June 25, 2017

If Not Now, When; If Not You, Who?

Recently a close friend of mine accused me of being Anti-Modi, (Against the Government of our respected prime minister Shri. Narendra Modi). This accusation caught me by surprise, since I do not consider myself as anti-establishment. His clarification was that I should not criticize or express negative opinions against the current BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) Governments at the Center or in our State of Maharashtra.

My counter argument is that, as a Citizen of my country Bharat; I have the Constitutional Right to ask questions from my Gov ministers at every level; municipal, state or central / Union, including the Prime Minister. I also hold this very right as a Voter.

So, what are my expectations from the NaMo Government as it is popularly known?

1) Enforcement of Civil Order and Social Discipline:

NaMo has started off and is consistently pushing the ‘Swatch Bharat Abhiyan’ (Clean India Effort) since 02nd October 2014. It is now 2 years 8 months since this effort was put into action, yet except for the railway stations which are sparkling clean, the mountains of garbage on the streets of our cities and towns has not reduced even one bit, forget about being removed totally. The ministry of Urban Development has the lead in making our country garbage free and clean. It consistently fails in this effort.

The Prime Minister requests our citizens time and again; not to litter, spit, urinate or worse on the road-side or on the foot-paths. The citizens don’t care and continue defacing the country. The NaMo Government has already imposed taxes on the tax-paying community by ½%, levying the Swachh Bharat Cess (SBC) on us. But, the government is either unwilling or unable to enforce existing rules and regulations to force citizens to be follow social discipline and enforce public cleanliness. Why doesn’t NaMo repeal the SBC and take money as punitive fines from the offenders who throw garbage on the streets irresponsibly and are not prosecuted for the same?

Content.time

In the area of civil discipline; every footpath (except those in VIP areas or next to the Chief Minister’s offices) are occupied by hawkers, squatters and those with vested interests. This problem is growing rapidly and the reason behind it is the slum rehabilitation efforts. Every squatter and hawker not only expects, but demands a free house from government as if it’s their God-gifted right, which the government obliges using our tax-payer money. Here is the good part of the government playing the role of ‘Good Samaritan’ with our money and gifting houses to the poverty stricken. The recipients of this largess sell the houses in open market the moment they get an allotment and then they are back to occupying our foot-paths asking for a free house, once again. All this, while the hard-working, tax-paying middle class does not qualify to be even considered for free housing, much less being on any list or quota to receive one.

In the area of traffic control and vehicular movements, NaMo Government has basically given up even trying to enforce the law. The Motor Vehicle Act 1998; we are told, will be enhanced soon in 2016 to enable the Gov to prosecute guilty drivers severely. The Gov quietly avoids any mention of law-enforcement. At any given point or location in our country, we can see vehicles parked in no-parking zones without a care or badly parked, double-parked, or its various variations. This indiscipline hinders the flow of traffic (I am not using the words smooth flow, because it is something unknown in our country for the general public), to the point that people are stressed, delayed for no reason, more fuel is expended than is necessary and overall there is a atmosphere of despair, disgust and bad feelings. Who is responsible for this? If the primary culprits are the undisciplined drivers, then the Gov is equally responsible due to its inability or incapability to enforce the law.

Yes, my dear Government ministers and officials, it is your duty to “enforce” the law, not make it optional for people to decide whether to obey the laws or not.

Maybe the Gov can start with ensuring that traffic police actually do some work of traffic law enforcement while on duty, rather than sit on their Gov issued motor-cycles, keep busy with their mobile phones and fleece money from sundry commercial vehicles that come across their paths. Traffic control duty should not be restricted to ensuring the smooth flow of VVIP movements where a fleet of vehicles with red flashing lights and sirens go by at high speed as traffic cops push the other vehicles towards the side of the road. When the VVIP convoy vanishes, so do the cops. Add to this rash driving of vehicles by general public, driving on the wrong side of the road, driving at excessive speeds that result in multiple deaths of innocents and driving vehicles on the foot-paths if there is some space available. It is not only the supporters of NaMo and the vote-bank of BJP who are fed-up of Gov inaction on this issue; but every person on the roads is fed-up because their needs are being blissfully ignored by the NaMo Gov at Center and State levels.

2) Appeasement of Muslims:

The NaMo Government has followed the policy of Muslim appeasement as rigorously as the earlier Government of the other political parties. After the fire and brimstone lectures about “Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas” (Everybody together, everybody’s Progress) prior to being elected, the NaMo Government is quietly avoiding any mention about the Uniform Civil Code, removal of Article 370 with reference to Kashmir and is in the process of introducing Sharia Banking in Gujarat, which may be extended to other States as well.

Islamic Bank Slideshare

To know more about Sharia banking in India please click here . Apart from this development under the Narendra Modi Gov, Muslims have been running a parallel judicial system in this country under Sharia Law. The Supreme Court of India has already ruled that “No religion is allowed to curb anyone’s fundamental rights,” stating further that Indian Law does not recognize Sharia Court rulings. Read more about this ruling here.

sharia law

Since Sharia law is allowed for Muslims, then why not a Court System perhaps under the interpretations of the Shrimad Bhagwat Gita for the Hindus? What if the Jewish community; which has been recognized as a ‘minority’ community by the Government of Maharashtra, demands that they be allowed to run their own judicial system as per the Halakha (which are the collective body of Jewish religious laws derived from the Written and Oral Torah)? Will the NaMo Government allow this? If not, then why the special treatment towards the Muslim community?

And most importantly; does this not weaken the letter and spirit of the ‘Constitution of India’ that states in the preamble that “Equality of Status and of opportunity and to promote all Fraternity assuring dignity of the individual……” which on-paper assures every citizen the “three dimensions of Equality – Political, Economic and Civic”?

3) Enforcement of Law and Order across the Nation:

Whether it is prominently the States of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Kerala and Bengal; as well as the other States, law and order situation is becoming grim on a daily basis. The voters had expected that improving the law & order situation would be a priority for the NaMo Government and there would be an effort to train the police, increase their personnel strength and treat them as human beings. Unfortunately, apart from stating now and then that ‘Law and Order’ is the responsibility of the respective State, the Union Government has not contributed positively towards the safety of citizens. Speeches by the Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh about flexing muscles which seem non-existent, does not impress the voters and neither do they scare the criminals or prevent crime. The Voters want action on-the-ground and this has not happened. The usual excuses will not work because they are no longer acceptable by the Voters.

swapsushias.blogspot

The reality is that we have an extremely serious problem of lack of enforcement of Law & Order; be it in the areas of crime, social responsibility or civic duties. Pleading and requesting will not work. Criminal prosecution, monetary penalties and enforcement of existing laws without fear and favor are required; because this was one reason why Shri. Narendra Modi was elected Prime Minister by voters across all the social strata.

My two questions to the Prime Minister are:

(1) If not you, then who? and,

(2) If not now, then when?

Jai Hind. Vande Mataram !

Twitter: @sanjaymatkar

Pics courtesy: (1) Content.time, (2) Slideshare.net, (3) Swapshuhais.blogspot (4) Swachh Bharat and (5) Dailymail.co.uk