16 May 2010

MoEF must not die

By: Viva Kermani

I have to give it to him.

Jairam Ramesh is the best Environment Minister India has had. And I am saying this as he completes his very first year in office. So for someone who said that this was a ministry he was least expecting to head, Jairam has done rather well. 

The list of his hits is long.

For once, we have an environmentalist leading the Environment Ministry. We have someone who comes with independent thinking – and this is like music to my ears !
Starting with transparency, public consultation on bt Brinjal, cancelling projects that were given bogus environmental clearances ,creating a proper, user friendly website for the Ministry, knowing the difference between REDD and REDD Plus, getting rid of retired bureaucrats who have been negotiating India’s future , efforts to ramp up India’s mitigation efforts on climate change, Jairam Ramesh needs applause.

I don’t want to get into all the details of his accomplishment and neither do I want to get into his boo-boos, but what strikes me is the courage of his conviction, his willingness to fight to the end, his determination to change a corrupt ministry and to cleaning up the mess that he inherited.

Jairam Ramesh is clearly one of the Pet Shop boys and with good reason .While he is certainly no puppy, his pedigree, his penchant for strategy and independent thinking, surely makes him the leader of the pack.
If he goes, MOEF will go back to being on its death bed and will languish. We will then continue to degrade our forest, continue to classify forest as wastelands, only to be given away to mining giants, we will once again create a ministry of collusion and corruption in the name of development.
So yes, Jairam Ramesh must stay put.
For a change I can chant - the right man in the right job .And with no intention of sounding clich├ęd, I also believe he is the right man in the wrong party. And with that thought, I think I smiled

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