Sakshi Tirthani Writes a Letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Mr. Singh,

You were trained as an economist and not as a politician. Accepted! You are not a charismatic speaker. Not everyone can be. You are downright quiet and modest. Fine! You are an obedient employee. Great!

The last one is in fact a noble quality exhibited by a very few. But nonetheless, you have to have your own stand, man (count it as my first advice).

What really irks me is that each and every time you take steps according to Sonia Gandhi’s whims and wishes. You even listen to her young and bachelor son, Rahul Gandhi (the last cabinet reshuffle).

Now since you are a good listener, hear me out too. I am young and admittedly, not very mature and smart. But I am a citizen of this nation and your decisions and policies directly and indirectly effect me.

There is no lack of advisers in the Prime Minister’s Office. Leaders like Digvijay Singh have guided the UPA like a northern star for eight years now. But if the head authority in the government doesn’t interact with people and listen to their advice, then won’t they feel ignored?

It would be a pleasure to listen to you, Sir. Other than bickering at the Parliament, haranguing at stupid rallies and during election campaigning when leaders senselessly accuse and insult the opposition leaders, we don’t hear anything much of relevance. Your policies need to be reasoned before the general public in a more serious way.

I need you to answer my one simple question- Why is the country experiencing uneven growth levels?

It is understandable that there cannot be skyscrapers sprawling in a hill-station like Shimla or big commercial plantations developing in desert region of Rajasthan.

But we have come a long way from environmental determinism to a whole range of possibilities. Development can take place in a number of ways. In desert regions, wind farms (wind farms are clusters of wind turbines that generate electricity) are more economical than agricultural farm lands.

Environmental factors do not restrict growth anymore!

Bihar, majorly known for crime, illiteracy, poor infrastructure and low development has now become India’s fastest growing state. Undoubtedly, Nitish Kumar has been the man behind Bihar’s progress story. He has been focusing on a range of reforms, from educating children and eliminating social ills to industrial and infrastructural development.

Therefore, governance–reforms as well as their implementation can boost growth considerably.

The Union government must invest in infrastructural development in North-eastern states. These states must not lag behind.

The allocation of funds by the Central government to state and local governments largely affects the region’s progress.

Areas which need special focus must be attended specially. Government must provide incentives like tax holidays, loans at lower interest rates to the industrialists for setting up industries in remote areas, desert regions, and areas of barren lands, rugged topography or unsuitable relief.

Kashmir is scourged by terrorism but government has not taken any long-term steps to resolve the issue. Implementation of Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) has taken heavy toll on many innocent people’s lives.

Ethnic conflicts in Assam and other states sharing borders with Bangladesh must be sincerely looked at. The refugees must be sent back and not provided with voter IDs. Politics should not be mixed with personal interests.

Similarly, there are certain groups which need to be especially taken care of. Scheduled Castes, scheduled tribes, women had been historically exposed to unfair treatment and discrimination. Government needs to level the playing field by providing reservations, scholarships and other more tactical forms of support to the backward and unprivileged sections.

America is home to people of different national origins. Obama in his victory speech this year said “we are an American family and we rise together as one nation and one people.”  If their President can accommodate millions of migrants from countries all over the world, then why can’t you bind the diversity belonging to your own country? People in India do speak different languages, follow different religions, and celebrate different festivals but they still share a common past.

Politicians create and maintain vote banks through divisive policies.  This is ethically wrong and goes against the spirit of healthy competition. Winning elections and gaining power are not the fundamentals that democratic politics is based on.

Elections are approaching. You must already be at your tenterhooks. But could you not avert your eyes to what common people feel and aspire about India?

Develop India holistically. An overall development would give chance to all communities from all parts of the country to come forward and contribute in India’s growth process.

And when this happens, I will know you not only heard my voice but responded to it at the same time.


Sakshi Tirthani

Image Courtesy: [The Viewspaper]

Disclaimer: The above article is the personal opinion of the author and not of the publication.