Sunday 20 January 2008

Strengthen the Delimitation protests 1: Parallel movements

Written by Anil Singh

It’s heartening to know that a common consensus is being reached among the various political parties of the state regarding the opposition of delimitation in its present format. So, now one can expect serious protests on this issue in coming days.

But equally disheartening is the launch of another movement, namely “Nadi Bachao Andolan” by some so called aware and concerned individuals. The movement is aimed at raising awareness among the masses regarding the mindless use of the water of various rivers of the state, by the state government and the industry people and in process uniting the masses for an agitation. Noted Uttarakhand poet, Girda, is lending his support to the movement.

Although the objective of the movement is very benevolent, it is doing more harm than good to the people of the state. Not only at present but also future. The reason is simple; this movement is diverting the attention of the people from the more important issue of delimitation. In general it is encouraging a tendency, where every body wants to raise their own issues, instead of supporting a more important cause.

The media coverage to the “Nadi Bachao Andolan” makes this possibility even more pronounce.

Even if the movement is incapable of diverting people, significant enough, to count for much; but at a time when the whole state should stand united in opposition to delimitation, even a single person, going astray is a loss.

I sometimes suspect the intelligence of such people, who raise parallel movements and sometimes do serious damage to the more important cause. One question that I want to put to these people is,” how’re they going to save the rivers from excessive use, when they don’t have adequate voice in the right forums (state assembly and Parliament)? Only morons can imagine of being heard without proper strength in the state assembly and Parliament.

No one will disagree that the rivers are an important resource of the state (and of the country) and they should be conserved, but how’re we going to save these rivers if the power of decision goes to the people who are mere users and are not directly in contact with the river influenced ecosystem. A peasant in Hardwar or Udham Singh Nagar will always want to pump more water out of rivers, why’ll he be concerned with the ecological imbalance in the upper stretches of the rivers. Same is the case for industry people; they’ll always want increasing quantities of water, as that’ll help them make more profit.

So the need of the hour is to stop behaving like morons, and stop launching parallel movements; and strengthen the issues which are important to the present and future of the state.

In a democracy, all the benefits come through the democratic institutions. It is the strength of representation that counts, more than anything else. Every thing can be achieved and every thing can be conserved, if one has sufficient voice.

If the people of the state manage to stall the implementation of Delimitation in its present form (it is not impossible, delimitation in other more acceptable format is implemented in the country in the past), by a united effort, we’ll see all our concerns being heard and resolved to our satisfaction. The need of the hour is that we should restrain ourselves from launching parallel movements.

In one of the media coverage, I saw Girda reciting one of his poems, about rivers, in which every couplet was concluding with the words,

“Bol Byopari Tab kya Hoga”

(Speak merchant what will happen then).

Though I don’t have the kind of poetic skills Girda has, but still I try to say something in his style,

“Agar Delimitation iss roop mein lagoo ho gaya, to Bolo Girda Tab Kya Hoga”,

(If the delimitation I implemented in it present form, say Girda what will happen then).

Below are the linksthat i found quite informtive and thus interesting:

(Copy the links below and paste them on explorer window)


2 constructive comments:

  • Cethirien says:
    21 January 2008 at 03:24

    Delimitation is an important issue, but it actually pales in comparison to the exploitation of the rivers and the displacement of people from the hills. Who will the MLAs represent if the rivers are finished?

    The Nadi Bachao Andolan has been in preparation for many months, while the delimitation process has been ongoing for years now. But also after seven years of the wholesale privatization and selling of the patrimony of the hills, this movement is also late on the scene.

    In fact, the hill politicians have failed so miserably, one can argue the representational aspect of the state assembly has failed and delimitation that puts a majority of seats in the plains won't make any difference. They themselves are exploiting their own people, so most people don't really feel that preserving their numbers will make a difference in their lives. Sad but true, which is why the state is in many ways a failure. Our own people are our own worst exploiters.

  • Anil Singh says:
    23 January 2008 at 02:07

    Dear Cethrien,
    thanks for your comment.
    It is true that the hill politicians have not shown much result in the past seven years, equally true is the fact that they failed in totality to get the right share of various resources from the state, the infant state is carved out from. But equally true is the fact that every issue whether it be judicious use of water or employment or for that matter the protest against delimitation,will originate from the honest demand by the people. A person who has no honest attachmet to the state and more specifically to the hills can never demand goodies for the region. And you will also agree,that if we do not become sceptical,an increase or same no. of seats in the parliament and State Assembly is good,than them getting decreased.After all why do we assume that every voice added in the forums is incapable.So i think it is not good to allow the country to weaken our voices in the forums where it counts. I'm not saying save river movement is bad, but why not the same people strengthen the delimitation movement first and even go to the state assembly and the Parliament as the true representatives of the state.
    Priority is the need of the hour..
    So lets not compete among ourselves