E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: This picture, of school boys and girls, was not shot at some traditional gurukul in some god forsaken part of Karnataka in the middle of the 20th century.
It was shot at a government-run school in Bidadi, barely an hour from the IT capital of India, Bangalore, in the ninth year of the twenty-first.
Construction of the building for the school and two others was taken up during H.D. Kumaraswamy‘s reign as chief minister, but has since been discontinued for “lack of funds”.
Looking at the picture, you should wonder:
1. Why is our chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa donating crores of rupees (Rs 130 crore to be precise) to temples and mutts for prayers to be conducted for the wellbeing of the people of Karnataka, and to remove the ill-effects of the ‘poor administration’ of previous governments, when children are sitting on bare, hard soil under a scorching sun for lack of funds to build a roof on their head?
2. Why do we waste lakhs of rupees bringing in Gangajal when we cannot supply Cauvery water even to people in Mysore, located 18 km from the Cauvery, on a regular basis for drinking purposes? 50,000 gallons of Gangajal was brought to the State at a cost of Rs 2.5 lakh. What moksha will people get by having the prokshane of Gangajal on them when they cannot get water to quench their thirst or when their children have to sit under the scorching sun in a school because of a “regime-change”?
3. When there are power cuts all through the day and night, all across the State, and children and students have a horrid time preparing for their tests and exams, how does it help to light up lakhs of bulbs by illuminating the Mysore Palace for tourists on one extra day of the week, Saturday, on top of spending obscene millions on prayers and Gangajal? Have the district in-charge minister Shobha Karandlaje, and the district administration lost all sense of proportion?
4. Why is our government arranging ‘lectures’ on terrorism by forcing principals to send students and spending money on these futile exercises, especially in exam season? It is the police who have to take on the terrorists and need equipment, training, skills to combat the sophisticated, technology-savvy terrorists. Our Police are poorly paid, with only a lathi and a whistle as their ‘equipment’ most times. Their living quarters are an insult to them and their families. They are pawns in a never-ending political tug-of-war. They don’t even have proper bulletproof jackets thanks to corruption. Instead of strengthening our police force, instead improving the morale why are we totally ‘out of focus’ by dragging students in to this. Perhaps educating them is a good idea, but it should come much later when we have done the primary job of strengthening the police in all respects.
Why is the BJP government totally ‘out of focus’ on so many issues?
Why doesn’t it tackle urgent issues on a priority basis rather than in a medieval fashion?
Why does it spend millions to issue advertisements to crow about the great feats achieved by it?
The BJP came to power on a wave of sympathy over what the JDS had done to it. It came to power riding the high hopes of a people disenchanted with the Congress and JDS. But it is gradually losing all that by tackling irrelevant things and functioning in an outmoded style.
Why is Yediyurappa/ Yeddyurappa fiddling when namma cheluva naadu is, well, burning with issues, crying for attention?