Random thoughts on people’s expectations and what the Govt can do

Khelsoril Wanbe
The dictum, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people” seems to hold true till today, especially in India, which is indisputably the largest democratic Nation in the world. Here a Government exists so long as it enjoys the trust and mandate of the people, unlike some countries in the world, where voices of the people are virtually suppressed and gagged through military might.
Here in India, a lot depends on the democratic strategy and ability to draw the sympathy and approval of the people in various matters that concern them the most. If people begin to lose their faith and confidence in any Government, their powerful reaction is reflected at election times. Hence, so long as a Government enjoys the trust and love of the people, it can remain confident and in power, yet it cannot or should never be complacent with its performance, because people are always vigilant and sensitive.
True leaders are those that have in-depth understanding of the desires and wishes of the diverse people. People’s expectations are usually high and many. However, the difficult or the complex part is that the dreams and desires of the people aren’t the same. Different people have different expectations that might even be conflicting and sometimes come into clash. The need to maintain some kind of equilibrium comes up in such situation. In another sense, it may not be possible to fully fulfil the expectations of all the people, but a good leader is someone who tries his best to fulfil expectations of the people, as much as possible. He makes maximum efforts to bring about optimal satisfaction of the people, who are sometimes comparable to children, because sometimes their demands might seem unreasonable or unacceptable, yet, in their view it could be something very important.
People’s needs, desires and expectations are many, which could include good roads, good water supply, good power supply, good employment opportunities, reasonable or affordable prices of goods and services, good and affordable medical facilities, good and affordable educational system; in other words, good social, economic, health, educational security and so on are the chief concerns. Governments in the past too must have tried in their capacity to bring improvement in all these areas and the present incumbent Government too is trying its best to be at par or even outdo its predecessors. All that the people want is better life: improvement of things that are essential for survival and happy life. And while carrying out the developmental plans and programs, what people often wish is that they happen with minimum negative economic or other impacts. As a matter of fact, infrastructural developments have far-reaching positive as well as negative impacts. For instance, construction of dams and the arrival of the railway are debatable issues and topics; whether the positive impacts far outweigh the negative ones or not can be discussed.
The demand for supply of clean water is ever on the rise. Water is essential for washing, cooking, drinking, etc. We sometimes see dirty or muddy water coming in the water pipeline, but we don’t know why or how; we have no choice but have to collect it and use it when the mud has settled at the bottom of the container or we may try to take the help of some purifiers. We also sometimes come across broken pipes at dirty places, which could cause contamination of the water. As the need for water is almost limitless, water management and supply is undoubtedly a very big concern for the people as well as for the Government. Through proper management and investment, water problem can definitely be resolved. 24X7 of water supply with prepaid system will go a long way in avoiding wastage of water and it will also help bring in a good amount of water revenue. Nothing can be supplied for free, the cost should be reasonable though.
Power supply too should be properly managed; all possibilities of power theft should be checked or plugged. In this contemporary world, power is required in almost every human activity. Power department needs to be manned with adequate number of personnel. The power employees need to be paid well and in turn, they need to perform their duty satisfactorily and power consumers too need to honestly pay their power taxes without indulging in any kind of tampering and so on.
Roads are also our major concern. Roads need to be in good condition. Potholes and other mutilations of roads need to be taken care of on time without much delay. One problem that we often observe with our roads is that of breaking off of the tarmac that forms the outermost layer of the road and subsequent formation of potholes, especially after having been soaked in flood water in rainy seasons, which require frequent repairing and reconstruction. Resolving this problem will require some innovative thinking of our experts and civil engineers.
People also have concern for the educational and medical systems. They wish the two are not exorbitant but reasonable and affordable. They wonder how that could be possible. Should there be friendly and healthy competitions between the Government and private educational and medical institutions. We have the well-paid medical and educational staffs of the Government owned institutions, on the one hand, and the lean and underpaid staffs of the private institutions, on the other, and we wonder how come the employees in private institutions are working more diligently and efficiently and bring in much more impressive results.
Another concern of the people is prices of essential goods and products such as LPG, petrol, edible oil, and other foodstuff. The Government must be trying its best to keep the prices in check. The prevailing circumstances will of course have to be taken into consideration. There must be difficult factors that contribute to price inflation. Nevertheless, what people always want to see is the falling of prices.
Another concern is the problem of unemployment. It’s true the Government cannot give jobs to all the millions of unemployed youth and even senior citizens. In the creation and provision of employment, private sector or corporate industries and institutions have a very big role to play. The Government can only play the role of monitoring and regulating the work conditions, payment of wages and salaries etc. Even if the management is in the hands of the private individuals or corporations, the employees will be very happy and thankful if the Government intervenes in favour of the hapless employees in matters of working condition, working hour, wages, salaries, etc. The Government will need to invoke the help of experts and economists in this matter.
People are also observing with bated breath as to how much improvement is being made in the tackling of our age-old corruption problem, which had become a chronic democratic and bureaucratic illness. The declaration made by our honourable Chief Minister of his determination to fight against corruption brought a great sigh of relief and hope. Under his able leadership, people are hopeful that the problem of corruption will be minimised to a large extent, even if not eradicated. Through sincerity, honesty, humility, understanding and cooperation, tremendous changes and developments can be brought about even in a short span of time.
Without doubt, we’re facing numerous social, economic and political problems; yet, if we work together with mutual respect and understanding, we can definitely find solutions to our problems and conflicts. We need to understand that no problem can be solved through hate, prejudice, enmity and other negative feelings and emotions.