Thursday, January 27, 2022

Buffering Bengaluru 2.0

Does Silicon Valley of India need a new version? Over 1.2 crore Bengalureans surviving traffic jams in 750 Sq Kms, the new BBMP Act that missed a golden opportunity to set a vision to make Bengaluru a Sustainable World class City, the failing BBMP Administration, unwillingness of the Government to empower BBMP as per the 74th Amendment, inability to stop MLAs interference in City Administration, deteriorating living conditions, yet we are Proud Bengalureans.

Bengalureans have always led the change, but a city that has a glorious History, unparallel Heritage, thriving Citizen Activism and cutting-edge Innovation has been struggling to revive its visionless City Administration.

Rampant Corruption, misuse of power by MLAs has left the City Finances in doldrums, and as the BBMP Elections approaches can Bengaluru really burst this bubble and bring in change remains an important question. No doubt that Bengaluru deserves Competent Corporators and Clean Administration, and this time it’s the Citizens turn to lead the Political Change.

Citizen Groups of Bengaluru have always fought for a Better City, Activists have been vocal about their demands for Bengaluru but none took a plunge to contest elections all these years, and now the trend is changing for Better.

Organizations like KHHSP RWA, White Field Rising, Right for Road, Citizens For Bengaluru, Hasiru Mithra, Change Makers Kanakapura Road and more active RWAs have been in the forefront of Citizen Activism not only questioning the Authorities for all the wrongs but also working with the Authorities to make the City Administration more accountable. 

Emergence of organizations like Bengaluru Political Action Committee (B.PAC) that have trained over 300 Civic Leaders under its flagship initiative BCLIP (B.PAC Civic Leadership Incubation Program) has created a huge pipeline of candidates that B.PAC and other Civic Organizations may find suitable to endorse for the future elections.

BCLIP objective has been to train and support talented individuals who wish to transform their city by contesting elections and getting elected as Corporators. Civic Leaders are equipped with Skills in Public Policy, Civic Administration and have the ability to bring in Transparency and Accountability into the system.

The Election that directly impact the daily lives of any Bengalurean are the BBMP Elections and its time Voters detached it from Assembly and Lok Shaba Elections frame and be clear about what they want for their Wards and City. For a Better City Administration, it’s the Competent Candidate and not the Party that should be on the top of the agenda of every Citizen or Voter.

The Quality of the Candidates fielded by the Political Parties have been deteriorating and it reflects in the City Administration. Proxies, Contractors, Criminals, Strong Men, Money Bags who lack commitment for the city nor have a Vision flood the City Council in each Elections, lack of quality candidates or alternates has always been the excuse for the Voters.

With more awareness about BBMP Election, need for more Citizen participation and the hope that a huge number of Civic Leaders and Activists are already preparing to contest in the BBMP Election, we can now hope Bengaluru 2.0 can be a reality if quality candidates reach the Council in 2022.

Kavitha Reddy
Activist, AICC Member & KPCC Spokesperson
(views expressed are in personal capacity)