Friday, 6 July 2007

Ask Not What the Country Can Do for You...
by Mohd. Arshad HusseinSaudi ArabiaFebruary 7, 2005

Peace and security can be enjoyed because of practice of good governance. Agents of government and civil society play their roles within the confines of the constitution in a peaceful and prosperous state. During last fifty years, many governments of various political parties came and gone but growth of the state has declined in all aspects of life when we compare Bihar with other states. It shows, not a single political party has done a good job for our state. Politicians have just used posts and influences for their personal growth.
We could still not identify the reasons of backwardness of our state. Reason is very simple; delivery of responsibility of each resident of Bihar. In a happy family each member plays an important role to make a family happy. Same thing is applicable in the case of a state. We have to understand our roles and tell other residents about their roles to make Bihar a peaceful and prosperous state. We know a government is by the people, for the people, and of the people; not for the politicians and criminals. We have to think and act seriously because politicians will not suffer because they are millionaires. It is us who will suffer.

Yes, Mr. Arshad, I agree with your feelings and sentiments about Bihar. Let us come and start something for the best future of Bihar. You should come forward and contribute whatever you can. If you can educate one person also a year, if you can successfully help one unemployed to get employment, if you can open one school also for poor, if you can open business houses to generate employment for many etc..; it will be a great contribution. We must believe in action.
Bibhuti Bikramaditya, R&D Engineer (ASIC), Seoul, South Korea 02/08/05

I cannot agree with the author more in the spirit of the quote (originally by JFK)। The only thing that people should expect from the government are the following:

a. Reasonable good Law and Orderb. No dabbling into enterprise (There is the private sector for that)c. Laws for a competitive and open market (anti monopoly laws)d. Uniform and fair collection of taxese. Disbursement of collected taxes through small Govt. agencies which hire private companies to get the public works jobs done.f. To pay for defence and border control.g. Basic services (water, garbage collection and sewerage)
It is true that even on these fronts, the Government has failed. But then the Government is chosen from among the people. If Mr. Bush gets re-elected in America, then probably there are a lot more people who share his ideology than those who don't. Why they share his ideology is yet another discussion. If Laloo Bhai wins repeatedly in Bihar, obviously he is darling to more Biharis than those who wouldn't want him in office. As the old saying goes, "A people get the government they deserve."
Bihar is caught up in a vicious cycle of bad government hindering growth of Private industry. The absence of Private industry (aka jobs and prosperity) keeps people at each others necks. Artificial divisions of caste and community are fomented to keep people at each others' throats. People caught in a fervor of caste or communal hatred will obviously ignore their poverty and vote for the likes of Laloo even though they have his abysmal track record of over two decades in front of their eyes. Lack of education and awareness helps tremendously.
John F. Kennedy's quote, "Don't ask what the Country can do for you, Ask what you can do for the country" was meant to be taken in spirit. That should be the attitude. But, where the rubber meets the road in Bihar, the realities are much more complex. We are caught in a viscous self perpetuating cycle of decadence. When that happens only an external stimulus can break the cycle. What that external stimulus can be I don't know, but the shlok "Yada Yada hi dharmasya..." comes to mind. I don't know how long it will last. I think after Chandragupta Maurya's Pataliputra crumbled, the curse has been sitting like a dark cloud on Bihar for centuries now. - ARECEE 02/08/05
In Mr. Hussein's defense, the title of the article was chosen by PatnaDaily.Com and not by Mr. Hussein - PD

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