TODAY -

Maddening power of Dili

Free Thinker *



We all agree that Dili is the dil of the Country. But it acts more like a brain rather than a heart. The feeling of love and romance is lacking and it behaves like a pragmatic politician believing in control and dictates. It is not even in the middle of the country but its meddling power is maddening. From policies to priorities the messing power of Dili is par excellence. No State or Union territory is free from mucking from Dili.

We are also behaving in the way Dili desires. For everything and anything the general tendency is to rush to Dili and find a way out. From politics to pecuniary matters everyone flies to Dili for guidance or order.

This is perhaps our own creation. We are used to this kind of behaviour - our overdependence on Dili is indigestible. I thought that since we are a poor State, we often need financial assistance from the Centre so we have a reason to go to Dili. That is fine. But for dismissing defecators sorry defectors if we start consulting Dili, that is absurd.

If you want to make some changes in the administrative set-up or even policies you are free to do so as long as it is within the power given to you as enlisted in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.

Yes, of course you may require consultation for the appointment and transfer of top bureaucrats and police. If you start taking guidance and advice for flimsy things from those sitting at the Centre it becomes a bad habit. Habit becomes a convention or practice . Then donít blame Dili for meddling in your affairs.

We canít blame anyone for this; because it is the system we have created and accepted. Dili has the highest panchayat of the country and it has also the also the highest court of the land. So, all the important issues of the land are decided by these institutions.

The laws and policies of the land are framed in this highest Panchayat called Parliament. And the final say or interpretation on such matters lies with the Apex Court. Our Andro matter will also be decided finally by it probably after firing.

Sometimes it becomes so pathetic and so frustrating that you are waiting for an appointment with the power that be in Dili for taking a decision. You are waiting and you are not getting an audience that is so disheartening. It happens quite often. And we are used to this kind of treatment. Forget about top politicians and political leaders even the officials act so busy that they canít meet our representatives. The snubbing power of Dili is again very demoralizing.

Even for national parties the things are not that hunky-dory. The State party leaders and regional leaders loiter around in Dili to get an appointment with their Party bosses; many a time they donít get appointments. This is applicable to almost all the national political parties particularly with the two major national parties. The State leaders come to Dili to see their leaders. They could not meet the top leadership. In most of the cases they could have tea with the middling ranking Party office bearers.

Forget about Party leaders the top State leaders are not getting appointment with the big fishes of Dili. Quite often they grumble but they are helpless. And they canít abandon their job. Sometimes things come to such a farce that they canít even get an appointment with the Personal secretary of the big gun.

The high command culture is there in all the political parties. But the high command culture is stronger for the oldest Party in the country. That is the tradition and convention they follow. The high command culture becomes more blatant whenever they are in power. When they are out of power the culture is somewhat relaxed. Now-adays I am told that it is easy to meet Nehrus and Gandhis.

Once upon a time it was said that the Parivar leaders are so simple and extremely accessible. And they are very friendly and sympathetic to the cause of the common men. These days they are not that accessible. Now some kind of strange culture has intruded in their system too. Earlier people used to say that it is very comfortable with Bhaisabs. Things have changed, it might be because of the power and authority they command today.

Power is no doubt very intoxicating. Once you have enjoyed power and authority it gives you a kind of a kick that you forget your roots. Those who remain grounded and rooted even when they are in power their career lasts longer than those who have become arrogant and ruthless when in power.

There are very few leaders who could remain as normal as ever - whether in power or out of power. Their behavior remains the same, their engagement with others remains the same; that kind of leadership is very rare these days.

People still talk about Bajpaiji, because of his simple down-to-earth nature. He was a man of the masses; he was loved by one and all; even his political adversaries find it difficult to use foul words about him.

Though I am not in politics I really admire such a personality. He always wanted to meet people and talk to the people; he never discriminated people on the basis of rank and file. I am told that he used to meet common people (Janta Durbar) even after he became the Prime Minister. That was stopped because of security reasons. He was unhappy about the discontinuance.

Ministers were given free hand; Babus could take bold decisions; and there was minimum interference from Dili; that was the trade mark of Bajpaiji . Rather there was frequent interferences from the regional satraps in those days perhaps because of the then rag-tag coalition.

Indian Democracy was really shinning. Ironically people could not see the shine.

Letís stop rushing to Dili for everything and anything. Letís assert and decide ourselves as long as it is not ultra-vires and within our limits Ė applicable to both Government & Politics.


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on February 13, 2020.



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