The return of the white elephant.

I googled “700 crore”. That’s it. Just to get an estimate of the true value and what positive can be done about it.
Here are some search results:
· Assets worth 700 crore found in Kerala temple
· 700 crore HUDCO loan assistance to Bangalore Metro
· DLF to raise 700 crore via 400 plots sale in Gurgaon.
I don’t know if I’m the only one who thinks it is – in plain and simple words- really stupid to spend such an amount of money on a park.
Now whoever has any counter argument against me has only 3 things to say atmost ( in my perception. if you have more to say- comments are welcome)
1. It is supposed to honor Dalit icons.
2. Mayawati’s logic- So many memorials have been made in memory of the Nehru Gandhi Family.
3. Just because I like Mayawati with all my heart and will support anything she does till the last breath of my life.

My point- Honoring just for the sake of it is really bad. Honor killing would be the right term for it. You see, if at all you had to honor the Dalit icons-
  • Why did you not start a chain of high standard schools in Uttar Pradesh after the name of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar?
  • If so much money was put in making a few world class hospitals in population inflated Uttar Pradesh- with the name ‘Kanshi Ram Medical Centres’ perhaps- the non Dalits too would have preferred Behenji over any other political leader.

18 crore vs. 700 crore.

Japanese encephalitis claimed 400 lives, mainly children, in Uttar Pradesh. Only 18 crore spent.

For all those who haven’t read or heard the news recently, and can only get a vague clue of why these letters are blatantly erupting contempt for some political leader- Mayawati just inaugurated a 34- acre park in Noida commemorating Dalit leaders. Spent on it were Rs. 684 crore to be precise ( my bad, that I rounded off the figure).
The word figure reminds me of another one- that ‘6241 trees have been cut down’ for the ‘dream’ project. Dreams like these are exactly what India needs. Mayawati supporters- Those words reflected sarcasm.The environmental impact assessment for the project was not done at all. Or maybe it was done, and eaten up by some ‘elephant’.

 Chomp chomp. Yum.

Several trees which were more than 20 years old are gone and that had an adverse impact on the bird life ( just adjacent to the park is the Okhla bird sanctuary).
The supreme court did not interfere because the State Cabinet had passed the project. So the project received a green signal from the SC (keeping in mind the judgement happened when construction had already started and taken place to an extent). Although, SC restricted the built area, and instructed that more area be left for dense tree and grass cover.

Another Googled Fact: Below Poverty Line Population in Uttar Pradesh- 5.9 crore.
Money used (LOL) in the park- 685 crore.
Basic mathematics leads to the conclusion that each BPL person could have got Rs.116. Might seem less to you, but for them, it is more than you could ever imagine.
More than ever she could imagine.
Why did I italicize she? Oh I don’t know. Maybe because of the huge house she’s making with a helipad and park? Or maybe because she made her private jet fly all the way down to Mumbai just to get her required pair of sandals? No no, because she receives garlands of money worth Rs. 5 crore on her birthdays?
5 crore.
She receives flower garlands too? Now that's news!

I’m not against Mayawati. I say it again. She has done good things for the state too.
It’s just that being egoistic I’m against of.
You might say that the money being spent on the park has come from donations. No government spending is being done. So my question is- why on the cost of the environment? Why not use the same ‘garlanded’ money in some more useful productive work other than making your helipad? Why not rise above a pair of sandals?
I know that many politicians are just like Mayawati in their nature. They’re perhaps a bit more mature in not showing off their monetary assets to the public.
But sight creates a better and clearer perception in our brain. Not seeing any other politician’s money makes me indifferent. But seeing so much money being used in stupid things ( for me) brings out the proactive citizen in me. And I do assume that the same thing happens with most of you out there.

So after calming down, now- I should try and see the positivity in the happened rather than wishing it had never happened.
Now why not make it more happening?
  • Why only a park? How about a small museum? With time lines of all these great leaders and their history?
  • Make an entry fee for the museum. Utilize the money obtained from it rather than spending the tax payer’s money for the entire maintenance of the park.
  • Advertise. Make it a popular tourist spot. Tourists coming to NCR would love to go to some recreational and seemingly traditional Indian place. This may serve the purpose.

I hope to see a new light of positivity in the future, instead of searching for a ray of it in a dark cave.


P. Soumya said...

well written. good food for thought, vishesh :)

Admin, Team arbitSpeculations said...

We still live in the age of the thought-illiterate-leaders, gentlemen. Uttar Pradesh should take some lesson from its neighbor Bihar.
Incisive post, Vishesh!

Pooja Rai said...

Agree to every statement of yours but give it a thought once what are we doing...just blaming the government, authority, mayawati... I am not supporting her but aren’t we supposed to do something in our own small way that brings the difference. Instead of spending 25,000 rupees on a watch, one can do a lot better like for those small kids who work at our institutes but who care? Why make an effort, it’s easy to sit in an air-conditioned room and curse others saying it’s not our responsibility!

Vishesh said...

Now that is a point well raised. I agree with you. Each one of us has that materialistic nature in us- which we must realize is not so important to us as little actions would mean to the kids.
But there is a lack of any body that does that. Every person is not a leader-who would take an initiative. An NGO must be proactive enough to reach out both sides- the children as well as the people willing to contribute ( and convince the people unwilling to contribute) :)


When WE sit aback and the think about the possible reasons of any social, economic or political adversity, it comes out that these are just repercussions of historical blunders.
Had caste differences not existed, there must have been no discrimination and polarization on the lines of caste which would have automatically lead to no politicisation of caste.
But we have committed a mistake and reaping what we had sown.
Caste-based politics is the fuel behind this multi-million projects.
and nothing can deter behenji from establishing sthals and why would that happen? If lalu can engulf the fodder, Maya will engulf the stone and spit out her statues with armani purses vowing for garlands.

Arpita said...

nice post, interesting to read

read an article on the same issue

Anonymous said...

If in india politicians leave corruption for 10years, we will be 50 times advance to china. But possible??????
Well done vishesh, its quite true that politicians want to be remember like this only. But don't know that no body will remember them if the don't do real good for masses.

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