Hope for the best
Sir — Arvind Kejriwal launched India’s newest political party this week (“Kejriwal, Congress in name spat”, Nov 25). The formation of the Aam Aadmi Party is crucial for the Indian political system. Most of our political leaders work only to serve their own petty interests. As a result, the country’s well-being is compromised, its economic health is deteriorating and its social fabric is disintegrating. One of the main reasons behind the stagnation in India’s gross domestic product growth is the overwhelming corruption that plagues the country’s administrative machinery.
It is a matter of grave concern that industrialists in India resort to bribing high-ranking officials in order to influence government policies in their favour. It is all the more alarming that they may even have the capacity to influence the choice of ministers in the Union cabinet. Then there are political leaders whose friends and families receive undue benefits at the cost of the public exchequer. When scams are uncovered, powerful ministers make every effort to defend the perpetrators.
At the same time, India is being weighed down by extreme poverty.
According to 2010 data from the United Nations Development Programme, about 37.2 per cent of Indians live below the country’s official poverty line. Also, in July 2011, 83 districts across nine states in India were affected by the Naxalite movement. It is not difficult to see that India is on the verge of anarchy. The country may plunge into a disastrous situation any moment.
None of the existent political parties seems to be interested in improving the country’s condition, or in trying to solve the problems affecting it. All the Indian political parties and their leaders should come under the scanner. Their misdeeds should be immediately exposed so that the common man knows the actual situation and the country takes a step towards a better tomorrow.
One hopes that Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party succeeds in achieving this goal and in ushering in real change.
Nirupam Haldar, Calcutta
Sir — The fact that the West Bengal government is now promoting micro and small-scale industries is good news (“Small consolation for Bengal”, Nov 25). However, the government must realize that the funds required to promote small industries can only be acquired with the help of big corporate houses.
Corporate investment must come to West Bengal if the state is to thrive and flourish. But big companies can have faith in the state only if the terms of investment offered by the government are viable, and if investment is allowed in ports, mines and in industrial sectors such as power or steel. An investment-friendly atmosphere needs to be created by the government. There must be clear and specific policies regarding land and special economic zones.
Small industries cannot grow in isolation. They need back-up, not only from the government but also from corporate sponsors. The rise in corporate investment will also mean increased tax revenue, which will further boost the feeble economy. The government’s present approach towards industrialization is absurd. Unless the chief minister adopts a more rational policy, Bengal’s development will remain a distant dream.
Debmalya Bhattacharyya, Calcutta
Sir — Mamata Banerjee seems to have realized at last that big investors are reluctant to invest in West Bengal. This has made the chief minister’s earlier claim of Bengal attracting huge investments absolutely invalid. One hopes that Banerjee and her team will engage in some soul searching, now that they have been made aware of the ground realities.
A.S. Mehta, Calcutta
Sir — The unique identification project, Aadhar, has enrolled 270 million people in the last three years. Data collected through this project can help the administration make direct cash transfers to the needy. This project has immense possibilities. Our leaders play political games in the name of eradicating poverty. They have never been able to actually help the poor. But projects like Aadhar may provide some real benefits to the downtrodden. However, in a country like India where corruption is rampant, it has to be ensured that the data collected by Aadhar is not misused.
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad