Having won the Assembly elections, Yogi Adityanath needs to focus on improving the education and health sector, which is in shambles (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@ani_digital)
The election results of Uttar Pradesh Assembly were astonishing. Many news channels and newspapers had been reporting, for the past several months, of a tough fight at the hustings , with no clear victor. Many political analysts had predicted a landslide win for the Samajwadi Party (SP), led by Akhilesh Yadav, taking a cue from his crowded rallies.
However, the crowds in rallies do not reflect the true public mood, as such crowds are generally “managed”. This time again, despite an impressive show of strength in road shows and rallies, SP ended up far below the magic figure.
Certainly , Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s magic worked once again and the BJP under Yogi’s leadership could do ,what no other could accomplish during the past four decades – retain power with substantial majority.
— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) March 11, 2022
Now the political pundits are busy analyzing the reasons for this success. Some attribute this victory to distribution of 5kg ration , building of toilets, awas yojna etc. and to top it all ,the improved law and order situation in the state as compared to the rampant lawlessness under the erstwhile regime of the Samajwadi Party . Others attribute the victory to women voters, who came out in large numbers, to vote for the BJP.
Now the BJP has triumphantly won another five years to rule the biggest and politically, most important state, of our country. Yogi Adityanath’s governmental performance will be a crucial factor in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, which are only two years away .
— ꧁ 𝕽𝖊𝖓𝖚𝖐𝖆 ꧂ (@PremSmk) March 10, 2022
During the last five years , the state has continued to lag behind in its performance in most of the development parameters and remained below par vis-à-vis other states. Despite the tall claims made by the government, corruption remained widespread affecting every organ of the government. The common man was harassed , failed to get justice , with the elaborate grievance redressal mechanism malfunctioning, and none coming to the rescue of the hapless population.
As per the official data published by governmental agencies, the state of Uttar Pradesh still lags far behind the other states in crucial sectors like education, health, employment, housing etc. This victory places a burden of expectation on the new government as the public has given a mandate, which must force performance now.
The biggest challenge before any government is to find the right people for the right job. Ultimately those governing need to have integrity and requisite competence to deliver. It is understood that in democracy ,every section of the population needs to be given representation in the government but the successful leader is one who chooses the most competent from the available lot to become a part of the government. People who lack integrity are worthless people , for instead of serving the people ,they tend to grievously injure public interest fatally as the abysmal condition of development indices in U.P. sadly exemplify.
The most unfortunate and tragic part of our administrative and governance structure is that persons who lack integrity and who are willing to go to any extent to further their self interest are preferred over those who believe in implementing the rule of law and want to discharge their duties with honesty and integrity.
According to Thomas Jefferson , the architect of the American constitution and the United States' third President- “The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.”
Unfortunately , for the past several decades , all governments-irrespective of their hue and color , have chosen primarily those who lacked integrity , to man important positions in government . Even in the bureaucratic structure , integrity has been always at a discount and the dubious fixers and shrewd manipulators -who are willing to violate every ethic are the chosen ones. This must change and only then can we expect actual development. Otherwise schemes and programmes will keep getting announced at regular intervals, with no progress in implementation and little or no impact on the prevailing exigent situation.
The Yogi government must turn its focus on radically improving the education and health sector, which is in shambles. Any kind of cosmetic changes will bear no fruit. As, centuries ago ,one of our greatest philosophers, Aristotle, had very succinctly brought out the salience of education in any democracy. He wrote- “The legislator should direct his attention above all to the education of youth; for the neglect of education does harm to the constitution. The citizen should be moulded to suit the form of government under which he lives. For each government has a peculiar character which originally formed and which continues to preserve it. The character of democracy creates democracy, and the character of oligarchy creates oligarchy.”
There are numerous challenges facing the newly elected government in Uttar Pradesh but it has to first set its priorities and focus on correcting the core issues. It has to choose honest and competent people to man critical positions and have a zero tolerance to corruption policy – not confined to paper only , as was prevalent in the past. Mere empty slogans will not work. People want their basic issues resolved, their Vikas is a critical necessity now and transformative governance is the only solution to eradicate the evils plaguing our state. The new government must strive honestly and strenuously to serve the people and vindicate their hopes and prove themselves to be worthy of the humungous trust reposed in them.
(Vijay Shankar Pandey retired from the Indian Administrative Service. He has an established record of raising his voice against corruption in public life. Views expressed are personal and exclusive to India Narrative)