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In a country where people die of few millimetres of rain, we are fighting over Jai Shri Ram and Allah hu Akbar

"The first showers of monsoon paralysed the economic capital. And Mumbai boasts of India’s richest municipal corporation. Even Delhi is hopelessly unequipped to tackle just a few millimetres of rain"

Source : The Hindu

 

Shivam Singh

35 people died due to incessant rains in Maharashtra alone. The first showers of monsoon paralysed the economic capital. And Mumbai boasts of India’s richest municipal corporation. Even Delhi is hopelessly unequipped to tackle just a few millimetres of rain. There are scores of people in Delhi who sleep under the open sky or in roadside tarpaulin shanties. They are one step away from succumbing to a natural disaster. The poor waste management in Delhi leads to a yearly outbreak of dengue and malaria during rains. In 2018, 2798 cases of dengue were registered in the city. Sewage flows through streets the moment it rains for over an hour. And we are talking about the national capital.

Things get worse in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. Open drains, limited health facilities and cobwebs of wires in narrow alleys. So we can’t handle rains.

But can we take care of heat? After all sun shines down brightly for roughly 8 months in the country. We should be prepared for that, definitely. To start with, just a few days back four elderly people died in a train in Jhansi due to excessive heat. Can you believe it? And this is sleeper class we are talking about. The very fact there is a worse lower category is dreadful.

Come winters and more people die than in any other season. Yeah, that’s despite our so generous politicians distributing blankets everywhere for photo-ops.

India is lacking at many fronts. Our infrastructure is primitive. Quality healthcare is not accessible to many. And no one is being held accountable. Our most abundant resource is the least precious one, lives. We couldn’t build sewage that works even after so many years of independence. We can’t constrain outbreak of diseases. We can’t provide roofs to the ones who live under plastic. But surely we must have the money to save lives of the people who can’t afford ever so costly healthcare? How can we let people die because they don’t have the money? After all we have just built a 3000 crore statue. And we are spending a lakh crore on a bullet train! Perhaps our ministers can climb atop the world’s tallest statue and see how much the common man is suffering.

But why would they? They have just won an election that was fought over ‘chowkidar and chor’. In the times when we should ask ourselves what has gone wrong, our MPs are competing over Jai Shri Ram and Allah hu Akbar in the parliament. And don’t blame them yet. We have elected them. We Indians have seen so much suffering in our lives that we tend to adjust with the most wretched of things. But this has to stop. We have a right to a better life, better services. A country that can squander on luxuries can definitely ensure that people don’t die with change of seasons.

The only way to hold a government accountable after a massive victory is through media. They might have won the country but they still won’t like to lose that state in the coming elections. But expecting something from media is quite being over optimistic. Most of these media houses are heavily influenced by politicians. Don’t believe that yet? Just switch on the TV and count the number of anchors you have never seen criticizing the government. Quite a few, isn’t it?

So what do we do? Is there a way to hold our government’s head and make them look were they should? For starters we can start being a little more mature. Stop rooting for our favourite neta’s mistakes. They represent us. They don’t own us. And we can differ from them when needed. They are not India’s cricket team that we have to support at any cost. Let’s become thinkers from blind followers. Let’s send them the signal that they need to focus on what’s important instead of fulfilling their personal wish list by squandering our money. Remember our religious commitments are one thing and our right to basic facilities another. They can’t be exchanged. Tell them we can take care of our gods. You take care of your job.