Delhi is down under, yet again, monsoons come and go like the political parties elected to govern the National Capital Territory (NCT) Delhi, which covers 1,483 square kilometres. Blaming the previous regime is the easiest excuse. This a strategy that works for every political party that claims to have improved the infrastructure of the capital of this city and the country. They successfully convince their supporters and dismiss the population that supported the previous dispensation for the monsoon maladies.
A divided population of Delhi helps every party in power. Instead of working with the party in power to ensure the errors of the previous regime are ironed out, they fall for their leaders (call to oppose and support civic issues) with a myopic agenda.
Let's take a simple and basic constituent of Delhi. The Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs). What business does an RWA have in being divided into party lines? Residents in a colony can have their ideologies and beliefs. They can support any political party they believe in, but the time has come for exercising residents' prudence. But to suffer and make everyone suffer seems to be a better option than fighting to resolve a common cause. So, if Delhi is down underwater, don't blame the party in power and watch its workers and supporters struggle. Next election,you could be on the receiving end.
Waterlogging does not differentiate anyone on any parameters. That's the Law of nature. So the fight against it has to be a joint one.
As the cliché goes, charity begins at home. RWAs should build a consensus on issues that require immediate attention to ensure, next monsoon, Delhi is not down under. To start with, willingly participate in reopening drains in your colony that have been encroached upon for building a ramp or some other purpose.
Take with you the known supporters of opposition parties to the meetings of civic authorities. You will be surprised that the officer sitting across the table wants to take action but is/was following the wrong political orders. Easy for 'Babus' to blame and get away from official commitments.
It will also help in keeping a check on corruption and non-performance.
It is just one example. Many such issues in Delhi require "Resident Sensitivity" at this basic level of Delhi's governance. The Law should check out the defunct and non-functional RWAs, that continue to rot the system in this city. It is the origin of corruption in Delhi.
The political slugfest to control the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Delhi administration offers an easy and common albi to every government in power, not to resolve the issues that require urgent attention. It also allows the previous government, now in opposition, to stall anything good that could happen to the people of Delhi.
Corruption, at any level, is bad. The fight against it has been going on from time immemorial. The moral compass of corruption in any country in the world points in every direction. It depends on where and how you and the party you support stand.
But does the fight against corruption be made an excuse for stalling work on the basic civic amenities? Forget the development of Delhi. That is secondary when the city is down under; why the blame game?
Bhartiya Janta Party is equally responsible, as is the Indian National Congress and Aam Admi Party, for Delhi's mess. It is simple. If each party claim credit for the betterment of Delhi, they should equally accept the blame for Delhi being down under.
Who will step forward and show the courage to accept it? And work for Delhi to resolve civic issues, especially waterlogging during monsoon. All the talk about making Delhi a global city can wait. Let everyone responsible in power or aim to control power get their priorities right. Meanwhile, all the residents supporting every political party in Delhi have a task at hand. Are they ready next year to be in yet another Monsoosn that will never submerge Delhi but will continue to keep it down under?
(M. Rajendran is a senior freelance journalist with nearly three decades of experience working in top publications in India)