Instead of just singing the praise of Modi, as most people seem to doing these days (I get a sense of deja vu. I first saw this mindless euphoria about Indira Gandhi, then Rajiv Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, and now Modi) – someone on FB actually asked a question:
"what do you suggest.. to change people's mindset about cleanliness".
Another asked a similar one on Twitter:
Well, it is good that SOME people are not just defending my criticism of Modi's JHARU PROGRAM to solve fundamental governance problems with India, and are willing to ask questions. I do not vigorously criticise AAP, Congress and BJP for nothing. There is a reason why I criticise these socialists.
Now, if you had read BFN and SKC agenda, you'd not ask about this, but let me not assume too much and summarise the key plan of action.
HOW TO MAKE INDIA CLEAN
I had already alluded to the solution in this post. Let me elaborate.
Step 1: Implement basic system reforms outlined in SKC agenda.
It is impossible to clean India without fixing the underlying system. Key reforms in this area include (but are not limited to):
- Electoral system reform to ensure we get clean politicians. If not, they’ll ALWAYS interfere in every decision and try to make money from EVERY project at EVERY level.
- Bureaucratic system reform to ensure we get a COMPETENT and accountable bureaucracy. Today no one is accountable for anything, and most bureaucrats are trying to make money from the system. We need to ensure that everyone at ALL levels will need to be accountable. Bureaucrats at all levels will have absence of tenure, and contracts that insist on performance.
- Local government reform. This will include total empowerment of local governments with elected members, allowing them to hire and fire their own CEO, with capacity to raise rates and local property taxes to fund their work.
This is merely a sketch. Details are outlined in BFN/ SKC agenda. Without putting in place these basic reforms Modi CAN NEVER DELIVER a clean India. No matter how many jharus he uses. Modi has shown NO INTEREST in reforms. So he can never get to the second step.
Step 2: Ensure that cleanliness is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) in the contracts of the CEOs of various municipalities
Now that there are accountable bureaucracies, we insert cleanliness (and absence of corruption, etc.) into the contracts of CEOs. They will need to work out ways to deploy resources to deliver these KPIs, or be sacked.
Step 3: Let local governments establish a CONSTRUCTIVE COMPLIANCE STRATEGY
This will involve things like:
- ensuring waste bins are installed at numerous strategic places across the cities, and are regularly cleared
- ensuring there are well-equipped (e.g. with cameras) compliance officials who impose on the spot fines on those littering the city (such fines exist in the statute books of most municipalities but are not enforced). Raj Samadhiya village in Gujarat is perhaps India’s cleanest village. Nobody throws any paper on road or dirties common lands or water. That is because incentives work. It follows a draconian (almost Singaporean) law that if those who litter are fined Rs.1000.
- ensuring professional cleaning services for streets etc. tendered through open competition, and successful bidders held to account for delivery through stiff penalties for non-compliance.
- establishing incentives (if needed PPPs) for recycling plants that will sort out the rubbish and recycle before it goes to landfill
- ensuring international standards are met re: the kind of material that enters landfill (to avoid polluting underground water).
This, again, is merely an OUTLINE. But these three steps are ENTIRELY BEYOND MODI'S FEEBLE UNDERSTANDING.
Hence my wagers to him, and hence my ASSERTION without any hesitation that he will TOTALLY fail to clean India.
I believe that cleaning India and making it beautiful can become one of the largest job generating programs in India's history. But India is not prepared to deliver. Its house is not in order.