Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Leaky bucket + 1 response

1) Linky

Rs 22,167 crore Central funds spent

GUWAHATI, July 12: From the fiscal 2006-07 to 2009-10 the Centre allocated Rs 40,253 crore to Assam under the State plan schemes, Central schemes, Centrally-sponsored schemes, the Non-Lapsable Pool of Resources, schemes under the Finance Commission and schemes under the North Eastern Commission (NEC). The State Government has spent Rs 22,167 crore of the allocated funds.

Comment: The above is only the state of Assam, but surely that is representative of the NE region, in general. The case of DONER ministry is even more strange. Funds allocated, funds left unused -- this pattern is eerily similar across the defence, higher ed, development/infra building sectors. If one digs in more, one can find a plethora of such wastages. And whatever funds get allocated gets siphoned off as the DHD saga shows. Now that explains why the taxpayer neither reaps the benefits for his tax nor do the needy. A leaky bucket where the leak is bigger than the bucket -- that is India for you.
2) Response to Al:

1. The people of the NE region should name their airports and monuments after their own favorites instead of the favorites of people in New Delhi or Calcuttla, like Tagore.

Actually, of the 3.2m population of Tripura (as per 2001 census), approx. 70% are Bengalis. The rest are primarily what is now called tribal population, but who once upon a time were subjects of the Manikya dynasty. This number wont go down when the 2011 census is done with, primarily because of Tripura's location. Hindus from Bangladesh as well as Muslims (both from WB and BD) illegally as well as legally immigrate to Tripura. There is a reason why CPM and the Forward Bloc are/have been very strong in Tripura. (CPM has nowhere else to go but Kerala, WB and Tripura and is recognized as a national party. For being a national party, a party needs to be strong in at least four states -- my guess for the fourth state for CPM would be Punjab, the bastion of Shri Harkishan Singh Surjeet and the home of the kisan movements aplenty. This national party business is also why BSP contests in the land of the saint, Dr. BR Ambedkar.)

In any case, to digress, the tribal language Kokborok is written in Bengali script and there have been many attempts to Anglicize it using the English script. In this sense, there is quite a commonality with what has happened in Nagaland (where Nagamese -- very similar to Assamese -- used to be written in Bengali script, but now in English script), Mizoram (where Lushai used to follow Bengali script, but is now written in English), Garo and Khasi Hills, etc. There is also the effect of Baptist and Presbyterian conversions that has induced an artificial identity centered around Christianity and how different they are from the pantheistic Hinduism, rather than on commonalities that used to float around the Naga gods, Meitei kingdom, etc.

PS: I was going to address the tension between the tribals, and the Bengalis who now make the majority. But the post is yet to hit a reasonable mark, so you pre-empted me with some material from that.

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