Indian society's paradox with its civilization and today's governance

Dr VK Bahuguna

(Author is a former civil servant)
The Modi government had comfortably won the vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha just before mid-night on 20th July with some comic theatrics by Rahul Gandhi and PM's solid punches for the opposition. However, it also shows that politicians of all hues have least respect for the contemporary serious issues that afflict Indian society like rampant corruption and loot of resources, inhuman psychology and degradation of moral values and ultimately rule of law becoming a jungle raj in many spheres of public life. Take the example of Sahberi's six floor building collapse on 17th July night killing 9 innocent people and an entire family perished just after a house warming party in the Noida Extension in the National Capital Region. The place is around 30 kilometer away from the parliament house and seat of national power where the animated discussions were going on three days after this gruesome tragedy  for the governance of this country of 125 crore people.
The conscience of the people of India had been in coma for most of the time when such serious crimes are committed. Otherwise, how come the locals of Sahberi were seen collecting the iron rods from the site of collapsed building? In any other country the parliament must have passed a condolence message and judiciary must have taken a suomoto action on this tragedy. This is a failure of not only the system of governance but the moral values of the society have gone to docks. The misuse and over exploitation of natural resources is already bringing the furry of disasters every year with increasing intensity and more and more horizontal spread. 

The inhuman ill treatment of animals and elderly, rapes and murderers roaming free have sullied the so called civilizational superiority of India. The collapse of the six stories building in Noida shows that India is not far from becoming a banana republic which is ruled by the mafias masquerading as governing agents and social workers. There are several other multi-story buildings in Sahberi villages which have come up illegally and in complete connivance with officers and politicians of Utter Pradesh. For last many years any tom dick and harry could become a builder by bribing Noida authority and bank officials. Today a large number of flat owners numbering round 50,000 are suffering the fraud committed by Amrapali's Anil Sharma and JP builders who are even playing truant with Supreme Court and no one form governments except fruitless meetings helping the poor flat owners.

The illegal residential constructions are not a new phenomenon in our country as the politicians and bureaucrats have been doing it since past many years especially in Delhi and other major cities only to regularize them during election time. In many cases the illegal encroachments of forest lands have been regularized routinely in the past before elections and large chunks of forests have been bartered away in the grab of Forest Rights Act 2006 giving this good Act a bad name.  However, illegality with criminal intentions for solely earning money is the real cause of concern in today's society as those who indulge in it are sure of their getting scot free with the help of officials who are charged with implementing the laws. 

It is mind boggling that a builder constructs a six story building by mixing the sand and cement in 20:1 ratio as against the recommended 4:1 (this was revealed by the National Disaster Response Force undertaking the rescue operation). The other buildershad also constructed several similar six story buildings in the area and even encroaching on the roads. Yet another builder fakes construction of sewer line by digging pits to fool the gullible flat owner who is looking for a cheap flat. The whole basement area was full of water and sewer. An entire brigade of corrupt engineers, staff and other senior officers of Noida were gleefully registering these building and putting people in the standing coffins. They have no qualm about doing this as they never bat an eye lid to be happy hunter with these elements.
There is a saying 'you get the government you deserve'. It will be however, over simplification to only blame the officials and politicians. The fundamental issue is the rot starts from the family as children are never taught value education and about culture as the parents and children are glued to televisions and mobile sets. The people of Delhi and NCR region were a month ago presented a gift in the form of a 130 long km world class Eastern Peripheral Highway when the Prime Minister Modi inaugurated it. 

It is a shame that the local people have stolen the steel, solar lights and other articles just after 15 days of its inauguration worth 3 crore Rupees. This reflects on the mentality of our citizens and no government can work smoothly if the citizens do not behave as civilized citizens. But then when a Chief Minister vacates the residence after ransacking it, it becomes an example for the lesser mortals.
Europe is a fine example of social upheaval from barbaric street fight to a perfect social order. The Renaissance of the 12th&13th century was a period of many changes in the field of social, political and economic changes, which resulted in tremendous  intellectual revitalization of Europe with strong scientific roots. These changes later on resulted in achievements in the field of literary, science and artistic movements and ultimately the scientific developments of the 17th century.

India needs a mass based movement to uproot the poisonous present philosophy of life best exemplified by the behaviour of our leaders. Indian governance needs drastic changes and as disclosed by none other than Prime Minister Modi himself that Indian banks disbursed 52 lakh crore loans from 2009 to 2014 compared to 18 lakh crore disbursed since independence till 2008 it is high time that leaders of all political parties must sit together and adopt a national charter of governance so that there is a consensus for national building. 

All ills in administration happen when the top starts sending wrong signals. In the meanwhile, Utter Pradesh government should immediately dissolve the Noida and such other authorities as it is because of them the people are suffering as the system has become incorrigible and order arrest of all officers responsible for Sahberi building collapse. 

The central government must make negligence by officials as a cognizable punishable offence and set up fast track court to deal with such cases along with summary dismissal of such people. There are umpteen number of grossly unfair decisions and misuse of power by officers of the level of Secretary  under the government of India and being rewarded for their such actions sends an induction effect lower down and the whole system get vitiated. 

The reforms in punishing such people must be started from Delhi and the Prime Minister must take an avid interest in this to set the ball rolling for other government leaders.Our future cannot depend upon the government alone. The ultimate solution lies in the attitude and actions of Indian people (1100 words).

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