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Would you nominate your MLA/ Corporator for an award?

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Governance

The Namma Bengaluru awards set off an involved debate amongst the Koramangala netizens on the merits of nominating the local MLA, Mr Ramalinga Reddy, for the award, in the politicians category. Such debates in the open, I am sure, form a healthy trend, and will eventually contribute to better overall governance. The more interesting comments are appended below:

A)
We have lots to complain about things not done right, complaining about lack of transparency in our governing system but I think we also have a responsibility to express our appreciation for any one who has impacted our lives in a positive manner, and express the same at any available visible platform. Ever since we were informed about the Namma Bengaluru Awards for 2011, it occurred to me that there are a whole lot of people who have impacted Koramangalites in a negative way, but there are several who have been exceptional and among them the one person who has been playing a big role in solving our civic problems, helping in development of the area, ready to come to us and equally ready to welcome us when we ask him for an audience for solving issues where we have got stuck with the government agencies. He is our MLA Mr. Ramalinge Reddy. Now I  not be a political animal in the extreme sense, but as a grateful citizen, I would like to acknowledge that for us, Mr. Ramalinge Reddy is deserving of my nomination. We have had MLAs in the past, we have had corporators in the past, but I believe we have no one as friendly, as helpful and as sensitive to our needs as him. And I think we need to acknowledge the same. Koramangala is definitely a better place thanks to his interventions.


B)
Since i have very strong views on this topic, i might as well go right out and say it, in words that might not be strictly parliamentary.
 
I see  many Mlas of all hues  just extending the system of patronage politics in albeit a more sophisticated way, which roughly translates to obliging me a favour by giving me what is already rightfully mine, and then getting mileage for it..
 
Add to that, that  the basic function of  an MLA is law making and not meddling into what is a corporators /local governance issue. Now if an MLA  was lobbying hard for laws like the  metropolitan governance bill, or the strengthening of lokayuta, or numerous other transparency and governance bills, i might have a different opinion.
 
And add one more factor , ever try to ask a MLA the cost of the projects that he has so "graciously" given us, or any level of transparency in the implementation of the projects ?? You might come up with an interesting counter  of " i will give you what you want , don't ask anything deeper", and folks this kind of response has actually happened.
 
Or have you tried to get support on a minefield issue which has land grabbing , false tendering , wrong dprs?? it will take you up the gumtree!!
 
i think civic activism in India and koramangala has come a long way and to just say person in power is better than the last one is diluting the very essence of civic activism.
 
by all means , appreciate his good work , every politician worth his salt will have a set of " great projects",but some kind of public award is a different ball game altogether.
 
obviously anyone can nominate anyone in  a personal capacity, but you wont have me opening the "nomination form attachment" in a hurry.

 

C)
There are bound to be lots of divergent views on this -- it is a matter of personal perception. Having said that, here is my two penny worth

The perfect should never be allowed to become the enemy of the good. Yes, a lot can be said of the state of politics and politicians in this country. Having said that, if we do not encourage those among the political class who are out-performing others, then we may not be able to lift standards.

Agreed that patronage politics is not great. But, surely, approachability, accessibility, effectiveness and delivering on the ground count for something. The present BBMP park in 3rd Block would not exist today but for our MLA. Even today, I can speak to him and he actually answers his own telephone -- I know for a fact that many people do not. If awards are to be given only to Mother Teresa clones then one function of such awards -- to motivate people to perform even better, does not get served.

Quite aware that I will be in the minority on this, but that is my personal opinion.


Me)
Well, admittedly, Mr Reddy is a very approachable person, and he has done a lot for Koramangala too, particularly on motorability. And, in that regard, if I were to nominate a politician for an award in 2008-09, my choice would perhaps have been for him.

But, this motorability, I believe, has gone a bit too far, particularly with the proposed series of fly-overs/ underpasses, having far-reaching adverse impact on the residents' lives, mainly the pedestrians and bus users. Now, while that may lead to an ideological debate, what was unacceptable as far as I am concerned was the totally non-transparent manner in which it was all sought to be imposed on us without any consultations whatsoever. It then required the citizens to take a firm stand before the details were made available, when it became evident that the whole scheme was ill-conceived, even to begin with (check this).

Now, while the blame for the same may be apportined on the BDA and the overall city planners, the local MLA not intervening in the matter to bring in the element of citizen consultation, particularly considering the size of the scheme, I would see as a deficiency. Perhaps, this incident can help bring about the necessary correctives in the outlook, and help earn him the award next year.

The above apart, for a seasoned campaigner, perhaps it's also time Mr Reddy took on city and state level issues like improved public transport services, power supply, water supply, permanent clearing up of the storm-water drains, etc, through policy initiatives.

Muralidhar Rao

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