Voices of Gujarat: ‘Roti, Kapda Isn’t Vikas’, ‘Lots of Bhakti-ism’

From vikas to ‘bhakti-ism’, Gujarat residents open up on the issues that will define their vote this Assembly polls.

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A 42-year-old professor, a forest officer, and a social worker from Gujarat tell The Quint about the issues that will define their vote this Assembly elections.

‘Too Much Autocracy, Too Much Bhakti-ism Around’

Shubha Nigam, an Ahmedabad-based assistant professor, is of the opinion that the current political atmosphere is one of “too much bhakti-ism”. The 42-year-old is also concerned about the state of right to freedom of expression in the country.

The political scene of Gujarat has been rotting over the years. There is too much of autocracy. The whole system of questioning actions and policies is now being looked down upon. Freedom of speech was already curtailed, but now there is a new dangerous thing that you will be nailed, or rather jailed, if you ask uncomfortable questions.

Nigam is also deeply troubled by the constant state of snooping and surveillance in the country. The policies and actions of the government send out a strong message, she says – “Boss, do as you are asked to.”

‘Ensure Basic Facilities to Citizens’

“They say they will provide 24 hours of electricity but that does not happen,” laments 30-year-old social worker Krishna Patel while talking about the upcoming Gujarat elections.

The next Gujarat government should ensure basic facilities to its people including roads, water and electricity.

Citing unaffordable education as a major concern, Patel says the government should give incentives to government schools and colleges. She adds that self-finance educational institutions should ensure that their fees are affordable for the common man.

‘Just Ensuring Roti, Kapda is Not Vikas’

Morbi-based retired forest officer SN Ragja believes that vikas for the common man has stopped in Gujarat.

Gujarat has always had vikas and will continue to have it, but the vikas of Gujarat’s common man has stopped right now. All businesses and jobs are held by the rich and powerful. Just ensuring basic facilities is not vikas.

Ragja is also upset with the fact that despite being educated, Gujarat’s youth is roaming the streets aimlessly. “He's neither getting a job nor can he start a business. He is burdened with so many loans that he has no money left to start a business.”

Click here to listen to more such voices from Gujarat.

(Voices of Gujarat: Tired of listening to netas make promises? As Gujarat goes to polls, The Quint wants to listen to the real voices of Gujarat – the voters. Tell us what issues matter to you this election season. Send in your videos to elections@thequint.com or WhatsApp @ +919999008335)

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