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"Ram Rajya," "Good Governance" & "India Shining"
By Tanveer Jafri
Contributing Writer
LK Advani

In Indian Politics the phrase of ‘India Shining' was used by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the last general elections in 2004, to woo the voters. It backfired. From the very beginning, political Analysts termed this ‘India Shining' as hollow & misleading. But all senior leaders of the BJP were busy in publicizing their ‘India Shining.' Even the BJP strategists were able to convince the most senior & sober leader of the party & the then Prime Minister Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee. Perhaps in this context Vajpayee spoke in 2004- Maine kaal ke kapaal pe voh rekhaein khinchi hain, jise koi aajivan mita nahi sakta (I have draw such lines which can never be erased). But the politically aware voters didn't like these baseless rhetoric & thus shown the way out to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by the BJP. Then the writers used the title- Mit gayi kaal ke kapaal pe khinchi rekhaein (lines are erased).

Now, after five years the ‘Prime Minister in Waiting' & the most senior leader of the BJP, Mr. Lal Krishna Advani admits that ‘India Shining' was a big mistake. But the voters are keen to know what this 'India Shining' is & when it happened? The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government led by the Congress has completed its five years term. If the Congress strategists would have felt, they would have also publicized the India-US nuclear deal as 'India Shining.' But that's not the case. Even Rahul Gandhi, General Secretary of the Congress, in one of his elections public meetings said that there can be no 'India Shining' till even a single person is hungry in our country. Former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam also has similar views. This visionary is of the view that until the smile is not returned on the face of every Indian, our nation can't become developed.

All the above definitions of ‘India Shining' suggest a straight & simple meaning that without any discrimination every Indian must get complete justice, safe drinking water, shelter, food, clothing, roads for smooth transportation, electricity, health facilities, equal right to education, economic aid to poor to include them in mainstream etc. Till all these things are in place, the rhetoric of ‘India Shining' is useless. In my view ‘Ram Rajya' too includes all the above things because in ‘Ram Rajya' too it is being told that all get equal justice, there is no partiality & the whole public is happy. If we analyse the Shabri episode of Lord Ram's life, we can't even think of casteism & communalism; forget untouchability. The question here is what the power hungry leaders, who created the rhetoric of ‘Ram Rajya' & ‘India Shining', are doing to make it true? To understand this we should learn from Gujarat, than any other state.

I am not talking about the Godhra & post-Godhra carnage. I don't want to criticize the ‘Vibrant Gujarat' of Modi because I believe in development. And Development in any part of the country is indeed development of the nation. But when the questions related to Gujarat arise in people's mind, they think about the ‘Good Governance' promise of the ‘Prime Minister in Waiting' L K Advani. Advani's parliamentary constituency is Gandhinagar, in Gujarat. In an urban area of this constituency, there lies Juhapura, a thickly Muslim populated area. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims live in this vast area. It is being said that it is the largest Muslim area in Gujarat. If one tours this area, he would come to know what justice is being done to the people of the constituency of Advani who always talk about ‘Good Governance.' Roads & streets of the whole area are damaged, potholes are filled with water. Drains of this area are damaged. Dirty sewer water enters in hundreds of houses which causes many diseases. There is no facility of safe drinking water in the area. Like the remote villages of Bihar, hand pumps can be seen at some places in this part of the capital of so called ‘Vibrant Gujarat.' If one meets the residents here, he would come to learn that these people are treated as least grade citizens. Advani doesn't visit this area to ask for votes. No worker of the BJP likes to ask for votes from the people of this area. When the residents of this area visit the government offices asking for some development work & the solution of their problems, their application is thrown into dustbin. People of this area are desperate to meet Advani. These people want that Advani come to their area and understand their problems. They want to know why this injustice to them? Limit is that the state government has totally neglected this area, but many NGOs, on their part and with the help of people, are working here since the Gujarat carnage & have helped people in providing healthcare facilities & building Public Park etc.

This was a brief description of Juhapura which is situated on one side of the road. On the other side of the same road is Baijalpura. This is thickly populated area of Hindus. This area can be called a part of the ‘Vibrant Gujarat' or a prosperous area in the constituency of the ‘Prime Minister in Waiting' as its roads, parks & other basic facilities of this area suggest. Shouldn't be Advani asked about the reason of step motherly treatment to one of the areas in his constituency? Is this the criteria of establishing ‘Ram Rajya?' Not going in Muslim areas for votes & not sending the Muslim mascots like Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi & Shahnawaz Hussein to Gujarat for election campaign, isn't this a part of the same ideology? May be in view of Advani or Modi, ‘Ram Rajya' is getting power after polarizing votes by misguiding people in the name of Lord Ram. But in my view this can never be said ‘Ram Rajya.' If we really want to talk about India Shining, Ram Rajya & Good Governance, then every citizen of the country has to be given equal respect & justice. Indeed, we need to follow the credentials of Lord Ram rather than emotionally blackmailing the voters in the name of Lord Rama.

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Other Articles by Tanveer Jafri
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Mr.Tanveer Jafri, who serves as contributing writer for The Seoul Times, is a noted columnist in India. He writes on a variety of issues including world peace, anti-terrorism, and national & international politics for numerous news dailies and portals in India. As a devoted social activist he is member of Haryana Sahitya Academy & Haryana Urdu Academy.






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