Masking the Development

Saturday, 15 December 2018

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Masking the Development

Swapnil Bharali | May 19, 2018 18:59 hrs


Remember how around this date two years ago, we Assamese had voted – for change? Poriborton was the basic operative word. What that change would be was never explicitly spelt out by the harbingers but we were gullible enough to have safely assumed that it meant development. After all, those shrill cries and dramatic fanfare about smart city et al were direct pointers of development. 

Today, the change seems to mean everything else but development. And I don’t need to be cynical to say this, just observant. The government has successfully masked this lack of development with diversions and deceptions that have totally fractured the Assamese society right through the middle. 

Take the case of the latest issue that has the whole of educated Assamese discussing it threadbare over coffee and on TV – the Hindu Bangladeshi citizenship - and thereafter denouncing the preposterous idea. And this coming at a time and in direct confrontation to the herculean exercise of updating the National Register of Citizens which is just reaching its publication climax! I mean, who are we kidding here? It is a shame that such an issue has become so dominantly topical on media rather than any story of infrastructure development. Prior to this were those needless events like Namami Brahmaputra, Namami Barak and even that misnomer called Advantage Assam.

Effectively, in these two years, the Sarbananda Sonowal’s government has nothing tangible to show by way of development with the most ambitious development programme – Smart City – still remaining on the drawing boards and pending completion of its detailed project report. But what it has successfully done is master the art of deception and diversion of public interest towards issues that are not even remotely connected or indicative of development. And so, for all that huge brouhaha over ushering in poriborton, this isn’t a variety of change we are craving for. 
The city’s infrastructure today lies in shambles; some of its roads are no different from paddy fields. Why? Because water pipeline works are going on. Isn’t it really a shame that a government which assumed power with so much hopes pinned on it is today unable to even complete schemes that the previous regime had started? Thereafter, masking this failure with diversionary tactics amounts to hoodwinking, nothing more!

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