Namastey! I hope you are fine after returning from Orissa. I am sure the Orissa Congress leaders treated you well here. Yes, you guessed it right from the use of the word ‘here’. I am from Orissa – a 20 year old apolitical youth (now you should be interested in this letter). I was keenly tracking your recent Orissa visit and in due process some questions have come up in my mind. I don’t expect you to answer my questions as you are yet to answer when people ask you about your views on several serious issues ranging from price rise to Kashmir, from Naxalism to Commonwealth games mismanagement. Probably last time we had heard from you when Saharukh Khan was on ShivSena’s target. May be that was a serious issue for you as your friend was in trouble.
Ok, leave those topics. My questions will only from your visit to Orissa. Even if you decide not to answer, at least pay some time to think about it. (Your fans reading this open letter will anyway give the answer on behalf of you). Well, don’t worry! I will not ask you about the suspect Maoist Lado Sikoka garlanding you in that meeting. BJP has already asked that question. Why will I repeat that?
As soon as the N C Saxena committee suggested a ban on Vedanta’s mining in Niyamgiri, Orissa, I got to hear that a ‘special’ visit of yours to Orissa is being planned. The next day, it was declared that you would visit Lanjigarh on the 26th August. The local congress leadership also reminded us of your speech at Lanjigarh in 2008, during your ‘Discovery of India’ yatra. You had said, “Kalahandi ke tribals ka ek sipahi Nai Delhi mein hai aur uska naam hai Rahul Gandhi”. So what actually you wanted to show us was that you kept your promise and threw Vedanta out of Lanjigarh (Kalahandi). I just want to know how you were sure that Vedanta will be thrown out after just a ‘suggestion’ from a committee. Were you sure that the Union Minister of Forests Mr. Jairam Ramesh would give his decision against the Vedanta? Or had you told (ordered?) Ramesh to ban Vedanta’s mining project? I am not speaking from Vedanta’s side but if it was pre-planned to ban Vedanta’s mining, then what was the point to do such drama? In fact, local media reports suggest that central govt. will give go ahead to Vedanta if it asks for mines at different places. Did you want to take the limelight and appease the tribals to get some more votes in 2014? Did you do that to embarrass the Orissa govt.? Ahh, then you couldn’t change the ‘way politics is done’ as you had promised us (youth). Rather you became a part of it! Would you please clarify?
When you were in Orissa (to appease Lanjigarh tribals), actually most of the population of Orissa was expecting a clarification from you on the Polavaram project. We common people are not experts, but some geologists have expressed apprehension that several villages of Malkangiri on the Andhra-Orissa border will be submerged once the dam is complete. And let me tell you that part of Orissa also is a tribal dominated area. How did you forget the ‘other’ tribals of Malkangiri when you were talking with ‘some’ tribals of Lanjigarh? So you are selective in your love for the tribals? Or is that because your party’s govt. in Andhra is executing this project? Then how are you the ‘Sipahi of tribal’? By the way, do you know just one day after your visit your mom has written a letter to Andhra CM ‘assuring’ him that the Polavaram project will be a national project. You can understand how depressed the tribal of that part of Orissa are! Would you please care to visit them too?
Do the poor people make a vote bank? No, I guess! Otherwise you must have talked about the POSCO project in Jagatsinghpur, Orissa. If struggle of people against Vedanta attracted your divine attention, why not the struggle of the poor people against POSCO have that privilege? 2 days before Saxena committee’s ‘suggestion’ to ban Vedanta mining, another committee of Ministry of Forest had stalled the acquisition process for the POSCO. But you didn’t utter a word about that project. Is it due to the difference between the poor and tribals or the difference between POSCO and Vedanta or Both? The reason I am asking you this question is that for many days PMO was directly focusing to make the POSCO project successful. Why suddenly the government has turned against the project? I smell conspiracy. Can you throw some light?
Ok, forget POSCO. One thing is sure that the company on your target was Vedanta. But you didn’t talk about Vedanta University project. Come on, you were here for around 1.5 hours, what were you talking then? For your information, Vedanta University will be established on 6000acres of land on Puri-Konark marine drive. Have you ever heard of a university present on 6000acres of land? We suspect this project to be a trap by Vedanta to capture the valuable lands that are present on the Puri-Konark marine drive. You should have talked something about that. You can tell (and your fans too) that you are not expected to know about all the projects in Orissa. But when you came here didn’t you do some home work? Google Vedanta and Orissa, you could have found all information about Vedanta’s projects here and the controversies related to them. You being branded as future prime minister (even no. of fans on your facebook page is a news in the media) we had expected you to talk about whole Orissa and be the sipahi of the Orissa, not a select group of people.
These were some of my questions, think about these. Think if you are really changing the way politics is done. Don’t disappoint us, sir. You have already done that several times.
Wishing you a bright future (your future is anyway bright thanks to the family you are born in)
P.S. I forgot to make a suggestion. Please shave, that uncharacteristic beard doesn’t look good. News channels too are hesitating to show this recent ‘not so handsome’ avatar of yours. Please don’t give chance to India TV to make 30 minutes special program on your beard. 😛
[Cartoon: courtesy Prasad Radhakrishnan/ Mail Today]