Orissa, one of the most backward states of the country has so far figured not much encouraging development either under the rule of Congress or in the present BJD-BJP alliance. There is lot to be done as far as illiteracy and poverty is concerned that still persists while the nation is moving with over a nine per cent growth rate. Despite drawing some of the biggest investors, this mineral rich state with over 80 percent people living in villages is yet to taste the flavour of modernisation.
People of Orissa, who are hoping for growth and prosperity similar to other states, can only ballot for a change but with no undertaking from the political weight which can take certain responsibility of the Oddia people for an inclusive growth not only in socio-economic sector but also in their own political sphere above politics.
An overall growth can only be possible after the involvement of youth or intelligentsia of the state with an active effort related to government activities.
Media, on the other hand, only highlight the face without knowing the soul cause of the problem; just for an example the recent Kandhamal violence that was widely presented as a clash between two religious communities rather a social imbalance.
Unfortunately, most of young Oddias who are living outside Orissa can only comment on the issues of national importance like these as of their curriculum in public service examination, seating at the likes of renowned Jawaharlal Nehru University or Delhi University .
Just for a case, the Delhi Oriya Student Association, popularly known as DOSA; the organisation after so many years of its inception now only gathered for an annual party for Oriya students in Delhi on the occasion of Saraswati Puja or Ganesh Puja.
These people of Orissa who only love to stay in Delhi or other Metro cities of the country can never ever be able to go into the grief of the people living in villages back in their native place.
Coming back to the political circle, the ruling BJP-BJD alliance has been in command since last 8 years and though the state has noticed some development in the field of education and industry, there is no such all-round social and economic development. Farmer's plight and unemployment are still in the agenda of political parties.
Congress, on the other half, has completely failed to get out of the long bad patch just due to the lack of organisational activities and absence of visionary leadership. This can be better viewed with the fact that some of the big guns of Congress have even failed to win in the last assembly election in the constituencies which were earlier under party's strong hold.
This is the reason Rahul Gandhi in his ?Discovery of India? journey chosen Orissa to start his political campaign and took the benefit of the youth who are desperate to bring some kind of change in the state with their proactive role. Knowing the importance of reviving political base in the state, he has taken special issues related to tribals and farmers.
As political analysts are yet again forecasting a victory for Naveen Patanaik if he makes a plump for an early election then it would be interesting to see how far the campaign of Rahul is going to help Congress. Undoubtedly, this will give at least some impetus to Congress to get out from the bad patch.
The state Govt. is further lacking a strong lobby of power to present and force its demand to Centre; the present government has so far failed to carry its weight to clinch a sizeable amount of federal grants.
However, this time with scrape of issues that struck several assembly sessions including the medicine racket, female foeticide, mark sheet scam, Kandhamal violence, POSCO project and the latest one Naxal attack might give some reason to opposition parties and also the people of Orissa for much-needed transformation in the state; of course for a positive change.
Simantini JenaApril 17, 2008 at 12:00 AM