This refers to the report “Raja Marga in a shambles” (SOM dated July 9). Raja Marga was a very ill-conceived project. The laying of interlocking concrete tiles to cover all the footpaths was another similar misadventure. Both have cost a huge outflow of public funds without any returns commensurate with the expenditure entailed. Such projects will continue to prosper because these lead to the prosperity of a few persons dealing with this work.
The problem lies with the mentality of our people. We are least concerned when we see large scale looting of public money taking place right in front of our eyes. Our priorities are different. We don’t think as a community.
About thirty years ago, a Swiss tourist had come to my shop to buy something for his motor cycle. I gave him the item he needed. The previous day, our government had increased the price of petrol by Rs. 2. After making his purchase, he asked me in his broken English: “Your government increased the price of petrol yesterday. Don’t you demand justification from it. In my country, if the price of bread is increased by one cent, we demand justification from the government.” Then I had thought that this is why they are what they are, and we will be, forever, what we have been.
People like Bhamy V. Shenoy have been trying to drive some sense into our heads for the past three decades to no avail. When we go to pay property tax, we are outraged when we are told that it has gone up by x% as compared to the previous year. We don’t realise that this is happening because of our inability to organise ourselves and protest effectively when we see loot taking place. It is our apathy which is leading to this situation.
We are willing to congregate in thousands if we are told that by doing so, our caste will get reservation in education and government jobs (Jats in Haryana, Gujjars in Rajasthan, Patidars in Gujarat, Lingayat/Veerashaiva in our State).
We will do so if we are told that our religious cult figure has been insulted. But, we will never come out on to the streets to protest against the loot of public money (our money). It doesn’t concern my caste. So, why bother?
– Ganesh Kini, Mysuru, 10.7.2018
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