Wanted: Bijli, sadak, paani, broadband and good governance

It’s so good to be back to the grime of Mumbai. My five-day visit to Varanasi, Chhapra and Patna confirmed the belief what most mediawatchers have been saying: Television is a huge influencer in General Elections 2014.

But what I was trying to probe and must confess failed to determine was whether the electorate is going to take decisions on the basis of what they watch every day on the news channels, or do their own thing.

That’s something which will emerge only on May 16 and even the exit polls which all channels will subject us to after the final phase of May 12 may not give us a reasonable indicator.

I was on my way to Patna this morning and had intended to also visit Hajipur, Ram Vilas Paswan’s constituency. The fear of getting stuck on the partly two-lane Gandhi Setu, the 5+ km bridge across the Ganga, held me back from doing so.

But the mess on the longest river bridge in Asia is kind-of symptomatic of the state of affairs in Nitish Kumar’s Bihar.

Things are a lot better from the last time I had visited the place in 2008, but disorder still prevails. Miles to go still.

I would think it’s critical that the media – especially the English news television folk – needs to get activisty on the state of infrastructural decay in the country.

That’s the only way in which India will progress.

Am sorry if I sound like a politician. Five days of meeting an assorted set of people in the eastern – and if I may add, one of the most neglected parts of the country, make me write this.

Bijli, sadak, paani, broadband and a clean administration is what UP and Bihar need. And guess so does the rest of the country.

I was delighted to see Shazia Ilimi in the dock. Not because I have something against her or the Aam Aadmi Party, but the smart use of a cellphone camera and the Youtube platform ensured that she was exposed. Expect more of all of this happening in the future. Soon, we won’t need a Cobrapost to do the stings for us.

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