2004-07-09

: ...And He Can Keep It. Will He????


   For the last one week or so, I have been getting this link through various emails. Viggy was the first one to put it forward. Since then, there have been many email discussions about the article reported in Outlook India. There also have been various discussions about the article in Anand's blog. The article is a rather one-sided take on the plight of Kerala.

   I should although say that the article has some facts, like the stats. But most of it I think is a rather harsh "outlook" on the state. And that too coming from a source that "publicized" the Tehelka scam and numerous other scams. To me, Outlook is not a news reporting agency. This is one agency that feeds solely on controversy. I do not want to say that the report is completely wrong. Neither is it completely right. The commments on the article seem to be a better outlook of Kerala, and of the article as a whole.

   But what I do not like about the article is this. Being a cover page article on the current edition, the author did not (at all) propose, or even discuss what part of the problem can be solved. The author just started off reporting about the "problem" as if Kerala is the one hell in this whole world. Soma, you are maybe spending only 2 days in Kerala trying to put up some pages for the new edition of Outlook. I can write 100 pages worth of problems that plague Bihar, which is worse than Afganisthan in terms of crime, and social attrocities. Unfortunately, never has the author mentioned why (atleast her viewpoint) these may be occuring, or what the possible solutions are. This is what irks me most about the reports in Oulook.

   Anand had mentioned in his blog that "Kerala could have been like one of those if not for the communists", referring to the development that certain European countries have in retrospect to the US. But in the history of Kerala politics, communists have shared probably as much time at the helms of power than the INC. With that said, the communists can claim better programmes aimed at social welfare. What have the Congress done when they were in power? Is anything being done in Kerala now? Is the new Congress goverment really governing? I wonder if they even know the meaning of governing. I am not saying that the communists are better. We Mallus are just so bad, we have a choice between the devil and the ocean. Either choice you make is gonna bite you back in the butt.

   Why isnt anyone thinking what can be done? Why with all these resources arent we taking any initiative? Viggy mentioned that it is very difficult to strike a balance between change and tradition. I do not think it is impossible. We have tremendous resources in our own state at our disposal. I only wish there were some guys with "real" (I mean REAL real) brains to put productivity in the front seat. This is not going to be a slow process. We can follow the examples followed by other countries (not US, but UK, France etc) where the influence of the labour unions was slowly reduced. The labour unions in these countries do not anymore have the wielding power they had on national politics as they did decades ago. We as a society have to accept that the time of the unions are gone. How many of us look at politicians with respect? How many of us look to our politicians (hey, we ELECTED them) as leaders? We need people of character, of integrity. We need to understand that leaders need these two characteristics. Ever wondered why people of the USA still have their faith in their president even after that moron has virtually screwed up every possible thing he has laid his hands on? We need to be more prudent in electing leaders.
   We as a democratic society should realize that the real power lies with us, and not with anyone else. When we elect our leaders, we should be accountable to that. I am happy we are the largest democracy in the world. But I am sad that we the people do not understand how valuable it is to us. Probably our children will understand that.....let us hope so.
~ciao.

8 comments:

Sylvia D'souza said...

well said, Umesh. I do agree with you that the article is very lopsided in that it paints only a negative picture of Kerala when we all know it has as many positive sides. To cite one, people of kerala are an intelligent lot and wherever they've gone, they've done very well for themselves. This would be accepted by everyone. The question is, why are they unable to do the same for or in Kerala? ...and here the answer defeats us. I have too little knowlede or even insight into politics to give an answer, but from the little i've read and understood, "communism" seems to be one of the major reasons to me. By communism, i do not mean the idealogy itself, but the wrong manner in which the idealogy has been put to use. I for one feel that, if you cannot make everyone rich, making everyone poor is certainly not the way of going about it. "Equality of opportunities" is one thing, but forcing or imposing equality is quite another thing, where all motivation to acheive anything on one's own is lost. This communism seems to place more emphasis on "distribution" and none whatsover on "production" and i guess it is anybody's guess that there will be nothing left to distribute when people who want to "produce" are not given the freedom to do as they will....

Anonymous said...

This is the typical attitude. Outlook is a commercial magazine...it is not a social organization trying to solve problem of various states. It reports thats it. I dont believe in the arguement that print/media has social obligations as long as report properly (atleast a large percentage of truth, in today's age it is a good magazine). The point that I noticed in most of the people that reacted to this is that every body seems to be angry at outlook, its as if they are responsible for what is happening in Kerala. So funny.

Your saying that you can write about Bihar for 100's of pages, well nobody is praising Bihar, every body knows the problems there, for that matter even Bihari's dont proclaim that they are all good, I mean what I percieve from this arguement is that I am in a Trash can thats ok, but my neighbor is a Trash dump, so I am more ok!!!!

All I am saying is every body has problems (even countrie like US) as long as people cannot accept that they have problems it can never be solved. For a long time Kerala was mooted as the best model for development, well I guess every body was praising them. "pampered lot", now they are having problem facing criticism.

As the saying goes if u need to improve we need to learn to accept criticism, which most of us lack BIG TIME!!!!!!!!!!

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