DailyPost 1980

If would be very difficult to find a person in this country, who does have any grievance against the government or the vast majority of even the private service providers in a variety of areas. It would be equally difficult to find a person who would be happy the way his grievance has been handled, which happens to be his right and in large number of times, his fundamental right. It would be even more difficult to find a person, who can vouch for the predictability of a service or even the predictability of grievance redressal, even in a few day-to-day areas. How many times you feel that there no valid reason of the disruption or that approval delay to happen and tons of such issues the common man is being nagged with, unnecessarily.

Democracy is all about grievance redressal in the fairest manner, of the right quality and in the shortest possible time. That grievances should not be man-made, emanating out of the lethargy of the system. It should not happen because people who are manning the system should be provided with the luxury of having a nice time. All governments claim fame has been a responsive governance. Given the squalor around the first question that needs to be asked is, what do we understand by responsive governance? Responsive to the best of our understanding is the collection of petitions physically in Janata melas held by elected representatives, political executive and government officials depending on their nature of the job. The same exercise has now moved on to the digital mode by citizen centric services being offered differently.

The performance of the digital mode has turned out to be much worse, but for a number you can carry as a tag around your neck. The fate of people’s grievances reached its nadir at the height of the second COVID wave, where nearly all across the country, you were left to fend for yourself. A redressal less India in the midst of a health emergency. But what about peacetime, is it any better? If there is considerable delay in the construction of a flyover and a living mess created all around it, for an unknown period of time, where can it be redressed? What is the fate of a pothole death? Is it an accident, natural death, or a man-made one or is it a grievance unattended? Unattended grievances are like open wounds; unattended, undressed and untreated, having a heavy toll on persons who face it day in and day out. The likely aggravation of it cannot be denied.

The promises during elections are primarily grievances to be attended. Have we lost the wherewithal to run, what we have created or have we even lost the will to do that? Or only the lives of the high and mighty matters in this country? Where can the status of the governmental redressal machinery be studied from the user’s point of view? The adage is that when everything turns out to be a grievance, there is no grievance at all. What is the accountability scenario? Can collation of grievances happen at the national database level? The National Governance Grievances Portal can be a good idea. Single window for India, accountability fixed, timelines provided and immediate penal action for the errant. Do the governments today even have the capability to even set right grievances?


Sanjay Sahay

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