Recently a seminar was held in Nainital, a prominent hill-town, which is becoming unliveable for the permanent residents. The objective was to identify the reasons for the decline and suggest measures to counter them, writes Prof. H C Pande
We as people seem to believe that reciting mantras is all that needs to be done and then Almighty takes over of whatever is to happen in the world to come., the ‘Parlok’. We may cheat, steal, or indulge in illegal, and, immoral activities all along but chanting appropriate shlokas squares it all,and,we are guaranteed a reserved seat in ‘Swargalok’.We may not understand the reason for citing the shlokas or their meaning but we are satisfied with the noise they make.
So also, we believe that our problems in the material world, the ‘Bhulok’,would vanish once we hold seminars, colloquia, and workshops to delineate the issues, difficulties and problems, record in writing the recommendations, and, forward them to the all powerful government. We please ourselves with the fact that a thick volume of recommendations has been prepared and delivered. We need not worry about the implementation of any, or, all recommendations within a time- frame or bother about the fact that just about the same recommendations have been made earlier by similar committees. To top it all, most of the problems or issues have been more than visible for a long time to the citizen-at-large,and needed no investigation and delineation.
Recently a seminar was held in Nainital, a prominent hill-town, which is becoming unliveable for the permanent residents. The objective was to identify the reasons for the decline and suggest measures to counter them. Crowded beyond measure during the summertime and Puja seasons, with the main thoroughfare, the Mall, blatantly encroached and becoming a veritable shopping Mall, unauthorised structures defying the building code and declining health & other town-services, the former summer capital of U.P. is on skid row. All this has been visible to the citizens over the years, and, one assumes, to the authorities as well, be it the state or the local self-government. No seminar or workshop or colloquia was necessary and all that the powers-that-be had to do was to walk along the Mall,keeping the eyes and ears open. The encroachments and building code violations can be seen even by the blind,and the cacophony of the uncontrolled traffic,heard by the deaf.But then,are the politico-administrative authorities far too dumb to take any action? No,they are far too smart.They want the problems to remain so that they do not have to annoy the Godfathers of the violators and at the same time the seminars can continue to be held to create the impression that they are dead serious about improving the town.
It is unnecessary to add that the seminar concluded, after consuming hot cups of tea and sumptuous snacks,that another meeting be held to fine-tune the recommendations if any.
(Prof. H C Pande is Vice Chancellor Emeritus , BITS, Mesra)