Madam, the benevolent people of Tamil Nadu have bestowed upon you an opportunity that none has received in the past three decades and may be none will ever receive in future. You have a unique opportunity to etch your name in the Golden History by ensuring you do very simple things that will have groundbreaking results:
1. To begin with, pls. put an immediate end to the bowing, prostrating, worshipping & weeping by your cadre. While we agree that they all Love, Respect & Adore you, with your one command, they will stop all this immediately. You have won our hearts and our votes, does this still have to continue? Teach them to stand with a firm spine against corruption, serve the people with dedication, work with little expectation and assure complete satisfaction. The world is watching!
2. Help revive Industries. The rains & deluge have not only played havoc with people’s lives but also caused the closure of many small & medium industries. They need immediate help. The larger ones demand transparency & single-door clearance. Take a cue from what your friend Modi did as a CM in Gujarat. Open the doors, engage into direct discussions, cut the red tape and stop the middlemen demanding commission. Invite FDI by making parallel offers that excite the Apple, Google, Microsoft etc.
3. Education is in shambles. Urban Schools need Teachers and Rural Schools need Shelters. Ask your Politicians to stop making Engineering Colleges a Business Proposition. We churn out the largest number of Engineering Graduates in the Country, unfortunately a large chunk remain unemployable. Engineering Graduates taking up jobs as Drivers, is a clear sign of failed leadership. Vice Chancellor’s who have been appointed on the basis of cash, further appoint teachers on the same basis. Their interest lies in their own ROI and terms such as Academic/Employer Reputation, Global Standards, Benchmarking, World Rankings etc. sound alien to them. None of our State Universities have a National standing let alone a Global one. Some of our Private Universities are doing well and need your support & backing. Open up your purse strings and encourage them to undertake Research that will benefit our people.
4. The Farming Community is Starving. Waiver of Farm Loans is like feeding a dying man. Farming needs a massive rejuvenation. Only when a farmer wets his feet in mud, do we get to put our hands in food. Mankind has played havoc with nature and nature rightly retaliates thereby causing greater agony to poor Farmers. A strong ministry is an immediate need.
5. Innovation: take a cue from our neighbor CM Chandrababu Naidu. Make Innovation your desire. Put up a strong team under you with an Innovation CEO. Ensure the best young minds get an opportunity to Intern in your key Ministries. Let them infuse freshness in the system. Ensure autonomy for the bureaucracy and let them learn to say NO to the Ministers without the fear of being admonished.
6. Freebies: all the fans, TV’s, Laptops, Goats, Cows etc. have either been sold or dead/buried. The quality has been useless as your procurement agency has been shameless.
7. You now have a strong fierce opposition. Let your performance count. Don’t let them count your countless posters. You are in our hearts. People would like to see you more physically, in media, attending meetings, making important visits, engaging with leaders and not on a poster across every street. The expense saved on the posters could be put to better use by your cadre.
8. Every time you decide to get out of your home, many of us dread the day and decide to stay in doors. Take a cue from Mamata Didi. Pls. ensure the convenience of fellow citizens. The weather is already unkind. Pls don’t make matters worse by making poor citizens wait for hours in traffic only because you decided to go to work today or decided to garland some statue in some corner of Chennai.
The annual revenue through sale of alcohol (TASMAC) has been approx. INR 26,000 crores (FY 14-15). The current freebies promise that you have made is expected to cost INR 27,000 crores. A poll promise of all parties has been the close down of Tasmac and full prohibition of Alcohol in the State. You have committed a prohibition in a phased manner. Do you have a plan? How will you generate money for the freebies?
10. Tourism: See Kerala? What was Kerala before ‘God’s own Country’ was coined. Invite Amitabh Kant (IAS). Set up a presentation. Ask him to Mentor us and do what he did to Kerala Tourism. We have bigger beaches, older temples, richer cultural heritage and a lot more to sell.
Madam, at this point, you have in your hands probably no other CM has had ever. You have the support of your people, the love of your cadres, respect of your Ministers, admiration of your bureaucrats, envy of your competitors, attention of the media, a personality to die for, a charisma to look upto, impeccable english, amazing diction, fluency in multiple languages, friendship of the current Prime Minister, adulation in social media, enemy that has fallen weak and an opposition that has grown mightier & stronger.
All that we citizens demand is simple: doing the right things and doing things right. We are with YOU!
Karthick S | ICARE
Dr Karthick Sridhar
Indian Centre for Academic Rankings & Excellence Pvt Ltd