The much hyped human chain event in Dehradun with a stated objective to spread awareness on the ill effects of single use polythene has again elicited focus on the TSR government’s obsession for symbolism. Educating people on the nuisance of polythene is one thing but organising a programme which creates public inconvenience in the name of creating awareness is definitely something which needs to be viewed and analysed with an open mind. The 50 km long human chain which threw traffic on the roads of Dehradun out of gear shares stark similarities with other allegorical events like Rispana river rejuvenation programme in which enzymes were sprayed into the waters of a stinking river ostensibly to clear the stench and record number of trees were planted (only planted and not cared) along the river banks and holding cabinet meeting on the deck of a floating restaurant at Tehri lake which later drowned in the lake. One hopes that the Uttarakhand government overcomes its affinity towards things symbolical and concentrates more on ground work.
Like in other parts of the country, the armed forces veterans of Uttarakhand are fretting over the planned measures to tie their tongues. The veterans who due to their sheer numbers are in a position to influence politics in the small Himalayan state are seeing red over the reported plan of the Army to foist a code of conduct on them. The purported objective behind the move being the concern of the Army for its image that it thinks gets a severe battering whenever the ex-servicemen question its decisions. The resentment of veterans and those who are in uniform over decisions like withdrawal of tax exemptions on disability pension, One Rank One Pension (OROP) and Non Functional Upgradation (NFU) is well known. In such a scenario the plan to get the men in the olive green sign an undertaking at the time of their retirement that they would adhere to a set of rules is sure to generate heat.
A junior minister in the TSR’s team who incidentally is one of the most active ministers got infuriated recently when a motley group consisting of NSUI members and agitating students of private Ayurveda colleges waived black flags in a programme attended by him. The minister reportedly was not angry on being shown black flags- he has done it himself on many occasions since his days in student politics- but was upset when he realised that a Union minister belonging to Uttarakhand who was the chief guest in the programme, gave it a miss. It is learnt that the junior minister lashed out at the officials for not informing him about the protest plan of students and instead passing the information to the union minister who did a vanishing act. Incidentally, the Union minister was the actual target of student anger as according to them he is supporting the obstinate owners of the private Ayurveda colleges who have paid no heed to the orders of the High Court on refund of excess fee to the students.
Friday, 08 November 2019 | Gajendra Singh Negi
Author: Gajendra Singh Negi
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