Normal life is returning to Chennai. There is likelihood that it would be disrupted again if rain pours. Fear is still there among the people. It will be there until the end of December.
I have been living in this growing city for nearly 35 years. Without any letup, the damage from rains and floods have continued to happen over the years. The analysis of what goes wrong continues too. Social media has amplified these analytical voices.
Those who are unable to come to power and those who lost power shout hoarse about the damage. Those in power pose for photographs in relief camps, and try and counter the criticism. I have been seeing this since the time MGR was in power.
Those in power pose for photographs in relief camps, and try and counter the criticism. I have been seeing this since the time MGR was in power.
Ruling party volunteers try to grow their party by distributing relief material. Opposition parties try to leave their mark by pointing out shortcomings.
Both sides take turns to talk about infrastructural lacunae. Much criticism happens over the funds allocated for infrastructure.
The party in power during the Assembly elections asked for votes saying it has transformed Chennai to Singapore. The same party is blaming the present ruling party for the damage from rains. People are now used to seeing and hearing these absurdities. These murmurs will die down once rain stops. The rainy season is used by political parties as a propaganda weapon. This has been the case for many years.
The rainy season is used by political parties as a propaganda weapon. This has been the case for many years.
A national political party leader went on a boat to inspect the floods but arranged a photoshoot for publicity. This came under heavy criticism. When a chief minister served food for those affected by flood, a woman told him that they didn’t really need cooked food but asked him to instead provide basic facilities in their neighbourhood.
Some events routinely happen with rains: big communal kitchens organized by the government; hot food being cooked there; sad faces holding a plate in their hand for their food; compassionate speeches being given; volunteers handing out bread pieces; temporary pumping out of water; and transport disruption.
Several hundreds of crores are spent by the government on this without any planning. In this background, criticism about infrastructure issues are raised. This time also these have happened, are happening without any change.
So, is it possible that this can end and a solution be found? Yes, it is possible and it is easy to achieve, too, without requiring additional funds and foreign expertise. Having an experts committee to oversee government programs and functioning is enough.
A verse in Thirukkural says that a government with no one to make it realize its faults will perish (Idipparai illatha emaraa mannan, kedupparilaanun kedum). A committee that can correct government functioning is enough to set right things. Tamil Nadu has no proper mechanism to monitor government functioning. If such a voice is raised, then that voice is quickly silenced. Only when such voices are valued, people’s woes will be addressed. A new dawn will then happen. Democratic functioning will get a boost.