THE LIGHT OF ANDAMANS | ISSUE 13 | 23 SEPTEMBER 2011
Elected Channel and Selected Channel
Basudev Dass, media personality and Govindram, Asst Comm. Tribal Welfare jointly presented a paper on
Political State of Affairs vis-à-vis Political Autonomy for the Islands and strongly advocated for a territorial Council (Pradesh Council) and a separate civil service cadre - Andaman Nicobar Islands Civil Service. Excerpts from the paper.
The 'real' political representation alone can result the required change in a democratic country. We have the set-up which is malfunctioning, The Zilla Parishads blame of not being provided with needed fund. The departments transferred are either coming back to the administration or are of no delivery. The institutions are not interested to solve any other problem other than problems related to construction for obvious reason. The leaders lack the vision of an overall development of the islands and islanders. They are sleeping, closing their eyes pretending to sleep. To a great extent they are really in deep slumber so far as the future of the islands and islanders are concerned. In fact at present, there exist no political strength which can claim of doing well to their voters and fighting for the cause of the islanders as a whole.
At this juncture and proven political immaturity of the larger chunk of the leaders, it will be another blunder to offer an Assembly as vehemently demanded by many political as well as non-political groups. With the Centre fulfilling all the financial needs of the islands, the contractor-politicians will not be able to realize the hope and aspiration of the common people, the people need to remember.
We had committed a blunder by scrapping the 'Pradesh Council' system where both, the politicians and bureaucrats were answerable and accountable in an Open House. Though advisory in nature, the politically elected members and Counsellors exhibited their zeal to serve the people as people had a forum available to them to question their representatives. Had the system been allowed to continue, the leaders would have become matured enough by now to ask for an Assembly and handle the needs of the islands and the islanders in a better way if not the best.
It is not that an error cannot be set right. A Pradesh Council or some analogous Institution is a correct answer with certain more powers and autonomy to the members and the Counsellors at this juncture. The planning and execution should go to them while the financial portion should be dealt jointly by the bureaucrats and the Institution. The representatives of the people need to be given more political autonomy with much financial restrictions.
It is they who would then decide the requirements of the people and plan from and for the grass-roots and not the bureaucrats in and from the parlors of
on the skeletol inputs of the Port Blair Secretariat. A separate Civil Service cadre for Andaman and Delhi Nicobar Islands is also the need of the hour. This will pave the way for both, the elected representatives and selected bureaucrats of the place who certainly have their attachment with the islands and the islanders to manage and deliver to the cause of the people of the islands.
The Ex MP Mr. Manoranjan Bhakta is right in his apprehension that 'if the genuine demands of the people are neglected in such a manner and people are harassed day in and day out, it will not be far away when the people will follow the same modus operandi as done in North-Eastern states. It is time to accept the reality of fact and respond to that'.