Bhopal: On Friday, the BJP-led government will complete 14 years in office. What has changed in these 14 years? Have things improved or worsened? Has the state marched on the road to progress or has it gone downhill?
Free Press sought views of prominent people on performance of the BJP government. Excerpts
Madhuri Krishnaswamy, social worker and converner of Jagrat Dalit Adivasi Sangthan, Barwani
Poverty has grown. Forests have disappeared. Environment has degraded. Farmers are in a miserable state. Villages neither have water nor employment. Migration from rural areas has assumed alarming proportions. I feel hundreds of villages will be left with no able-bodied men and women soon. They will have children and old people. The ruling party has been trying to thrust Hinduism on tribals. The culture and the traditions of the tribals are being undermined. The government is attempting to hide its failures behind the veneer of religion or rather its ritualistic, outwardly version.
Manoj Modi, Mandideep Industries Association president
The BJP government has succeeded in projecting Madhya Pradesh as an investment destination in India and abroad. In the past one decade, flow of investment in MP has increased. Most industrial clusters like Mandideep, Malanpur, Pilukhedi and Pithampur are doing well. The attitude of government officials towards industrialists has also changed. Officials are more friendly and willing to look at things from our perspective. Government-industry coordination is better. In a democracy, parties in power have to take care that their vote bank remains intact. As such, we cannot expect them to go on favouring only one sector. As for our expectations, well, sky is the limit.
Dr N P Mishra, physician
The government has encouraged private sector in health care. We now have All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Bhopal. But at the same time, the condition of Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) is not good. I think, there is need for integrated development at grass root level in the medical sector. Common people are still not getting proper treatment for normal disease. They have to suffer a lot.
Ramesh Dave, educationist
Government schools are in bad shape. The network of private schools is far better than government schools. The second thing is that a curriculum should be designed in such way that students can think of their own all-round development. School and college students should be made to participate in decision making process when government frames education policy. The academic standard of universities is not upto the mark.
S M Hussain, an architect and historian
How to gauge whether a state has progressed? One way is to find whether the problems people face in their daily lives have been solved. Here, the track record of the BJP government is nothing to write home about. Fifty years back, we had to cross a railway line to reach the city airport. To date, the government has not been able to build an over-bridge on the track. People going to the airport have to wait for hours at the crossing. Five years back, the government took a decision to build an elevated path and cycle track from Lalghati to Airport Road. But it is nowhere in sight. New Bhopal has witnessed a lot of development. But the old city continues to be neglected.
Mukesh Sharma, theatre actor and director
Government organises several cultural programmes but it seems to be focusing on quantity rather quality. There is no criticism about lack of quality. Even media avoid criticism. In general, government is misleading people from basic issues like employment, inflation etc by organising large number of programmes like Bhagwat Katha. It has become part of system. It doesn’t matter which party is in power.