Ten ‘commandments’ for Mamata government
The Trinamul Congress government should know that the euphoria surrounding their victory against the Left in Bengal would soon be replaced with clamour for a just government. The following are “ten commandments” I suggest for the party to live up to people’s expectations:
» Identify sycophants and avoid them
It is difficult for most leaders to avoid sycophants, as everyone loves praise for himself/herself. The coterie fulfils this need and its members hardly inform leaders about their failings. Sycophancy must be fought along with other political ills.
» Depoliticise institutions
Schools, universities, hospitals and police have become intensely politicised in Bengal. The government should safeguard the institutions from being politicised.
» Build an ethical leadership
Ethics could be an important factor in creating, defending and enhancing faith in the government. Political leaders are well aware of the importance of ethical behaviour. Efforts must be made to gradually internalise it.
» Work for value-added politics
During the last Assembly election campaign, people observed how leaders unabashedly used distasteful language, made wild allegations, showed a rancorous attitude and, above all, indulged in personal attacks. The precedents set are alarming. The government should rise above narrow political interests and attempt at bringing about conceptual and attitudinal changes towards the Opposition.
» Improve work culture, shun mediocrity
Bengal’s work culture has remained an impediment to its development. A cloud of mediocrity seems to have crippled Bengal. Hence, drastic improvement in productivity, especially in the public sectors, is crucial to prevent a further slide in Bengal’s competitiveness.
» Establish accountability
Establishing accountability in general in government-run offices is a colossal task. The desire to improve comes from self-motivation and the source of such motivation is the seriousness of the ruling political establishment.
» Build government-people relationship
The government should focus on building a healthy relationship between the state and its citizens. E-governance, coupled with other pro-people measures, could enhance the communication process.
» Eradicate corruption
Corruption is the hideous facet of poor governance. Political will is the key to eradicate corruption. Let there be a code of ethics that require all elected representatives to declare their assets every two years. Subsequently, the government can set clear policies and stipulate zero tolerance to ensure good practices all over.
» Walk the talk
Strategic objectives as reflected in the manifestos drive every government. Defining those objectives enables individuals to understand the government’s goals.
The leaders’ exhortations to people ring false when their subsequent actions contradict their words. Therefore, in an ideal situation, policy-makers must walk the talk to build the confidence of the masses.
» Prevent exploitation
Exploitation of any nature and degree demean human value. The new government must deal with the deep-rooted causes to alleviate sufferings of the victims of exploitation.
In conclusion, what is needed is clarity of vision and purpose and commitment to serve people.
general manager, International Centre, Goa
Malaise of taxi refusal
The report “Meter malaise at station gateways”, May 30, pointed out how the taxi services in the city has worsened over the years. Earlier, in 2004, I remember several taxis standing in queue outside stations, ready to take passengers in share mode or on meter.
Taxi drivers have now formed a cartel to overcharge passengers right in front of the police, who choose to look the other way. Such lawlessness has gradually crept into many spheres in the state. We all look forward to the present government to take remedial measures fast. The expectation is more in this case because a taxi union president now happens to be a minister.
Suman Sankar Dasgupta,
Kudos to Metro for highlighting the plight of commuters at the hands of taxi drivers in and around the city.
It is unfortunate that authorities at the airport and the railway stations, the police and union leaders turn a blind eye to passenger problems, encouraging the proliferation of touts and making it a nightmare for passengers to find a taxi on the city roads.
One hopes this chronic malady would be dealt with an iron hand by the present administration led by chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
The report “Steel in braveheart’s spine”, May 24, was a source of joy in the midst of depressing events across the state.
Soham Biswas’s dream of studying at the NDA had been shattered after an accident. But the braveheart was too resolute and determined to give up. The positive attitude and grit of the 18-year-old student of Salt Lake’s Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is worth emulating.
The doctors at the AMRI Hospitals and Soham’s teachers deserve praise for their support as well.
The chief minister should not take the security issue lightly (Mamata raps cops on road, June 1). It is incumbent upon the police to render VVIP protection to the chief minister. This security arrangement has a cascading effect on the city’s traffic movement. Mamata Banerjee’s effort to mingle with the masses might help her earn some brownie points, but at the cost of safety and security. We may recall that Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated when he went forward to be garlanded by a “supporter” at Sriperambudur.
There are so many things wrong with the city airport that even Didi will not know where to start. Only if she reads Metro can she have a better idea of how to go about it.
Of all the absurdities that abound in the airport mess, the X-ray machine in the arrival lounge takes the first prize. Why deploy a machine and its operators, probably two dozen of them, to check passengers who have finished travelling?
While we are all charmed by Didi’s visits to hospitals, perhaps she should consider installing cameras in the airport area and then check how things go wrong.
I, like most others, do not expect that the airport project would materialise into a fruitful completion because the concepts of deadline and co-ordination are absent in Bengal’s work culture.
We have the expertise of putting everything in a mess at the cost of public money. Right from planning to execution, everything seems faulty. Accountability is an alien word here.
There is hardly any moving space at the airport and the stinking, littered toilets are a pointer that the basics have gone wrong.
Going to the airport to catch a flight during peak hours has become a nightmare.
Bidhan Sishu Sarani
There are several problems living or investing in a flat at Rajarhat-New Town (New Town demands its due, June 13).
» There is a possibility that the water supplied in the area contains arsenic. Though we have a water filtration plant, the taps emit orange-coloured water, leaving stains in our buckets.
» Our water purifiers are useless and we have to purchase 20-litre jars to save ourselves from diarrhoea.
» There are some people who refuse to pay maintenance charges. Chasing such people yields no result since they avoid payment on some pretext or the other.
» Streets are deserted and there is no proper market for buying vegetables or fish.
It is our earnest request to the authorities concerned to supply clean water, set up a decent market for buying daily necessities and suggest ways how to approach the willing defaulters to relieve us of this persistent harassment.
I appreciate the effort made by Metro to bring forward the concerns of the common man.
I own an apartment at Bengal DCL Uttara in New Town. The place is always crowded, especially during weekends (thanks to City Centre 2), but the absence of security is really disturbing.
I have never seen a police van in the area. The taxi stand and autorickshaw stand near City Centre 2 adds to a lot of chaos. People park their cars wherever they want.
Civic maintenance is negligible and that is why most of my friends refuse to shift to New Town despite owning apartments there.
Thanks to Metro for the report on the problems of New Town. I live in an apartment complex near the bus terminus in Action Area I. I fully agree with the problems listed for Action Area II and III. I feel the major problems are:
» No health care facilities,
» No designated bazaar area,
» No traffic lights at major intersections, such as the one near the New Town bus terminus. Mishaps are a regular affair.
I hope the authorities concerned take the steps necessary to address our grievances.
R. Datta Gupta,
In response to the question “Who do you blame for MF Husain being hounded out of India?”, June 11, I think Husain felt his artistic creativity violated by fundamentalists. That is why he left. After all, one can’t create with a disturbed mind.
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