Sunday, April 13, 2014

Politics of development is as narrow as the politics of secularism and communalism.

Modi is riding the development wave. He and BJP has successfully created this common perception over the past decade that politics now should be played on development and that BJP has the lone copyright on 'development'. The most common instance given are the roads of Gujarat to prove development, then the Tata Nano plant and then the opinion that most Gujarati (s) are rich.

I was convinced about the need for development, and the need for politics to be based on development and progress. I liked BJP for taking that plank. (However, I never liked Modi read this blog). In offices and in various dinner parties, development was the most discussed topic.

Over a lot of dinner table discussions, media reports and my own research, I realized that nobody has defined the measurement of development. For a Capitalist, development means something completely opposite to what it means to a Socialist, or a Leftist. Development means a certain thing for a salaried employee, and it means something else for a self-employed. Development carries a certain perception for urban population, and means something completely different for the rural population.

Today, Congress in Assam has released a full page advertisement on the most widely circulated Assamese daily - Pratidin. It says, "Reality of Gujarat in comparison to Assam". The ad signs off saying, "Action speaks louder than words". It gives various statistics to prove that indeed Gujarat is much lesser developed than Assam. One of the point says, "For every 100 sq. kms, Assam has 308.26 kms of road whereas Gujarat has 79.68 kms of road only".

This advertisement may fool the people of rest of India, but not the people living and suffering in Assam. This ad has clarified in my mind that 'development' politics is no different from 'secularism' politics. Both are shallow, mis-leading, corrupt in their meanings and mere vote led politics.

Some Statistics shown in the Ad

  1. For every 100 sq. kms, Assam has 308.26 kms of road whereas Gujarat has 79.68 kms of roads only.
  2. Women in reserved seats: Assam (33.3%) Vs Gujarat (14.7%)
  3. Per 100 boys going to school: Assam (100 girls) Vs Gujarat (85 girls)
  4. Farmers with loan debt: Assam (18.01%) Vs Gujarat (51.09%)
  5. Hunger Index: Assam (4th) Vs Gujarat (13th)
  6. Allotment for Rural development: Assam 3.13% vs Gujarat 2.80%
  7. Allotment for Health and Medicine: Assam (4.8%) Vs Gujarat (4.6%)
  8. Health Development Index: Assam (3rd) Vs Gujarat (13th)
  9. Education Development Index: Assam (23.25%) Vs Gujarat (12.7%)
  10. Loan NPA: Assam (29200 crs) Vs Gujarat (176500 crs)
Please note that this blog is NOT IN SUPPORT of CONGRESS. This is only to prove that we all can bluff on development. Even the most corrupt Congress Govt. in Assam can. It is primarily because development has no standard definition.

Corruption on the other hand has been given a definition by AAP. It is primarily segmented into two categories: Exploitative corruption and Mutual corruption. Exploitative corruption is the kind where the common public feels exploited, but is helpless to just accept it. So only one of the party benefits. Mutual corruption is the kind where both or all the parties involved are benefitting from the transaction. There is a third party or the country which is getting the hit.

Corruption not only takes away tax money meant for welfare, but also creates inefficiencies all across the economic and social value system. The most critical negative side effect of corruption is the effect it has on the character and morality of a society. It has a lot of indirect effects as well. For instance, the standard of driving and traffic skills is the poorest in the district where the department issuing licenses is most corrupt.

If we can reduce corruption either through fear or through awareness by 50%, Govt. expenditures will become 50% more effective and development will increase by over 50% automatically.

It is time that we understand what each of the political parties are saying in the real sense of the term. We should discuss, read and spread awareness. We have seen enough political promises and we have got cheated enough number of times by the ruling class.

It is time we vote for a party which is created by the Aam Aadmi with a clear focus on the common man. With Swaraj Bill and the Jan Lokpal Bill, it will bring power to the grassroots and thereby reduce mutual corruption in the ruling class. Jan Lokpal Bill will create necessary fear in the bureaucracy and the Govt offices and thereby reduce exploitative corruption.

Support AAP. Join AAP. Donate for a corruption free Assam, and India.


  1. Funny, sad, crazy, I cannot categorize this joke by Congress. But whatever it may be it is a pathetic one, that’s for sure. I fully agree with you, that numbers and statistics can be arranged and projected in any manner to suite ones argument. Truth is what actually is visible.
    What I am not in agreement is that Assam needs Kejriwal led AAP rather than Modi (I am not talking BJP). Kejriwal and his taking Delhi metro to reach his office, taking a two bed room flat etc. are histrionics that reminds me of Gandhian way of fighting for independence. Gandhian philosophy, with due regards to Mr. Gandhi doe sound nice but does not work.
    You cannot fight a battle with empty stomach. To wage war against anything you must fill your coffer first. Development has to be the first priority. There is more development in Gujarat, your dinner table discussions and not liking Modi not withstanding!
    We Assamese need to fight corruption. Let’s assume Kejriwal does the magic and we have a corruption free Assam. Then where do we go from there? Back to the same old state where agricultural/industrial development is almost zero.
    When an army is strong with its arsenal, it has more chances to win. Modi on the helm of the government may do much better for Assam then ‘anasan’ and rally stricken Kejriwal.

    1. As Aamir Khan would say, we are all crorepatis. The problem is not about funds available for welfare and development. The problem is in the intent. The problem lies in our society being dominantly dishonest. Secondly, Kejriwal is not AAP. He and a few people concretized an idea for the people to take it forward. In Assam, we are taking it forward.

      You are right that battle cannot be fought on empty stomach. However we refuse to fill our coffers with black unaccounted money. We also don't agree that elections should need so much money. In Assam, we have an economic agenda to take forward our concept of honesty in politics. If an American apple can be sold in Duliajan, why can't an Assamese papaya be sold in America? Through various economic and social activities, we will gather our grassroot workers, not by paying money earned via corruption.

      Development is indeed the first priority. Lets first define development. If we take roads, why roads are not built on time and properly? If we take medical facilities, why are doctors and medicines not available in public dispensaries? If we take schools, why don't we have teachers and students in Govt schools where you get free primary education? If we take private investments, why aren't we creating a business friendly eco-system? The answer to all this is corruption, my dear friend. When you say, you have a corruption free Assam, please realize the implication of the same. According to some estimates, if we can reduce corruption by 50%, we will be richer than American. Similarly, Assam will be numero uno in most parameters.

      Development cannot happen if we do not fight corruption and the corrupted mindset.


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