Banda is a district in Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh. It is a district where not much development work has occurred since Independence.
Poverty and unemployment are rife. People die due to hunger and lack of health facilities. Farmers and poor people still commit suicides due to debt. Feudalism is common and crimes are rife.
Bureaucrats and Police officials tend to behave as rulers, rather than public servants. Their arrogance is breath-taking. Violation of human rights of people is far too common. Exploitation of poor people is rife. I have seen it all first hand. We ourselves had faced this situation from Police Dept only a few years ago. We chose to fight, rather than buckle, largely because we were able to stand up to them. We won, but this is not possible for many.
Banda has many issues, but it also has many things which are great. Our Mehmaan Nawaji (looking after guests) and value of words are unmatchable. Our simplicity (we are not complex or cunning) is praise-worthy! We are very hard-working. We should be proud of it. We are overall good people.
The bad situation exists only because good people in Banda (Whole heaps of Banda people are hard-working, honest, decent and fantastic people) have accepted the Status Quo (Hoye koi nrip hame ka hani, Cheri chor na hove rani) and allow the current situation to persist. The second big reason is the quality of leaders from Banda. Many MPs and MLAs have openly used less than standard tricks to win elections. Caste and religion factors have played big roles in the elections. Money and Alcohol often play a role. This can’t be good by any definition.
This all need to change, and this change needs to start from ourselves. This change needs to start soon too!
We must follow what Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world”! Let us show that we mean it this time.
The questions we need to ponder over include;
Why do we vote based on the caste of the candidate?
Why do we vote based on the religion of the candidate?
Why do we vote for those who have crime background?
Why do we vote for those who are bullies (Goondas)?
Why do we vote for people who have no education or integrity?
Why do we vote for those who will sit in the Assembly or Lok Sabha just to raise hands?
We must think about it all quite seriously.
This all need to change!
Let us vote for someone who is;
not into crimes,
not in bullying (Goondagardi),
or into corruption.
Let us vote for someone who will work for people, not himself/herself!
Let us vote for someone who is coming into politics for public service, not for money making!
Let us vote for someone who can think, network, influence key people and Govt, and deliver things for Banda, UP, which Banda deserves!
Let us evaluate the quality and purpose of various candidates and give our votes to the best person on these parameters, not caste or religion of the candidates!
I am sure that good people of Banda will agree with me that it is a uncivilized behaviour to vote for someone just because that person is from my caste. How can we give preference (our votes) to a “bad” person when we have a better person even if that better person is not from my caste or religion? Surely, a scum from my caste can not be better than a Mahatma (Saintly person) from other castes! Casteism is a curse in our society!
If we wish to change Status Quo, we must elect only those who have intellectual capacity and integrity to be our representatives. We must ask them what they will do to change the picture of Banda. We must ask not only this, but many more questions. Helping us get Gun licenses alone will not help. We must debate in regards to who deserves to be our MP and MLA.
We are civilized people. Let us all re-assert ourselves to be decent and civilized people!
Let us change Banda and Banda’s fate!
Let us change the perception about Banda!
A revolution must start from this Lok Sabha election on 30th April, 2014 itself!
Jai Banda, and Jai Banda Vasiyo (People of Banda)!
Dr Yadu Singh/Sydney/21st March, 2014