Wednesday, October 4, 2023

System rots

Editorial 2

Looking at the political, social or economic environment of the state that is passing through the phase of disorder at the moment, it appears not a single institution has got liberty to work smoothly or cater to the public without “invisible” hindrances. And its impact can be felt on our society, which is changing fast without any check and balance, not even us noticing it. The social and economic life has deliberately been made hostage to the political issue, under the guise of which the “invisible forces” have succeeded to infiltrate the society. Today governance has become elusive, perhaps due to the decade-old conflict, misplaced state priorities, decelerating institutions, diminishing public faith, endemic corruption and system rots. In fact it can be said that one of the basic causes of conflict in our society is mis-governance, utterly corrupt, impotent and non-performing governments for some decades now. It is responsible for the persisting tragedy. It is the total failure in all parameters of governance, primarily basic policing to prevent crimes. Instead of effective policing to prevent violent crimes, the blame was conveniently shifted to the unresolved Naga issue. The crises of governance largely arise from the inability of the state to govern, in contrast to rule, which enfeebles their ability to ensure human security but strengthens inhumane governance. For palpable breach in the social contract, the State structures are unresponsive to public urgencies. Reality is that governance has taken a back seat here. The various bans imposed by the state, like liquor ban, polythene ban, etc and the massive availability of the same are self-explanatory. Public spaces, roads, lanes, by-lanes, pavements, river and stream-beds are recklessly occupied and misused by vendors, grocers, retailers, wholesalers and others. While they hold no regard to the ethical and moral values, the state machinery is defunct to stop it either. People are naturally subjected to recurring landslides and traffic jams here, there and everywhere, indicating as if the state is not in place. The arable land is fast diminishing due to road widening and constructions. Neither protective nor alternative measures are operational, which tends to marginalize the state’s self-sufficiency on the one hand and enhance its dependence on imports from other. Similarly, our traditional crafts, wood carving, shawl, etc., are precipitously perishing for changing market forces and the state’s failure to translate their protective ordinances into real practice. Thousands of customary artisans and crafts men are turning jobless for what many perceive due to misgoverned or failing, if not the failed state. Will the government do something special for their enduring sustenance? The level of public-services delivery is poor. The city roads are pathetic due to wholesome drains, dents and ditches. Power cuts continue. The infrastructure of the state power department is too weak to resist ordinary rains, downpours is too distant. The on-road power transformers are thoughtlessly exposed. The power department is sluggish to de-erect electric poles along the roads widened by the public works department. It indicates lack of departmental coordination as a deterrent to smooth traffic and transport. Market dynamics exhibits ailments. Inflation rate is high. Market regulations being virtually in-operational, commodity prices are not determined by normal supply-demand factor but rather by the whims and wishes of stockists. The oft-recurring blockades on highways due to landslides and artificially-created scarcity of commodities does the rest. Poor quality goods are sold at high prices and the adulteration level in various commodities is on steep rise due to institutional apathy. No regular checks are in place to weed out spurious medicines, eatables, and drinks from markets. Checking squads are rarely seen, leaving thereby the vendees at the mercy of the vendors. Financial accountability and system transparency is deficient. We are infamously one among the top most corrupt Indian states. Governments of all shades have shown no serious interest to reduce its extent in recruitments, appointments, constructions, industries, subsidies and other service sectors. The number of scams speaks volumes about the unscrupulous state of affairs here. Will the proposed opposition-less government undo the system rots or leave it for future governments to account for?