Frustration in Uttarakhand reaches official corridors

Dehradun : The disillusionment against the formation of Uttarakhand, courtesy the sheer neglect of the aspirations, hopes and expectations of the masses over the years, is now not confined to the people, but has percolated to the official corridors also, for even the Vidhan Sabha Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal has joined the rhetoric that no benefit has percolated to the masses since its formation in Nov 2000.

Not mincing words, Kunjwal reiterated what one hears everywhere throughout the length and breadth of Uttarakhand. The comment “we were better off as part of Uttar Pradesh than we are in Uttarakhand” that is almost on everyone’s lips and reflects the utter frustration that has crept in the people of this small hill state who have lost all hope from both the politicians and the babudom.

At a function held to mark the foundation day of the Central Schools organization, he said that things were bad in this part of undivided Uttar Pradesh, but after the formation of this small hill state things have only gone from bad to worse. “The education system, on which the future generation’s hope rests has almost broken down”, he added.

It is a sad but true commentary that in the 13 years that Uttarakhand has been in existence, the people have only felt let down. While the state agitators can be seen holding demonstrations and dharnas day-in and day out because of the neglect of the very issues for which the statehood agitation took place, the ‘aam aadmi’ has to pay through the nose for services that should be free.

Even as corruption is at an all time high, which can be gauged from the fact that some alleged blackmailers, demanded a ransom of Rs three crores from an additional secretary in the state government. Though eventually the additional secretary lodged a report with the police and the alleged black mailers have been arrested, but the fact that they felt that the officer had a paying capacity of that huge amount has surprised various sections of society.

Popualr opinion in the state capital is that Uttarakhand at best is emerging as a ‘paper tiger’ for almost all welfare programmes and developmental projects are on paper only. If one goes by official statistics this small hill state is doing far better than many of the other small states of the country, but at the ground level the picture is far from truth.

Questions that are being raised is that if there was the rate of development as official statistics show, how come there is large scale migration from the villages in the hills to the towns in the plains for search of a livelihood. There are no programmes for the rural population, nothing that will stop the migration and absolutely none for developing the employment potential for unemployed youth.

While even the chief minister himself hit out at the babudom saying that they were an impediment in the progress and development of the state and not projects meant for upliftment of the masses were being implemented in right earnest, but then what the people want to know, who will bell the cat and when will the trend change for the better.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Lt Gen Dr Mohan Bhandari

    An excellent piece of reporting & the real TRUTH !
    I compliment Shri Kunjwal for being forthright,upright & honest in his views.Of late ,he has been airing his honest views in public,but,having said that,I am of the opinion that, he should have been a performer on ground as well.After all,he is the Speaker,& has power & rights to improve things & take remedial actions!
    All this is a pointer to the dismal leadership & lack of dedication,vision & concern of all national parties for the people of the hapless Hill State over the years.

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