Namaskar Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray,
Congratulations for filing nomination for MLC. Now as it is evident, you will become an MLC before 27th May and retain your Chief Minister’s chair. I am sure you might have enjoyed your day out yesterday after being homebound for weeks.
Now that your biggest worry is addressed, can I, perhaps, draw your attention to the COVID-19 crisis? While I acknowledge that the whole world is facing this crisis, I am most concerned about the situation in Maharashtra, especially in Mumbai.
Maharashtra has seen more than 23,000 cases. Mumbai itself accounts for more than 13,000 cases. This is worrisome for more than reasons than one. While Mumbai tally is more than any other state, the tally of Maharashtra (minus Mumbai) is way above any other state as well. This means Maharashtra has seen more spread geographically than any other state. No wonder more than 40% of the state is in Red Zone
Before you start your counter-argument with the same cliched ‘more tests’ excuse, look at the death tally. In the last 6 days, the state has seen 215 deaths, a whopping 40% of total deaths in India. This points to the terrible state of healthcare in the state of Maharashtra.
Healthcare facilities (or rather lack of it) even in an international city like Mumbai is alarming. Hasn’t Aditya shown you the horror videos from Sion, KEM, Shatabdi and other hospitals? Leave other hospitals aside but even Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma Centre, named after your late father, was seen as a hellhole for patients. If this is not inefficiency, what is?
Your Matoshree is close to the Western Express Highway. Have you seen the poor migrants go walking? Oh well, you had no clue that lockdown was violated just outside your house. But where are those 6000+ centres for the migrants that both, you & Aditya, boasted about? No one has seen even 60 of those centres. Maybe they were in your mode – INVISIBLE. If this is not mishandling, what is?
Let’s keep migrants from other states aside. Your government has looted even poor Maharashtrian students studying in various cities of the state. They were charged 2-3 times normal fare after being promised free travel by ST. A Pune-Gondiya trip for 4000 Rs. If that is not loot, what is?
The state has seen the most number of cases of lockdown violations and attacks on police. The situation is so bad that more than 1000 cops have tested positive. And the state government has paid them just half their salaries. If this is not insensitivity, what is?
Many other states like UP, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha are preparing for economy post lockdown is lifted. Packages and reforms have been announced. But we are still stuck on carrom, warm water and ‘Bhonga Vaajla’. If this is not being clueless, what is?
I can write on many other points because I can see you have not thought about these things even for once. You were busy with your MLC nomination to think about minor things like the Coronavirus pandemic which is ravaging through the state and the people. Your people. People you are meant to protect. People you are supposed to govern. If this is not being selfish, what is?
This great land of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Mahatma Phule, Lokmanya Tilak, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Veer Savarkar and many others are worshipped because of those Karmayogis.
There is a vast different between marketing the leader and becoming an administrator. It is far easier to make people believe that you are the “best CM” and actually becoming a leader that works for the benefit of his people.
Please wake up before it is too late.
A concerned Maharashtrian
(This open letter has been penned by Jiten Gajaria)