Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Greasy culture

This is an amazing article written about Karnataka politics. If I reword this article and revise it for national level politics, it will sound exactly the same. And that's why it is wrong.

The BJP is a gone case as far as national politics goes. We know of its existence only when there is infighting or a misquote. Yet, in writing an article at the national level, nobody questions the money being poured down the sinkhole in those large schemes served by leaky buckets. And, any government, even a national government run by honest prime ministers needs grease to move. Where is that coming from? And why is that never questioned?

On the contrary, every single article about the BJP in Karnataka -whether it is about performance (very rarely) or non performance (which is usually the case) or rants by old ex-statesmen now reduced to single digits never fails to mention the Reddy mining empire.

And no article on the Congress ever mentions or questions where it gets it money from. Why is that? Even the Dalit party of BSP is not spared of corruption vitriol. But we are reminded each day that honest prime minsters with non performing ministers is par for the course.

With a big difference. This Karnataka government is performing. Shout hoarse for all I care, but on the ground, I see it.

I live in Bangalore and I have seen the city for the past 10 years. When I came here, public transport was nearly non-existent. Roads were defined by their narrowness. Till SM Krishna was around, we got sound bytes on Bangalore. After he went, even those went down. And then there was a massive attempt to plough the roads of Bangalore and grow crops on them - and it very nearly succeeded. Till one smart old man acted too smart for his own good and the voters threw them in the dustbin of electoral numbers.

Since then, Bangalore has progressed. Road widening and traffic streamlining has been taken up at a furious pace. Road improvements, airport connectivity, metro work have all been going on at a steady clip and progressing rather well. There is even a project that is taking some of the overhead electricity cables underground (something that should have been done 30 years back). Rainwater harvesting is mandatory for plots over 40X60 sq. ft. Public transport has improved by leaps and bounds. Interior roads have been asphalted and are motorable now - unlike tractorable some time back. If this present government holds its nerve and completes the projects it has started - it will be tough for even its detractors to give their vote to the other party that blew away the chances it got.

Don't blame the Reddy brothers. For every Reddy, there is a Raja somewhere. Thats our political culture. Every political party has its money source - just because we chose to ignore it does not mean it does not exist.

No comments: