|By Cyril Vas, Bangalore [ Published Date: December 23, 2005 ]|
Christmas is a beautiful feast which we celebrate during a beautiful season. Itís vacation for school-going children and time to take a long leave for office goers. It brings to mind a whole lot of things. It revives our childhood memories and makes our memories sweeter, our thoughts warmer and our days brighter. The birth of Jesus brings us love, joy and peace, rare gifts that the world canít give.
The mission of Jesus is certainly not limited to Him alone. He has asked us to do likewise. The world is still full of sin and evil. He continues to live with us and do good to all. But he needs our hands to touch the needy, our feet to go in search of the poor and hungry, our eyes to see the plight of less fortunate among us, our ears to listen to the cries of the marginalized, our mouths to speak against injustice and corruption.
What can we do to usher in a new era of goodness? How can we go about spreading the goodnews of peace and justice? How can we leaven the communities in which we live? What are the methods that we can use to put a stop to many evil practices in our society? How can we help clean up the Ďdirtí of corruption and greed that has attacked the very roots of democracy and shaken its pillars?
Well, there are a number of things that we can think of to bring in reforms. One of the most important things we can choose from is to build capacity of our people so that they feel empowered to demand better governance. The service delivery which is mostly the monopoly of government agencies must definitely improve. Citizens must feel completely satisfied with the delivery of public services like drinking water supply, roads, health facilities, education, and public transport. As of now, the manner in which these public services are rendered to the citizens leaves much to be desired.
It is to be noted that Transparency International an organization that categorises countries across the globe on good governance and weighs the level of corruption in them has rated India as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. (Ref. Corruption Index 2004). Itís also a matter of shame that Karnataka is one of the most corrupt states in India today.
Our objective is not to blame anyone or curse the darkness but to light a lamp and banish all evil from amidst us. We need to empower people with information. We need to educate people on their rights and responsibilities. Itís not a time to sit idle or close our eyes. We canít afford to be cynical today. Indifference will certainly kill our future generations before they reach the age of puberty. We can only ill afford to shut our mouths against injustice and evil in its various forms.
A time has come when we must all come together and build our cities, our towns and villages and make them strong. We must help people to find solutions to their local problems. Let us think of our children and their future. Donít we sincerely wish their good especially after we leave this world? When we are with them we will do all we can to ensure a happy future for them. But we must think of the times when we are no longer with them. We must therefore in all seriousness plan their growth and development. And that development must be a sustainable development. We must take care of our nature and provide a safe and clean environment to our children. Above all, we must enable them to be our future leaders.
One of the best ways to do this is by making our children aware of civic issues. We must ourselves live as active citizens today so that our children by imitating us and seeing our good example before them always, will sincerely strive to be active citizens. To achieve this goal, we need to form our communities on the right path. We need to orient ourselves and our children towards community good. We must stand together, plan together and work together in a spirit of unity and cooperation.
Good governance is a rare subject that we hardly think of. But it is so important today for our communities. It comprises various important issues such as Role of civil society, Right to information, peopleís participation in local budgets, citizensí charters, electoral reforms, choosing the right candidates in elections, improving the quality of public services, rights and duties of elected representatives and most important of all building the capacity of our youth and children.
Mangalorean community can think of Good Governance. Let us come together and organise Good Governance workshops for our youth, children and other groups. Let us make this noble mission our own to lead our community forward in every way, by empowerment and capacity building. Let us be strong pillars of our future community. Lay a solid foundation today by establishing a Mangalorean Movement for Good Governance. This is my humble suggestion to all Mangaloreans at this beautiful time of the year.
Let's build a strong Mangalorean community for Good Governance in 21st century. I welcome all to join this movement and spread the good work.