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BLOG - ER Ramachandran

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Good 'Bye to good governance



Not a day passes in our country without a mishap or a scam. In fact we keep churning out so many of these it’s become hard to keep a count or track of them.

Consider a few:

·         *Children die in hospitals like common flies in hospitals across West Bengal. This repeats every now and then. There‘s lot of breast-beating among mothers’ and the political class. Finally nothing is done to prevent their occurrence.

·         * New Buildings collapse even before the ink has dried on the completion certificate killing hundreds. Even as the debris and bodies are cleared political parties slug it out in endless acrimonious debates indulging in blame game.

·          *One of the biggest tragedies of our times occurred when thousands who went to visit the famous shrines in The Himalayas died,  quite a few are  still missing despite some super human efforts by the  Armed forces. Politicians are fighting it out as even World watches aghast at the sheer inhuman one-upmanship of politicians.

The above tragedies are nothing peculiar to India. Only recently Germany had waist deep water for weeks and their Army too was involved in the rescue and rehabilitation work. What one notices amidst similar circumstances is the near-absence of blame game which takes the central stage here than the rescue efforts. In USA tornadoes are regular phenomena driving thousands away from home into camps again for considerable time. All the efforts go into rescue and rehabilitation in a bi-partisan way.
In all the cases listed above Governance was missing. If things had worked the way it was intended, if people had done their assigned work, these mishaps could have been prevented or at least losses minimized.

 If Administration in hospital had ensured health and hygiene as their priority and stored critical medicine for children such huge casualties will not occur or will come down substantially.

Irrespective of which Party was involved, good governance would mean checking the material used in construction and good building practice by engineers. How come established procedures are allowed to be subverted? Corruption is a major problem but it is much more than corruption many a time.

Indian Meterolgical Department (IMD) insists that it had given prior warnings some 12 hours before the ghastly torrential rain and landslide. Had Administration issued warnings all across the State and issued clear instructions not to let pilgrims continue their journey, probably more lives could have been saved.

So was the case with the bombing in Mahabodhi Temples in BodhGaya.

Why does it look like Governance is failing at all levels making us seem like a banana republic?

Media, instead of taking sides with the political parties, could play a vital part in calling the hospital Administrator, Municipal Commissioner or the IMD expert and discuss with them and other experts in the making of a blue print for prevention of such disasters in future.

This doesn’t happen and instead, spokespersons of political parties appear on National Networks to spew on each other which have more or less become a daily affair.

Efforts must be made to stop blame game, get to the root of the problem and establish with the help of professionals the causes and  chalk out steps  out to prevent future mishaps which are  preventable. Even TV debates involving professionals - doctors, engineers, town planners will go a long way than debates by spokespersons of parties.

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