As Kerala prepares to vote for electing members to the new State Assembly, the question that we need to ask is what have changed in the last 55 years.
Kerala had come into existence on 1.11.1956. Kerala also has the history of electing the first communist government in the world. Into the 70’s and 80’s Kerala has seen explosive growth and profound change thanks mainly to such revolutionary enactments as Kerala Land legislation and other social reform measures. Kerala also boasted of having the largest literacy rate for any state in India. Kerala also enjoyed high quality health and good quality of living standards. Kerala was uniquely blessed with a huge expatriate population the numbers of whom swelled by the 1970’s. These Non resident keralites pumped billions into the Kerala economy which had a profound impact in the socio-economic- political life of Kerala. But there has been a flip side to this rosy picture. Due to the militant left backed labour unions which initiated frequent strikes, Industrial development in Kerala has all but disappeared with entrepreneurs preferring greener pastures like Tamilnadu and Karnataka. By the 1990’s, with Gulf money slowing down,the scenario again changed for the worse. 1990’s has seen a drastic realignment of global forces with the disappearance of Communism. After the gulf war, the socio- economic scenario also started changing drastically. The gulf countries has slowly started a program of localisation in turn discouraging foreign labour. Many Malayalees have been forced to return to Kerala. But the successive governments have failed to deliver on any rehabilitation packages for these NRK’s.
Infrastructure development are the key enablers for the rapid economic development for any society. But the successive governments have failed to bring out any qualitative blue print for the comprehensive development of infrastructure. Kerala has only added only a few thousand kilometers compared to the national average. Also the state of the conditions in Kerala is pathetic. Roads are key economic development enablers. But almost all roads in Kerala are very badly maintained with very few good roads. The same holds good for national highways and other major roads. The explosive growth of vehicles has added to the voes with the government failing to develop the roads to accommodate such heavy traffic. Also there has been very few developments in the railways also.
Health care in Kerala is in the verge of collapse. The Kerala health system is largely modeled in the British health care system having four tires with the Health Centres in the bottom of the pyramid growing to the Medical Hospital in the top. These systems are largely designed in the Refferal Institutions with Taluk and District Hospitals catering to the middle. This public health system is largely relied by the public and those who belong to the lower strata of the society. But over the years this health system which once enjoyed the pride of place has been in verge of crumbling. This vacuum is now largely filled by private hospitals where the treatment is largely costly and beyond the realm of common man.What is required is a comprehensive master plan to develop the government hospitals and local health centres to the centres of excellence from where common man can get affordable and high quality treatment.
LAW AND ORDER
The last few years has seen the emergence of criminal gangs who go under the brand name “Quotation gangs”. The establishment has failed to check and counter this growing menace. Several high profile murders had taken place in the recent years. But the successive government has failed to take up any comprehensive steps to counter and destroy this emerging menace. Also the cases of corruption and nepotism are rampant which needs to be eradicated.It is the call of the hour and if we do not take any steps now, time will never forgive us.
As we prepare to cast our votes tomorrow, it is the duty on us to excise our vote carefully and vote for the best man who will be able to look after and protect the interests of the common man. Remember this is the time for change and it is on our shoulder to bring about such change in Kerala. May all my brothers and sisters be able to vote for and elect the best man and women as their representative to the state assembly.