Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Saffron Perspective of Green Terrorism

An Indian National Congress rally in Mumbai.
Courtesy: Al Jazeera English  on Flickr | License: CC BY-SA 2.0

Since, in India, the right wing political activism has been painted the colour Saffron, often without giving much thought and insight to its ideologue, I would like to term my views of ex-environment minister, Jayanthi Natrajan's criminal adventurism in office for as long as 3 years - Saffron Perspective of Green Terrorism.

This when Natrajan had no more than ludicrous reasons like "can't recall why final approval was delayed" in view of a project having clearances regarding Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) or "I wanted a holistic (probably doing a Manish Tewari) study of river basin" in case of a project cleared by Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) and hundreds of such projects.

Last month whenmuch dreaded Gujarat CM went ballistic over her policies by terming them a "Jayanthi Tax", little did populace know that his state alone suffered more than 1/3 of Rs. 3 lakh crore investment menace attributed to this one woman, who was at the helm of affairs in Pariyavaran Bhawan in New Delhi.

Her unilateral environmental vigilantism proved death-blow in an economic scenario where maverick troika of Manmohan Singh, P. Chidamabaram and Montek Singh Ahluwalia toyed with policies to bring about an annual inflation of over 7 percent (in industrial parlance), resulting in candid slaps to the tune of Rs 2,100 crores under not-so-savvy tag of 'cost escalation' in major infrastructure projects entailing investments similar to Rs 30,000 crore. The gravity of these economic crimes is more evident and further manifests itself a social trouble when these resulted in holding back of power generation projects in a country which suffered a peak electricity shortage  of 4881 MW in September 2013 (it is another thing that Indian government is very active in pursuing electricity sales to neighbouring countries like Pakistan, failing in delivery at domestic front).

In her own admission, Jayanthi told Parliament that 330 projects were stuck in her ministry's office in August 2013. The whole disaster no longer surprises a disillusioned electorate which has suffered the, arguably, most corrupt government in independent India's history. This is no wonder under puppet leadership of a Sardar mired in  Coal Block allocation scam, while his 'high-command' goes on a bizarre dole drive with national treasury at her disposal.

Much to a self-respecting citizen's chagrin, it yet again took a rap, a thumb-up and probably tearing up of some 'confidential' under table deals by dynasty's scion, most probably in an image-building PR drive, to figure out Natrajan's maladies and force her resignation on the eve of prince/heir's FICCI adventure in late December 2013.

Reference: India Today - Jan 27'2014 edition, Special Report.

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