Friday, January 22, 2010

Sudden postponement of the consultations in Hyderabad and Bangaluru, who benefits?

Several farmer friends from Tamilnadu had booked their travel tickets in advance and some through TatKal for attending the consultation in Bangaluru. Several had already reached Hyderabad. Now, CEE calls everyone in the last moment and informs well beyond the working hours of any organization, that the Minister has a meeting to attend and has to hence postpone the meetings. 

This raises several questions in the 'Democratic Process' as the Minister himself terms the consultations as to his Cabinet Colleague. 

1) If the consultation is a democratic process, why was the criteria and choice of the venue for the consultations so arbitrarily declared. (In Ahmedabad, he had explained the criteria for each of the venues as Scientists filled towns for Hyderabad and Bangalore, Brinjal major cities of Bhubaneshwar and Kolkatta, Bt Cotton experienced cities for Ahmedabad and Nagpur and Major North Indian Agriculture City, for Chandigarh. Such criteria defies intelligence).

2) Except for CEE and those who know how to reach them and register as participant, there is no information in neighbouring states as to how we can participate in these consultations in advance. CEE officials in Hyderabad yesterday informed me that they are carrying the postponement information in the local media, what about those from Chennai and other parts of Tamilnadu who would have already reached the venue. How can a minister remember another appointment so late in the end of a working day and communicate it to the organizers. The public, particularly farmers, who spend their hard earned money to buy tickets need to be either compensated for the time, energy and cancellation charges or at least given adequate advance notice. 

Maharaja's can perhaps call for or dismiss darbars based on their moods and bouts of amnesia, Democratically elected Ministers cannot, where is their responsibility towards the masses.

3) Is the Prime Minister aware that such consultations are being organized and has he endorsed this process? It is important that this be answered by the Minister because he has stated to his Senior Colleague in the Cabinet that he will submit his findings from the consultation to the PM by Feb 20th. What if the PM also says he didn't agree with this consultative process and will go by what the Expert Committee has recommended just as the Agricultural Minister has stated? What would be the weight of the consultative process? Several thousand people across the country have take precious time from their vocations to participate as they feel this is a democratic process and think it is their responsibility to express their views, but, does the Cabinet think so? 

If there is already awareness in the Cabinet, then how come the Agricultural Minister can undermine such a democratic process by giving his opinion? How can the S&T minister express his opinion in a public meeting? Can't such statements be construed as contempt of the Democratic process? 

4) The Minister has stated that apart from these consultations, he has also written to 50 top scientists in this country and abroad. On what basis has he chosen these scientists? He needs to come clean as to what would be the weightage of the scientist opinion vis-a-vis the opinion of the consultation. How would be reconcile the output of a political process with that of a technical opinion of whatever competence? 


Anonymous said...

Perhaps the PM has called him back after he came to know that the deputy Minister had snubbed his senior colleague. After all the PM's stand on the issue (for that matter anything American) is not V. differerent from that of Mr. Pawar. While Pawar cannot keep his mouth shut, the PM does not open it often. That is the difference.

Anonymous said...; You saved my day again.