Modi’s Loo”Eria”: Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan

By Sunil Kumar

With a lot of newsprint devoted to Modi’s commendable vision of a clean India; there are understandably a few skeptics. As in everything in our great nation; we wait to see how effectively this makes a transition to reality.

Where is the life I’ve lost in listening? Grand visions galore; most newspaper columnists stroke their egos with the usual ode to reality; analyzing and dissecting what we have done or not done over the course of 67 years. The usual Gandhi, Churchill or some other old fogey is quoted to make a point; when our reality may be totally divergent from the one these so-called great self-serving leaders lived in.

Astutely; Modi calls this more than a mere photo-op; an attempt to rouse the conscience of a nation. The media interviews the usual people; we get an insight into ground reality(with a skewed sample set); and the status quo may be back to square one(Sincerely hope not).

The “Gujju bhai” boss may rouse some of our lackadaisical public service institutions out of their slumber; and ministers may act to display some empathy for the sake of their venerable “kursis”. Modi’s civil servants should actually investigate whether sewage facilities are actually up to the task; as according to public reports; Delhi; the city with supposedly the maximum access to resources; does not have sufficient bandwidth to cope with the mammoth task at hand.

The same case may be replicated with the financial centre of filth; the city of “Shen” and “Ghai”; self-designated first among equals; the pretentious port city of Mumbai. Even Hyderabad and Bengaluru have similar problems. The vision may be noble; as with all of other Modi’s oft-stated goals; but how do we get actual traction on this; that is lasting and in the words of a maverick scientist; lasts for generations to come!

No committees can be an answer; and there is nothing earnest about some newsbytes which get lost in the daily rigmarole of sex, violence and most other things that are banal and counter-productive. How can Modi make this part of the national conscience; and create a change for the long-term?

Do we limp away from his “Sauchalaya kya che? I have a dream” message or actually improve the sanitation and general cleanliness of the country? Until then; like all  others; I merely speculate! National interest may be better served if along with the grand vision; we have a systematic way of checking the conformance of “The Clean India” initiative with reality. Until then it is simply marketing spiel dished out to keep the chatterati happy; wine and dine till they pick up the next big newsbyte cycle!


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