Saturday, 29 November 2014

Stamp of the bully

One sure sign of the bully is that he grabs the lion's share of what's on offer, and expects the `lesser members' of his fold to lump it and live with it; e.g.

  • a staggering majority of the world's wealth/resources is in the hands of a ridiculously small minority;
  • a majority of a state's budgetary allocation for its transport facilities is spent on taking more and more space for making more and more, wier and wider, roads, with the prime beneficiaries being drivers of private automobiles;
  • the larger cities, like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru usurp the right to consume unreasonably and disproportionately large percentages of power/water and such essential commodities today, leaving essentially nothing for the rest of their state (Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, in the cases at hand);
  • at a national level, decisions are made at capitals on matters affecting all citizens of the country, by having meetings of `stakeholders' who are invariably limited to one recurring cast of characters living in the capital, thereby making a mockery of the democratic process.

I am particularly distressed by one manifestation of the last example above. Readers of this blog do not need to be reminded about the history of the passage of the contentious RPD Bill of 2014. In the initial weeks of this year, some so-called `leading representatives' of the disability movement in the country, mostly from Delhi, in an unholy nexus with the `netas' of a floundering Congress party, tried to hastily push through this RPD Bill. It was a feather in the cap of the bullied poor relatives from outside the capital, that they perceived and highlighted the numerous flaws in this wannabe-bill, and got parliament to send this to a Standing Committee, so that it could currently be kept in cold storage till it could be reviewed properly after the new government had been voted in. Barely a month ago, opinions were sought from the public regarding the merits/de-merits of this Bill. Several people sent in well-documented and argued petitions to the SJ&E Ministry. After this farce of a democratic exercise, we read a recent gleeful boast in Facebook by one of the proponents of this Bill (from long before the time of the aborted attempt early in the year) that the Parliamentary Standing Committee will be holding its meetings to discuss the RPD Bill was set to meet on Dec. 2nd, and hopes to have the new law in place by January 2015! This farce of a democratic process needs to be exposed for its Delhi-centric and nationally unrepresentative way of passing ridiculously framed laws.

One would think that if a law was once attempted, in vain, to be pushed through, and if it came up for review, the people consulted would include some of the people who pointed out the shortcomings of the earlier failed version, and an attempt made to see
  • what the reasons were for its not having been passed earlier; and
  • what remedial measures have been adopted in the new draft to address the flaws perceived earlier.

When will we stop going back to the same bullies again and again, ad nauseum?

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