… Inequalities… "Everyone likes misery…

In 1943, there was a famine in Bengal, though the total grain available was higher than that of 2001 (if Amartya Sen is to be believed). Then why in 1943, 3 million indian perished. Sen argued that the impression (rumour) of the shortage of grain made the price higher than ever before even though there was not a crop failure. And the government did not stop exporting the rice (British and free market champions were at the government of course, as we got today), it still remain a mystery how come so called intellectual at that time failed to curb it. They just did not care or they liked poor people dying out. Or perhaps Raj was wrong why famine occurs. You know what is most remarkable all about this.. In 1943, per capita availability of food grain was 147.5 kg, which is now 141.7 kg!! Still G. W. Bush was blaming Indians and Chinese for the skyrocketting the food prices. The stupid NYTimes joined the debate too. While nobody explains why only for that 2 weeks Indian and Chinese starts eating so much that beat the shit out of the US.

In India, which is shining (at least on the campuses of IITs, IIMs, ISB..) more than 770 million people lives below Rs. 20 a day. The state-run National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) said most of those living on below Rs 20 per day were from the informal labour sector with no job or social security, living in abject poverty. Data is there on its website on the very first page, you dont have to take the pain exploring it. While the richest 10 in india own 30% of her GDP, bottom 20% consumes 1.22% of all recourses.

‘Survival of the fittest’ perhaps is the most misunderstood by the students. It is used to justify most of the social evil. Darwin theory make sense when the time-line is expanded over the million years. As human, we may not survive! Perhaps the indication is here. The UN habitat report says that by the year 2030, 30% of the population will live in the urban slums.

Sensex, sensitive index of misery! When tsunami struck, all the nations (who have anything like major stock markets) suffered the colossal seen a strange phenomenon. All five nations stock market (Thailand, Indonesia, india, Srilanka, …) reahched their highest point. why? may be because poors does not matter to the stock market but why the stock market ran out of roof. It would have been fathomable if they remained teh same. No, but they rise like a hell. Reason, Money pouring in as aid. or say dogs on the dalal street smell the meet. They still running non profit organisation.. “75 cents can save a child’..While when 60 million voters tured down so called “india shining” government defying all the pundits of news channel, Newspapers; the sensex collapsed. It can not stand the happiness of the most of the have-nots. This is woderful thing about indian democracry, poor people vote and they are the only people who should. Else can protect their interests by themselves.

In Gujrat earthquake, most of the relief money spend by thses NGO was building the temp controlled tents for the foreigners while the victim were dying out there in cold. This time government refused to allow foreign NGO’s. TOI went scathing. Its turn out to be that the local NGO were far better at handling the crisis.

While tsunami did a phenomenal destruction, Maharashtra government destroyed the 80000 homes in mumbai slum (larger than tsunami). they were not even allowed to take out their possesions, it was to make sure they wont retunrn. Since the incident was toobig to avoid, how much media coverage we saw in the leading newspapers. Indian Express was as shameless and Shiv Sena. The drivers of bulldozers and constable \s interviews were killed in the newsroom beacause they dont serve the interests of the elites. Elites of mumbai went to High court seeking that these slum dweller should not be allowed to vote since they are depressed. If Arundhati Roy day that India as a democracy (or most of the nations as democracy) are the biggest PR scam of this century, it seems justifiable (if you are also emotionaly charged). India ranks 105 out of 125 nations on hunger index, but western media still now portrays it as tiger economy (thats a different story that our tiger is also in vanishing fast). We are more hungry than ever before, more hungry than Ethiopia. But all praise is showered on us, why beacause we are doing what we were suppose to do, we opened our market to capitalist, destroyed rural supply chain. Forced the farmers to commit suicides. Some argued they commit suicide because they used to drink, if alcohol drives people to commit suicide, 99% engineers would have committed suicide by now. In 30 minutes, a farmer commit suicide in India! 225 journalist covered lakme fashion week in which models were showing same clothes made by cotton, while not a 100 miles away, women, men, girls and boys were committing suicided. They grew cotton. Not a single newspaper seen the link among Indian Beautiful and just Indian and cotton. The news that time could have made an impact. But corporate mass media is …. i cant find the words. You can search youtube for P. Sainath and you dont have to listen to or read anyone.

Personally, I feel the pain. I lived in the village where still no electricity. Farmers still haev to pay 24% interest rate if they want to buy tractors or cultivator while for cars its only about 8%. Our land is considered cheap at it means nothing to bank until unless SEZ does not devour it. In this year budget, when goverment allocate more budget to NREGA, rich in white collors scorns since it does not serve their purpose.

When the food prices were higher, the intellectual were saying, see this gonna help the farmers.” Did they know that 88% of farmers are net buyers since their farmland (crop they grow) does not support their family need? The farmers in India are total buyers. We are surplus nation because we dont let our farmers eat. We destroyed the public distribution systems. Not only in India, In US farmer commits suicide a lot. Since well wishers dont want to deny them their insurance, they made it accident. Government is happy as long as there is no stigma. Food security worlwide is declining.In the meantime AP government was happy exporting the wheat at the rate of 5.71 while the same government sells it at 6.45 in AP. In my place, we grow paddy and wheat, at the end of the day we can eat it. But corn and cotton are not digestible. Anyway this could be a long stories. I am alreay feeling hungry.

When Rome was burning, Nero was playing flute.. Anyway, I am more interested in Nero grand party in which he invited everyone who matters anything to Rome. In this party there was a problem, it was dark so they wanted to lighten it up. So Nero decided to burn the prisoners. They made human torch and burn the prisoners all over the place so there can be light. I am not at all interested in Nero. But who was his guests? All intellectuals and great great roman,,, champions of so many things. What kind of mentallity they had? Eating beans as a human is thrown into the flames.

Well in this world of Inequalities, We can refused to be Nero’s guests!!

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Author: Dilawar

Graduate Student at National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.

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