THE LIGHT OF ANDAMANS | ISSUE 30 | 20 APRIL 2012
Touchy Politics and Politicians
Nobody speaks against the genuine demands of the tsunami-affected farmers. It is being raised by every political party and resolutions passed in their conferences. Nonetheless, there has been no combined or collective effort by any political party to unite the farmers and lead their fight and take it to a logical conclusion. Lack of leadership and willpower in raising major contentious issues like Buffer Zone, Assembly for the territory and Compensation for Tsunami affected farmers is the reason for the resentment towards politicians. When things started going wrong, farmers themselves had to come together, unite and raise their voice.
The Member of Parliament is pariah for the Administration due to his eccentricities. Whenever he speaks convincingly, clarifications are issued and he is blamed to be misleading the general public. He is there for every fight. He calls himself the servant of the public and makes everyone hear him loud and clear. He has learnt the trick that his position as MP must be utilized to the core. He keeps reminding the bureaucrats his status and their position too. He declares that his support for the tsunami-affected farmers is unconditional. BJP and a few small parties too extended support to the movement.
It is alleged that the Congress President is very close to the Administrator and never speaks or acts against the Administration. It is also alleged that he had issued a diktat to his party cadre not to support the farmers' dharna, as he felt that the protest was not necessary. Although the words in the clarification note are from the Administration, the spirit of the note belongs to the Congress President. Both the Administrator and the Congress leader claim that they personally met the Home Minister and have done everything required. However, do they still remember the words of the Home Minister who emphatically said that the submerged land will not be acquired by the Government in lieu of the Compensation?
The divide between the cadre and the leadership has also come to the fore, as many of them participated in the protest as it was a serious issue concerning their lives and livelihood, where they had no space for gratification of their leader's ego. Two elected Pradhans from both major political parties and two Independent Pradhans along with a Pramukh came out in full support for the farmers. In fact, they realize that they are directly accountable to the villagers rather than their leaders. It's not just parliamentary elections that matter, but the local PRI leaders need to keep intact their vote bank too during local elections. They cannot wait for the ripe condition to start their campaign as their leader does.
Political parties and leaders need to set right their agenda, if they feel they have to play long innings. Its high time they realize that politics is all about the common man, who makes and breaks them.