Damage done may lead to division of Karnataka like Andhra Pradesh. We are warned !
On Saturday, 3rd March 2018 a friend telephoned me seeking appointment to bring his friend who wanted advice from me to sell a 60’x40’ site he owned in K.C. Nagar. As Mysureans know that sites and buildings in K.C. Nagar, along with few other layouts, allotted by the MUDA were declared “illegal” by the stroke of a bureaucrat’s pen, the Deputy Commissioner of Mysuru. Therefore, the problem of selling the site. Well, this was the reason my friend wanted to see me — the Editor-God, as some people naively believe!
My friend’s friend was (is) suffering from cancer and wanted to sell the 60’x40’ site he owned in K.C. Nagar to raise money for treatment. Hence he wanted my advice and guidance to ‘overcome’ the hurdles. Well, God always tempers the weather for the sheared sheep. The good news came the very next day on 4th March 2018. The Karnataka Government drops the sinister ‘B-Kharab’ classification from the MUDA layouts coming under Kurubarahalli Sy. No. 4 and Alanahalli Sy. No. 41. Alleluia!
But it has taken three years. Well, it is understandable. The Assembly election is just two months away and Congress candidate of this Constituency (K.R.) must win. So be it.
However, the good news is that we are cured of this ‘Government Cancer’ and now my friend’s friend can get his cancer cured, hopefully, with the good price he will now get for his 60’x40’ site. Life indeed is a game of chance.
Here I am impelled to reflect on the behaviour and conduct of our MLAs, MLCs, MPs and Ministers — all chosen by us in good faith. Greatest good of the greatest number should be the credo of any responsible government. But the present government seems to be highly discriminatory, self-serving and lacking in vision for creating an enlightened, egalitarian society.
I will explain. It discriminates on the basis of caste in the name of social justice. It may be appointments, promotions, postings or transfers. It might be in the matter of selecting beneficiaries under various government schemes or in the matter of choosing media for releasing government advertisements. There may be many other areas. In my 40 years as a journalist in Karnataka I have never seen a government that is as autocratic, partial and non-benevolent as this one. For the first time, I saw a majority population being marginalised through administrative manipulation and the microscopic Hindu ethnic minorities being ignored.
This kind of administration will have its first harvest of poison in the form of crimes. It manifests itself among different groups of people at different places, in different forms and at different times. A tranquil society is suddenly pushed into violence when government decides to celebrate Tipu Jayanti for the first time and imposes it on an unwilling people. A society of understanding and brotherhood is suddenly made to discover its division, which was never there before, by opening old historical wounds creating bad blood.
I am also thinking of the on-going controversies about Veerashaiva-Lingayat imbroglio. The present government seems to be engaged in creating negativity in the society, hoping to benefit politically. A lesson learnt from the ‘divide and rule’ policy of the British which the Congress party had practised for many decades successfully. I remember the great social reformer Baba Amte campaign for ‘Knit-India’. Now what I see in Karnataka is not ‘Knit-Karnataka’ campaign but ‘Split-Karnataka’ government campaign. Granting the status of a separate minority religion to Lingayats is the beginning of the division of Karnataka like in Andhra Pradesh. Be ready for a future shock.
A self-serving government anywhere in the world, as a natural corollary, becomes self-destructive. If Congress party is in imminent danger of becoming an endangered political party on the verge of extinction, it is because of its self-serving policy. The present Karnataka government seems to suffer from the same disease.
Look, how Lokayukta was castrated and in its place a virile bull was brought in called ACB — Anti Corruption Bureau. Hallelujah. It was a clear attempt at killing an already incapacitated Lokayukta. Result: A steep rise in corruption. ACB is nothing but the sword-arm of the government to teach a lesson to those whom it does not like and to protect the corrupt who are its ‘fund-raisers’ or favourites who are on rampage like those who allegedly attempted to murder one L. Vidvat in Bengaluru recently. The law of this government stood still that murderous night for many hours to help the accused, leaving the victim in the hands of God.
A report in the Deccan Herald dated 4.3.2018 is eloquent enough to tear the mask of hypocrisy and expose the Janus face of Siddharamaiah and his captive government. The report was headlined:
“Govt. blames Lokayukta, reinstates tainted officer”. The very opening para stinks of the moral depravity of the government. It says, “Bengaluru: The Government has lied in the process to protect and reinstate a dismissed government official on charges of graft.”
If only the government had the miraculous or divine power of reviving the dead like Jesus Christ — remember Lazarus? — this government would have brought back to life all the dead corrupt officials and reinstated them in office. Mercifully, the term of this government is 5-years and it is ending in the next two months, hopefully. But, have we not seen that in human history good and evil keep alternating in such regularity as the day and night? I only hope Karnataka will not have the longest night following 2018 Assembly elections.
Now about the Vision of this government. What is vision? The mundane or medical meaning is ‘faculty of sight.’ What one can see. Its metaphorical meaning is ‘intelligent foresight’. A good government is supposed to have this intelligent foresight to undertake projects that will enable a society to educate itself, make economic progress and take its people into the light of good life. To pursue this goal we need visionary leaders.
However, some leaders could become myopic in these matters and be influenced by a different agenda not socially beneficial. Consider this.
The Karnataka Government (the BJP) issued an order on Jan. 9, 2013 sanctioning handing over of the land belonging to Maharani’s New Type Model School (NTMS) in Kannada medium on Narayana Shastry road in city to Sri Ramakrishna Ashram for constructing Vivekananda Memorial to mark the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of the wandering monk. There were only four students in the NTM school and hence the BJP government wisely decided to shift the students to a nearby school. A PIL was filed challenging handing over of the land but it was dismissed by the High Court.
At this time, UPA government was at the Centre and the Central Committee formed to hold the celebrations was headed by Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi, the Prime Minister and other big-wigs. Huge amount was also sanctioned for this project in our city and Rs. 5 crore was released.
Enter the dragon. The May 2013 Assembly election brings in the Congress government in the State and this project was sabotaged for ever by the Congress government.
There were protests and counter protests. I was also involved in this war-of-attrition along with such intellectuals and social visionaries like Sr. Advocate late Sampath Iyengar, V-LEAD Founder and social activist Dr. R. Balasubramaniam, Ramakrishna Ashram, Mysuru, President Swami Muktidanandaji, Sr. Monk Swami Sureshanandaji, Kannada littérateur Prof. Prabhu Shankar, retired Vice-Chancellor Prof. K. Chidananda Gowda, former VC late Prof. Dejagow, littérateur Dr. C.P. Krishnakumar (CPK), former MLC D. Madegowda and a host of others.
Our city lost a great opportunity to have a world class study and cultural centre. Well, what legacy should we leave behind when we die? An empty school or a great educational, spiritual and cultural centre for our youngsters? A parochial institution or one that is universal in its character? Only a visionary will choose the latter. It is my pious hope that in the coming days our hero, Swami Vivekananda, will win.
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