Attention: Ms Nirmala Seethaaraman, Raksha Mantri, Govt of India
Shame on you! With the first order you signed you have reduced (!) yourself from the Raksha Mantri of this nation (also known as a sub continent!) to a Kaamwali (to borrow a term from my Hindi speaking friends) Mantri! If you were really not interested in the security of the Nation and matters military you could have said that to the Prime Minister who could have created a new ministry for Swatch Bharat to be headed by a Cabinet Minister and installed you there!
I had seen and heard you a few times as the spokesperson of BJP and had been impressed with your understanding of the subject you were speaking on and the way you articulated them. But you reinforce the fact that juggling with words as an armchair expert is a different game from putting your shoulder to the wheel and working to produce tangible and perceivable results.
I have no doubt about the need for and urgency in a mission like Swatch Bharat. I have no idea either of how much taxpayers’ money has been squandered on the project and how much of it has really been spent on producing results. But in the township I live in, the only municipality in Kerala headed by the BJP, I know some effort had been made to earmark places for dumping garbage and signposting them but ultimately what has happened is that the Municipality has declared its intention to withdraw from its primary duty of keeping the town clean! The last date for their employees collecting segregated waste from homes (on payment, of course!) has been extended from 31 Aug 2017 to 01 Oct 2017! If they have created practical alternate arrangements for waste disposal I am not aware of it! By the way this local self governing body has been directly responsible for polluting fresh water sources like ponds by routing storm water (cum sewage!) drains to ponds and more than once the Ombudsman for Local Self Governing Bodies had directed it to clean them up without any effect! To be honest, this is not a problem with this Municipality only.
Coming back to matters military, do you know that it is the man behind the machine and his morale that is the ultimate battle winning factor? And when I say that this factor- morale - has been on slippery slope for years believe me as the voice of the voiceless. Yes, over the years, since the day we are told we got independence, there is nothing that the governments of the day have done to give him the justice and honour that is due to him. Worse, all of them have only worked towards exacerbating his plight! Even by the simple principle of equal pay for equal work one can say the Sepoy of the Indian Army deserves better pay and perks than the Cabinet Secretary of the Union Government. And to quote Aravind Kumar, Jurist and lawyer ('Needed high speed legal redressal', Pioneer, Kochi, 01 Aug 2006): Justice is an intrinsic human need. We suffer much privation but we cannot suffer being wronged. Absence of justice, we must not forget, is one of the causes of crime. Fortunately our soldiers are not inclined to crimes and the simplest of those that are committed are punished with a heavy hand. In fact they are in the most unenviable situation because their official tasking demands either they do or die. But that does not give anybody the liberty to task them with any and every errand in the world. By the way, can you ensure that your babus, led by the IASwallahs and wallies, the ones who have reduced government administration to a synonym for corruption and treason, keep their offices and premises clean without the help of safaikaramcharis?
I rest my case here for now. You may also read my blog at http://raviforjustice.blogspot.in/2014/02/for-whom-soldiers-sacrifice-their-lives.html
(P M Ravindran)
email@example.com / 25 Sep 2017