Thursday, October 30, 2008

Life in Orissa costlier than in Maharashtra!

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

Life of a person in Orissa is costlier than that of someone in Maharashtra. Absurd it may sound but our home minister Shivraj Patil seems to think so. When there was violence in Orissa the Central Government and the home minister were regularly issuing directive to the state government but Patil and others seem to have forgotten the Federal structure of our democracy when it came to Maharashtra as it was being ruled by their own party.

In a shocking press statement the Home Minister stated that the violence in Maharashtra cannot be compared to that of Orissa. Is it because that the life of a migrant is of less value to the inhabitants or is it because the party ruling in the centre cannot pull out the stick against its own party in the state. Or is it because as like in Orissa we are not answerable to any international organizations regarding a law and order problem in our own country.

The Centre does not seem be talking of the President's Rule in Maharashtra where the constitutional machinery has been broken and the state government has proved inefficient in dealing with the crisis. The Chief Minister and his council of ministers have been claiming to controlling the situation but the incidents say a different story. Ignorance to situation is dangerous than inefficiency.

Violence be it in the name of religion or language can never be justified. At the same time the Central government cannot have double standards for different states. Life is invaluable be it of a Christian in Orissa or of a Bihari migrant in Maharashtra and under no circumstance is a death justified. The Centre and the state government should have acted rather than reacted in the case.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress party have been a silent spectator in this issue and are trying to play safe. They do not want to have a anti-Marathi stance as they can still fare better in Maharashtra than in UP or Bihar in the coming elections. At such critical times politicians from across party lines should forget about the vote bank politics and come together to resolve the issue if they don't want Maharashtra to go into a state of anarchy.


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