Thursday, October 1, 2009

Educated have to put an end to politics of Plunder and populism: Dr. JP

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said today that traditional political parties have perfected their politics of plunder and populism into such a fine art that they have eminently succeeded in masking the serious crisis the State has been passing through. All enlightened and educated people have to now decide whether they would like to end this plunder and failure or content themselves with cursing politics and politicians and keeping quiet.

Interacting with the media on the eve of the party’s third anniversary, Dr. JP said that the traditional parties had turned politics into a dynastic and lucrative business enterprise. To drive his message about the plunder being indulged in by political parties, he said he had come to know that a political party, fully conscious that it had no chance of winning, pumped Rs.60 lakh from the headquarters to make its presence felt in a ZPTC election in a district. To divert attention from their plunder, traditional parties threw sops at people instead of solving their problems.

Dr. JP said despite thousands of crores of rupees being spent on rural development, villages are getting depopulated as low-skilled people migrated to urban areas in search of livelihood. In the process, the urban areas have become ghettos. The failure of rains for a couple of months has caused enormous havoc although the State recorded copious rains for five years in a row. Quality education and health care and livelihood opportunities have eluded an overwhelming majority of people. Far from addressing such fundamental problems traditional parties have mastered the art of short terms sops to conceal the gruesome ground realities.

Dr. JP said such a crisis situation could not go on forever. There would be an implosion when people ran out of their patience. He could not predict when it would take place just as none could visualize the fall of the Berlin Wall or the break-up of the Soviet Union.

“If politics has become family business and power private property, the blame lies with us the people as politicians cannot ride roughshod over us without our consent.” As during the freedom struggle, all the educated and enlightened have to take the lead in transforming politics. The Lok Satta has created a platform for the best minds and hearts of India to pursue ethical politics and policies. It has had a track record of practicing what it preaches, reconciling conflicting interests and providing creative responses to vexed and long-standing problems.

Dr. JP conceded that the Lok Satta Party as of today is constrained by lack of competent leadership, effective organization, and ethical resources. It had just started taking steps to overcome its deficiencies by introducing executive membership. It would facilitate the emergence of leadership and the raising of resources.

The party had formed ad-hoc district committees pending fresh elections. Enrolment of executive members is under way. It has launched a ‘power for people’ movement in urban areas. In the first phase, the party will identify, in each ward, the issues the urban people are facing and estimate how much it will cost to resolve them. In the second phase empowerment of people through elected ward committees, allocation of people’s tax money to a time of Rs.1000 per capita to solve the problems themselves, adequate powers, and accountability will be made into people’s demand in each ward and municipality. In the final phase, if the government does not empower citizens, a non-cooperation movement will be launched against the government.

Asked whether a sympathy wave for the Congress in the wake of Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s death would hurt Lok Satta chances in GHMC elections, Dr. JP said he was not on the look out for any alibi for the likely performance of his party. However, he felt that people should have greater sympathy for themselves since each one is a hero in his life and exists for himself. “Leaders matter only to the extent they transform lives of people. Parties and leaders exist for people, not the other way round”, said Dr. JP.

Dr. JP disclosed that he would shortly be entrusting powers and responsibilities to party leaders so that he could focus on bigger issues, once relieved of day-to-day work,

Party spokespersons Katari Srinivasa Rao, V. Laxman Balaji, Mrs. K. Gita Murthy and Mrs. Y. Ramadevi flanked Dr. JP as he interacted with the media.

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