We need results not sermons Mr Minister
January 11, 2011 2 Comments
Saugata Roy recently commented that Shopping Malls are “energy guzzlers” and nothing but “vulgar display of wealth and a vulgar wastage of energy and space”.
Should we have a problem with the above statement ?
In the normal course, I would imagine not but this Saugata Roy happens to be Union Minister of State for Urban Development in the UPA Government.
Even if I concede the incumbent Government’s propensity for inviting trouble on it’s own, I find this statement quite irritating to say the least.
Saugata Roy seems to have followed the footsteps of the man with the most interesting hairdo (especially when stimulated) Jairam Ramesh who called the SUVs – Simply Useless Vehicles.
I am not a big fan of ostentatious consumption or vulgar display of wealth but my point is whether the nation should be receiving sermons from those who have been elected to deliver.
Six years from now, we will be into the 70th year of our independence. Half of our country still doesn’t have sanitation, clean drinking water and power. Is this the problem of having too many malls or is it a performance problem of our political system ? A sycophantic political party has ruled us nearly for 5 decades which is now trying to undo it’s sins of the past. But in trying to be critical of these “symbols of capitalism” they are only trying to shift the blame for their incompetence.
The statements of these ministers, to me appear to be a kind of over-the-top righteous political vigilantism. If we haven’t already had enough of religious, cultural and societal vigilantes, let us now welcome the new entrant to the club, the righteous political variant.
Urban Development isn’t all about Shopping malls, I agree but is it the job of an Union Minister to sermonize on their purpose ? If the Government shares his perspective, why not legislate against establishing more shopping malls in this country ?
If we truly believe in democracy and personal liberty, shouldn’t the choice be left to the citizens of this country on whether they prefer the Malls or not ?
I also wonder what is the Minister’s idea of Urban Development? Is it about creating a colony of single room row houses and call them cities ?
If the minister finds shopping malls such a “vulgar wastage of energy and space” shouldn’t he first do something about the “biggest mall” in this country, the Rashtrapathi Bhavan ? If one wonders why the President’s official abode qualifies to be a mall, it is the place which is used by the minister’s government to “trade” several things such as political, diplomatic support in return for “gifts” such as a seat in the UNSC ?
I wonder when our political masters will realize that the country needs them to deliver good governance and actual results than act as our “moral science instructors”. Though called as a Minister, he cannot assume the role of those men of God and sermonize the nation. I hope the Minister realizes that he works at the altar of democracy, the Parliament and not the pulpit of a Church.