Satish Upadhyay Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Essay

Mahatma Gandhi, Shastri remembered
Dehradun, October 2
Various functions were held to mark the birth anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri here today. Remembrance ceremonies were held to pay floral tributes to them.

DGP BS Sidhu along with schoolchildren takes part in the Clean India Campaign at the police lines in Dehradun on Thursday. Tribune photo: Abhyudaya Kotnala

Floral tributes paid in Haridwar
Haridwar, October 2
Floral tributes were paid to Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri on their 145th and 110th birth anniversary respectively in Haridwar today.

Saints, mahants clean temples
Haridwar, October 2
The impact of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission of cleanliness got a major boost in the pilgrim city of Haridwar as saints, instead of meditating and offering rituals and having ‘kamandals’ in their hands, took brooms to clean temples, ashrams, dharamshalas and nearby areas of their hamlet.

CM Rawat pays tributes to Rampur Tiraha martyrs
Dehradun, October 2
Chief Minister Harish Rawat today reached Rampur Tiraha state martyrs memorial in Muzaffarnagar and gave floral tributes to the martyrs. As many as 11 state agitators were killed in police firing at Rampur Tiraha on October 2, 1994 when they were on their way to Delhi to take part in an agitation for a separate state.

Chief Minister Harish Rawat pays homage to the Rampur Tiraha martyrs in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Statehood agitators demand re-identification process
Haridwar, October 2
Those agitators who took active part in the formation of a separate Uttarakhand state, but were not recognised by the administration as ‘identified statehood agitators’, today demanded their enrolment in this coveted list hailing from Haridwar district.

11 IPS officers transferred
Dehradun, October 2
In a major reshuffle in the Police Department, the state government has transferred 11 Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, including four Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGs) and four districts Superintendent of Police (SPs), last night.

Mahar begins dharna, draws small crowd
Pithoragarh, October 2
The much-hyped dharna by Congress MLA Mayukh Singh Mahar at Gandhi Chowk here today against his own party government in the state to draw attention towards development issues of the Pithoragarh Assembly segment turned out to be a flop show. Mahar accompanied by a few supporters began his dharna and neither any government representative nor any Congress leader turned up to appease him.
Mayukh Mahar, Congress legislator from Pithoragarh, sits on a dharna at Pithoragarh on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

final touch: A day ahead of Dasehra festival, artistes giving final shape to a dummy of Ravana at Parade Ground in Dehradun on Thursday. Tribune photo: Abhyudaya Kotnala

Revision of circle rates postponed
Dehradun, October 2
It is the second time in a row that the state government has postponed the revision of land circle rates in Uttarakhand. After failing to announce the new circle rates in September, the government had postponed the matter till October 1. But again, it did not come up with the announcement, postponing the decision to November 1.

Film on Gandhiji’s life screened
Dehradun, October 2
Spic Macay Dehradun paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi by screening the film ‘The Making of The Mahatma’ in over 20 schools. The screenings were held between September 20 and October 2.

Children pay tributes to Bapu
Dehradun, October 2
Students of Poorv Madhyamik Vidyalaya, Rajpur Road, observed Gandhi Jayanti with members of the Uttarakhand chapter of Sarvodaya movement today.

Guv greetings on Dasehra
Dehradun, October 2
Uttarakhand Governor Dr Aziz Qureshi has greeted the state’s people on Dasehra and prayed for peace, happiness and prosperity of the people.

Ramlila draws huge crowd in Kumaon
Pithoragarh, October 2
Ramlila is drawing huge crowd at night as it is being staged in Kumauni and Hindi languages at various places here. Effigies of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhkarna will be burnt tomorrow. In Almora, Ramlila is being staged at eight localities, including Karnatakkhola, Nanda Devi, Dharanaula, Rajpura, Narayan Tiwari Dewal (NDT) Khatyari and Sarkar ki Aali.

A scene from Ramlila being staged at Almora in Kumaon on Thursday. Photo: Naveen Bisht

Girls’ worship marks day 8 of Navratra
Haridwar, October 2
With today being eighth day of Sharadiya Navratra, deity form of Maha Gauri was worshipped across the district.

MAD awareness campaign and clean-up drive
Dehradun, October 2
The city’s student activist group, Making a Difference (MAD), held an awareness campaign and clean-up drive at Neshvilla Road on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti here today.

Volunteers of Making a Difference paint the walls on the occasion of a cleanliness drive on Gandhi Jayanti in Dehradun on Thursday. A Tribune photograph

Peyjal Nigam staff do their bit
Dehradun, October 2
A function was held at Peyjal Nigam office to party tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri here today. The staff of the nigam took brooms and cleaned office campus and adjoining areas under Union Government’s Swachha Bharat Abhiyan.

Int’l yoga fest kicks off
Haridwar, October 2
The International Yoga Festival began at Dev Sanskriti University here today.

Street hawkers protest
Dehradun, October 2
Street hawkers protested against the anti-encroachment drive launched by the Mandi Samiti here today. The agitators lamented that the samiti officials were harassing them in the name of encroachments in different areas of Dehradun. The agitators gathered at Subzi Mandi, Niranjanpur, and shouted slogans against the samiti.

Swachh Bharat Abhiyan makes sense after all “Cleanliness in next to Godliness.” It sounds so squeaky clean statement in rhetoric; easy to deliver.

But away from all the luxury and glamour of the palatial houses, metal streets and tree-lined promenades, there is a larger world in every town and city where people live in abject poverty and deprivation. The notions of welfare state fail to reach there. Godliness has meaning in prayers halls only. It is not followed in deeds of cleanliness. The tragedy was exposed in the film Slumdog Millionaire. It was released in 2008, directed by Danny Boyle. The film was critically acclaimed the world over and named in the top ten lists of various media sources. 

I’m not writing these lines to proselytize or as a pedantic exercise. Conventional wisdom says that poverty is not a choice. A poor remains poor because of  low income and the certain lifestyle he adopts is not his wont. His behavioral traits like lack of cleanliness, limited self-control, idling away the time are not within his control. We forget that behavioral psychology determines the behavior of the poor.

According to Charles Karelis, the Research Professor of Philosophy at The George Washington University – “When we’re poor our economic worldview is shaped by deprivation. The conditions of poverty exact a heavy toll on cognitive resources through the everyday challenges of scarcity. The repeated trade-offs confronts the poor in daily decision making. The rich can afford both a bit more food and a bit more fertilizer, no decision is necessary.

Poverty produces ‘Lack of control over Life.’ And when we find helplessness to control our life, we become the victim of clinical depression and related mental illnesses. Insensitivity to dirt and squalor is one of them. We don’t see it. We don’t need a clean veranda.

I appreciate the efforts PM Narendra Modi is making to inculcate the sense of Hygiene and Sanitation in masses. He is addressing both the luxury car owners – the parvenus, the millionaire and billionaires who spit the PAN PEEK at the marble columns of Connaught Place or in the flowerpots kept in the lawns of national monuments, and PM is addressing the poor destitute defecating alfresco. His intentions are great. However, I wonder, what comes first? Cart or the horse? The rich man is too arrogant and poor is too ignorant. Who is going to listen to Mr. Modi in this long country marathon.

BJP understands this dilemma well. Majority of Indian Muslims live below all the lines of one can conceive. BJP thought it well to make a day with Muslims. However, the thinking process remained half-baked. Since the fall of Moghul empire, there is hardly any great Islamic Structure that has been built by Muslims with the exception of AMU Aligarh.’The India Islamic Centre’ at Lodhi Road is an anomaly. I think that most of the poor Muslims of Delhi are unaware of its existence. It is ridden, like most of the Muslims Institutions, with internecine political fights of domination. Delhi BJP didn’t do its home work.

It didn’t check its background. Any of the ‘Jamuna Par’ colonies where Muslims live the depraved existence could have given a safe and sound opportunity to show the seriousness of ‘Swacch Bharat Campaign.’ Lutyen’s Delhi is one of the cleanest places in India. You have to make it dirty first with all pious intentions to make it clean. And here the BJP chief of Delhi had been caught on the wrong foot.

Today, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is facing a big embarrassment following revelations that the Sunday evening Clean Up India event was a farce. The Clean Up India campaign was organised near the India Islamic Center in New Delhi where the organisers actually dumped a lot of garbage on a clean road which was later cleaned up once again by Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay and former AAP leader Shazia Ilmi. As the election in Delhi is approaching, this faux pas is going to cause the party dearly. 

It was a show devoid of intelligence.

By: Naim Naqvi

Image Source: 1, 2

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