnaya Nirahara Deeksha at Dharna Chowk near Indira Park here, Dr. JP said the Steering Committee of the Surajya Movement conceived the deeksha not as a protest against either the Government or political parties but as a means to educate and enlighten people on a few basic demands. Dr. JP sipped coconut water offered by Mr. Chukka Ramaiah to mark the ending of the fast and the beginning of a widespread movement for good governance.

Dr. JP said that problems in a vast country like India with 120 crore people belonging to diverse religions and castes and speaking scores of languages cannot be resolved with a magic wand. Corruption, for instance, cannot be eradicated by locking up the corrupt in a room and shooting them down.

Dr. JP, who is also national President of the Lok Satta Party, expressed happiness over leaders of all political parties and organizations expressing their support to and solidarity with the movement.

The very fact that he and others had to go on a fast underlines the failure of the political system in India. “We claim we are a vibrant democracy, comparing ourselves to China. But democracy does not lie merely in having freedom of speech and regular elections. We cannot claim we are a democracy so long as we do not empower people to address their problems at the local level as in China. In India, people cannot get even basic services without greasing the palms of officials or exerting pressure through elected representatives.” That is why the Surajya Movement seeks devolution of 10 percent of the State’s 1.5 lakh crore annual budget on village panchayats and municipal wards.

The other demands of the Surajaya Movement are institution of a strong Lokayukta at the State level, provision of quality education and healthcare to all, guaranteeing basic services to citizens as a matter of their right and replacement of the present first-past-the-post representation system by a proportional system.

Dr. JP pointed out that the present electoral system spawned a host of evils like vote buying, liquor distribution, offer of freebies and appeals to people’s primordial loyalties since the difference of a few votes makes all the difference between victory and defeat. One cannot hope to win an election unless one buys votes, although vote buying does not necessarily guarantee one’s victory.

Dr. JP underlined that people can achieve these demands if they fight together transcending party lines. He was glad that Surjya message has reached hundreds of thousands of people throughout the State because of the three-day deeksha.

Dr. advised the youth to spare at least four days in a year to spread the Surajya message and address people’s problems at the local level.

Representatives of various political parties and organizations lauded Dr. JP for bringing all of them onto a single platform and pledged to work for Surajya goals.

Among those who addressed the Surajya meeting today were: State Congress President Botsa Satyanarayana, BJP leaders Kishen Reddy and Bandaru Dattatreya, Mr. Chukka Ramaiah , Prof. K. Nageshwar, Mr. Jupudi Prabhakar Rao (YSR CP) and Mr. Dileep Kumar (TVS), all MLCs, CPI leader Chada Venkata Reddy, CPM leader Krishnaiah, TVS leade K. Dilip, TRS leader Shravan, Tripurana Venkataratnam, Aam Aadmi Party leaders, movie director Rajamouli, Tammareddi Bharadhwaz, Farmers’ Association leaders Balaram Reddy, Hanumanthu Reddy and representatives of many civil society organizations.

Mr. Kartik Chandra and P. Shivaji administered the Surajya pledge to the large gathering which included students and youth. Mr. Katari Srinivasa Rao, Coordinator of the deeksha, proposed a vote of thanks.

1 comment:

  1. Dear JP Sir,

    Are there any educational resources for common voter to understand important aspects of Indian constitution and fundamental rights. I feel it would be nice to have some easy to understand resources (videos, documents etc) to educate common man of his rights and responsibilities. May be an awareness campaign using various media (internet, channels, news papers) would be useful for common indian voter.

    Topics I can think on top of my head are,
    1) How government works (state, center). How do they get money and how it is spent.
    2) How city/district/mandal/village level government machinery works. What are their responsibilities? Why decentralization of power is not working the way it should.
    3) How to use RTI?
    4) What are my fundamental rights as voter? where should I go to get the information needed without paying any kickbacks.
    5) How the law and order and legal machinery works?
    6) Land registration basics. How it works and what should I know?
    7) Budget basics(both central, state) and responsibilities of planning commission.

    I am sure, tons of other topics will up some brainstorming and planning. It would be great to use all the creative heads at your disposal and come up with easy to understand ways to articulate these important aspects of democracy.