Uttarakhand election: We need to retain pahad ka paani, jawani, says filmmaker | assembly-elections$uttarakhand-2017 | Hindustan Times
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Uttarakhand election: We need to retain pahad ka paani, jawani, says filmmaker

As politicians have been frequently switching allegiance (to rival parties), it appears that they are opportunists and do not have dedicated loyalty to any party or their people.

assembly elections Updated: Feb 08, 2017 19:29 IST
Tigmanshu Dhulia, filmmaker
Tigmanshu Dhulia, filmmaker

Uttarakhand was born in 2000 as a promising Himalayan state.

It could have been managed so well, given its small size and population. Sadly, the state has lacked visionary politicians who could have led it to the peak of development.

The state has seen 10 chief ministers within a span of 16 years.

There has been no political stability, which has affected the hill state’s development.

As politicians have been frequently switching allegiance (to rival parties), it appears that they are opportunists and do not have dedicated loyalty to any party or their people.

It’s a young state and netas are trying to milk it for their own benefit.

Talking about issues, poor accessibility due to bad quality of roads is a huge concern.

I have gone up till the interiors of the state’s hills – even till the remote areas up till the Indo-Nepal border — and something needs to be done about that (improving road connectivity) soon.

Blessed with nature’s abundance, Uttarakhand has inherent qualities of being a hotspot of tourism of different types.

But, sadly, new destinations are not being explored – only already popular places and adventure activities (like hill towns Mussoorie and Nainital, river rafting in Rishikesh etc) have been drawing most of the tourists. The next government needs to identify the real potential of tourism in the state and exploit the same.

Migration is one of the most critical issues of Uttarakhand. With scarce job opportunities available in the hills, most youngsters either join army en masse or simply move to urban areas in the plains.

We need to retain and nurture pahad ka paani aur jawani (water and youth of the mountains). For that, the next government should take up the task of curbing migration of youngsters from the hills at the earliest.

Before being carved out of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand had largely remained cut off from the mainstream for a very long time. And so, to make up for it, the young state needs development, and needs it now.

The divisive politics of Garhwal vs Kumaon (the two administrative regions of Uttarakhand), which the politicians have been playing for their own vested interests, also needs to stop.

Pahadis (hill natives) are innocent people and political parties have only played with their emotions one after the other over the past 16 years.

I really hope that people of Uttarakhand arise, awake and vote very carefully this time.

(As told to Neha Pant)