Thursday, July 18, 2024

Renewed hope

We are now into another year – 2021. Last year is over, but not actually over. The pandemic and the devastating consequences that the entire humanity faced from the beginning of the year 2020 are yet to come to an end. The effects of the pandemic have been so devastating that it will take much time for the world to recover. Indeed 2020 was a year of disease, loss of work, poverty, death, confusion. And reflection. In the social realm, the virus showed us our places. In the economic sphere, we got to learn how silly and fragile our idea of economic progress and finance was. In the family domain, we got to cherish what we didn’t otherwise value. In the realm of philosophy, we were made to realize how inconsequential we actually were. In the reflection rooms of great minds, people got to do some serious rethinking about the course of human progress. And hopefully our rulers in the state, particularly the Chief Minister, also have had some reflection on how to usher change for the better in the state, particularly on the development and governance fronts from this year onwards. Sure resuscitating the plagued governance is not less than a Herculean task. The governance that has over the decades been rigorously derogating needs determination and perseverance. Ensuring punctuality and regularity of government functionaries at the work place should be the first step in this direction. Perhaps top state leaderships should initiate surprise inspection of government offices to curb this menace. Though surprise visits would sound alarm bells for the defaulters and therefore help in putting the governance on the right track, much more needs to be done to streamline the rotten administrative mechanism and create a compassionate and development friendly work culture. For effective and enduring redemption of the system, a comprehensive governance audit plan needs to be in place. In its move to treat the infested governance, consolidated efforts aimed at unearthing the malpractices in the administrative functioning, exposing the misdemeanors of major as well as minor nature, identifying corrupt officials (including politicians, of course) and initiating stern action against the erring people are imperative on the part of the government. Correspondingly, the systemic loopholes discovered during the process should be plugged to avoid recurrence. Eradicating (or at least minimizing) corruption has wide ranging implications. The epidemic not only eats up the vitals of the state’s hard raised financial resources but is obviously a significant source of most of the socio-ethical and economic evils. Besides, a governance free of corruption would obviously accentuate the administrative functionality and as such set the tune for developmental works. Another major concern of the people is the poor civic infrastructure. Our state perhaps is possibly at the bottom as far as development and infrastructure index is concerned in the country. Besides embarking upon major infrastructural projects especially power, the government must pay immediate attention to the improvement of the basic civic facilities. In particular, improvement of road connectivity, drainage and sewage system, waste management, and water and power supply should be up in the priority list of the government. Our people want good governance and they deserve to be provided with the same. In quest of this agenda, the Chief Minister is certain to confront a few challenges and undoubtedly the biggest of them are the compulsions of coalition politics. Hopefully he will prevail in the interest of our people. After the sufferings of last year and before, the browbeaten people of this state cautiously hope that they shall find a let up in the protracted anguish and pain and hence live their dreams. As we are now into another year, cynics, quoting complex history and what not, might tell us that 2021 is going to be even more bad. Hopefully it won’t be so. For now, human ingenuity and hope for the better seem to have begun to prevail over COVID-19. The roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination across the country, including our state, from Saturday (January 16) will hopefully bring an end to the COVID nightmare that we all underwent last year. In the meantime, let us continue to follow the basic protection guidelines: wear mask, wash hands and maintain distance.