HT headlines that read ‘Rahul Gandhi gets ready for
rediscovery of India’ indeed prompted me to write an open letter to you. After many
such ‘rediscovery of India’ trips that you have undertaken it has been nothing more
than a mockery of the legacy of ‘Discovery of India’.
Social Media, Main Stream, Voters, Panelist on debates,
Right-wingers, Political opponents all are feasting on INC Leadership and particularly
you, and somehow you choose ‘rediscovery of India’ path!
INC its staring at the Leadership for direction and
all you plan to do is an ‘Incredible’ India tourism campaign? Don’t be fooled
when some of the ‘bright stars’ in the party claim that if Indira could do it
so can Rahul, even though I believe you have many qualities of Indira and she
has been your inspiration, it’s fair to say that you are NO Indira and 1970's India is not 2014 India.
I am not interested in giving my views on why INC ended
up with 44 MP, just 6 less than the maximum WhatsApp group count, nor I am willing
to blame UPA-2 for what it did or did not do. Because, no one drives a car just
staring at the rear view mirror, a rear view mirror is only to learn from the
past and be aware of what is behind you. It’s time to look ahead, make a fresh
start, but sadly there seems to be no concrete efforts made in that direction.
It’s given that you will be under the worst scrutiny
ever, both internally and externally and it’s not going to get any better for
you for a long time. The Leaders in INC are having a ‘party’ literally, pouncing,
scratching and prowling at each other leaving the workers in a state of shock
or worst running for cover.
Do not forget, over 10.7 crore people voted for INC,
its time INC kept its commitment to these people who stood by the party even
when it was staring at a brutal loss. Make a shift, ask these 10.7 crore people
why they voted for INC, may be their conviction can help you steer INC in the
right direction and help to ‘Recode’ INC.
Buzz is that there will more emphasis on PR,
Communication, SM, Media interactions etc etc, yes all these can be achieved by
bringing in professionals to manage it, ok good, but is that all one needs to
do? No, INC has to bring back its sympathizers, believers, liberals, anti-right-wingers,
traditional supporters, the disillusioned and more importantly women back into
Yes democratization of IYC and NSUI is something
you should be proud of, but are they heading in the right direction? May not be,
IYC and NSUI that should have been an army of political activist, free thinkers,
idealist, young minds who feel the pulse of young India and who represent the
ideology of INC, sadly they reflect the same shade of the larger organization which
you are finding difficult to change.
INC biggest supporters were the women, for whom
Indira Gandhi has been an inspiration, but the organization has failed them
completely. Local leadership across states has systematically decimated the
women leaders and workers. It’s unimaginable how a party headed by an inspiring
woman like Sonia Gandhi has no credible and strong line of women leaders, if
this is not failure what else can it be?
I too come from a family of political activist and hardcore
INC supporters, all my life I have seen elections, where working professionals used
to take leave from work and campaign selflessly for INC in every election.
Where did these professionals go? What made these professionals go away, many
may not have changed their ideology but they have simply distanced themselves from
the local leadership. In corporate world we say that people do not quit organization,
they quit managers, and it is not different from what happened to these professionals
who were the greatest supporters of INC.
I am emphasizing again and again on the local leadership
and grassroots level, because whoever becomes the President of INC nothing will
change unless the foundation is ‘Recoded’. There is an urgency to move from
mere tokenism to activism, money to mechanism and to bring back idealism into
the organization. It can only happen if every member in INC is empowered to
question and correct the leadership at all levels without being politically banished.
India has changed and INC can’t keep on romancing
history, but there are many things that are eternal, which INC stood for - free
thinking, idealism, conviction, liberal view, social justice, equality and
fearlessness, and Recoding INC will be incomplete without this.
My nasty comments on you are not an indication of
disbelief in your capabilities, recently when someone asked if your sister is a
better bet for INC, I firmly said with a bloody nose, battered and bruised image
RG is more equipped to lead INC. I am indeed a supporter of your Leadership; I strongly
believe you are Sincere, Honest and someone who has the Heart in the right
As they say it’s the Generals who win the war through
Strategy-Delegation-Deployment. Stop applying lipstick on pigs; bring in the
Generals who can deliver, who are committed to the ideology of INC.
Don’t wait for political opponents and parties to
make mistakes, winning a ‘For’ vote is more reassuring than winning an ‘Against’
vote. A golden opportunity has presented itself, it’s the 125 birth anniversary
year of the first Prime Minister of our Nation there cannot be a better day to
start Recoding INC. Indeed there can be no greater tribute to Pandit Nehru
than restoring INC as a party of and for every Indian.
Quoting for an old advertisement that I think is
apt for Recoding INC ‘To change the way you Look, change the way you Cook’.
Clean drinking water is still a great challenge
in India; in 2008 96% of Urban Indian and 84% of Rural India had access to
improved water, averaging to 88% which is a drastic improvement from 72% in 1990.
But unfortunately 67% of Indian
households do not treat their drinking water, even though it could be
chemically or bacterial contaminated, thereby increasing the vulnerability to
water borne diseases.
Clean drinking water is directly linked
to health of the nation, lesser diseases would only mean a healthier and more
productive human resource, and hence access to clean drinking water cannot be a
privilege for the few but should a Right for all.
Many innovative approaches have been
taken to improve the quality of drinking water in India, one such innovative
step that has see a large scale success is the Any Time Water (ATW) project
initiated by Sri HK Patil in Gadag few years ago.
Taking cue from Gadag success
Kanakapura MLA and current Energy Minister Sri DK Shiva Kumar undertook a large
scale implementation of ATW’s under the banner of DKS
Charitable Institution Trust in every single Panchayat of Kanakapura Assembly
constituency and later extended to several parts of Bengaluru Rural.
Over the last 7-8
months my visits to Bengaluru Rural on various projects gave me a first hand information of the working of the swanky ATWs in most remote Panchayats. The
citizens are happy that at a drop of just Rs 1
into the vending machine they are getting 10 liters of clean drinking water. Many
of them said that they are demanding more ATW’s in Panchayats where there are more number of
villages. It is indeed commendable that the access to clean
drinking water has almost become a Right in this part of the country.
Success is indeed contagious; off late few Bengaluru Urban MLA’s are
making an earnest attempt to replicate the model in their constituencies, and
why not with urban poor almost at an alarming 25-30% clean drinking water is
the least one could provide to ensure that urban poor do not spend their
earning on medical bill due to diseases arising for unsafe/contaminated water.
Every BBMP ward has its fair share of
lesser privileged and poor population and efforts should be made to provide clean
drinking water accessible in these urban pockets/areas. In wake of hike in
BWSSB supplied water and linking of usage and making it slab based, access to
low cost rather no cost clean drinking water for the urban poor will be a
logical and right step.
Elected representative should indeed
push the drinking water project aggressively and effectively in their
respective Assembly segments and Wards making clean drinking water accessible
to urban poor in their locality.
A well planned localized monitoring and
distribution mechanism to avoid misuse will go a long way in truly
democratization of clean drinking water.
I also urge the citizen groups, RWA’s,
political activists and NGO’s to take an active role and emphasize the need to
provide clean drinking water for a better and healthier India.
Also published in Jagran City Plus, HSR Layout on 15th Nov 2014 - Click
increase in incidents of crime against girl children in school is not only
appalling but also extremely shameful. It’s unimaginable that predators are committing
sexual crimes on girl children as young as 3 years. Does it indicate a decline
in our social values or is it that the schools are failing in their
responsibility to ensure safety for children?
is an urgent need for action and to set up a process for ensuring a Safe
Environment for children in school, and it should be on top of the agenda.
Since all the incidents of crime on girl children are occurring in the school
premise the school authorities should be made accountable, they no more can shy
away from the responsibility of ‘Safety’.
of Karnataka on 23rd July 2014 sent out a circular putting out the
Guidelines & Safety Measures that Schools have to follow, and ensure safety
for children at schools. The Guidelines & Safety Measures also has a
Standard Operating Procedure that needs to be followed to prevent crimes, and an
Action Plan how to deal with the crime if it occurs.
Guidelines & Measures includes the role of Parents, School Management,
Relevant Department and Police at each stage. The last date to implement the
Guidelines & Safety Measures was 31st Oct 2014, and
unfortunately many schools have not implemented the Guidelines & Safety
Youth Congress (IYC) Karnataka has initiated a 3 day long audit (from 5th
Nov) of all the schools in Bengaluru, with a single focus ‘to ensure safety for
children at school’. IYC teams along with Civil Society Members and
Volunteers are spread across the city, they will visit schools with a
check-list of Guidelines & Safety Measures, understand the extent of implementation
and compliance. All non-compliances will be reported to the nearest police
station and a complaint will be filed against the school. IYC will also submit
a detailed report on compliance to the State Government for further action.
Education and Safe Environment’ for children has to be everyone’s
responsibility, schools have to play a major role in ensuring the Safety of
children on their premises. School is a temple of learning and at no cost the
schools should compromise on the Safety of the children. Parents admit their
children in a school to ensure a better future and the better future cannot be
scared by the ugly face of crime on them.
initiative taken by the IYC team is indeed commendable and a public
participation to make these kinds of events will indeed send a strong message
to non complainant schools and to the perpetrators of crime on children.
a better City, State and Nation ‘A Check for Child Safety’ is a must and
its time the schools are transparent and keep open the process for audit on an
ongoing basis and not as a onetime initiative.
- Kavitha Reddy
Also appeared in City Plus HSR Layout edition 8th Nov 2014 Click here