Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Of food etc !

I went to a supermarket (actually it was a general commodity store) this Sunday after many months. AndI just stood looking at the prices, totally stunned ! It must not be a news to many peoople. Tur-dal Rs 110/kg, Mung-dal Rs 90/kg, Udal-dal Rs 85/kg, Rice Rs 40/kg (standard and non-exotic), Sugar Rs 40/kg! What a menace. One of my friends recited the story about buying Tur-dal. Three times he went to buy Tur-dal in few weeks time, and he heard rates of Rs 55,75 and 100. Crazy stuff !

According a not-so-recent govt survey, on average, per capita Indian expenditure on food was Rs. 440, for the duration of 2006-07. For a four member family, it amounts to Rs. 1760. Considering the spiraling rates this year, it must have crossed Rs. 2000 per month. I really am stupefied how poor people manage to have four meals a day. Here most BCom people or even BA people, hardly get salaries above Rs. 8000-10000. Considering some of the major expenditure channels like food, rent, travel, telephone, healthcare; I really cannot imagine their plight making both ends meet.

Government cannot provide jobs to all. Thats OK, in my opinion, the government should only foster the growth of employment. But food? As a touted superpower-to-be, we should at least succeed in providing food to people. This is the least you should do as govt.

Not that I did not know of the rates, but going to the shop this Sunday made me acutely aware of these rates. Just a glimpse of reality shocked me to the core.

If we are depriving poor of the food, we are doing them no good by the fake austerity drive. Austerity is a virtue, not a showcase item. I am not really against the leaders but against this showcase politics. We lament Shashi Tharoor's comments without understanding the English meaning and connotations of "cattle-class". Not only demonstrate our lack of maturity by flogging Shashi Tharoor, we also show lack of sensitivity by transforming the real issue into a totally unrelated one. We attack Shashi Tharoor for the so-called-meaning of calling them cattle but do not try to improve the conditions of cattle. In fact, we want to make them stay as hungry cattle so that we can feed them at the time of elections and get votes, then forget about them till the next election.

I am aware that as Shashi Tharoor issue was a superficial one, so are possibly my comments too, as I do not know a lot about theoretical government efforts. Still, you can get a feeling from the local news, local mess rates and from speaking to common people like auto-drivers, bus-conductors, hawkers. I also believe that if a politician has enough will power, he can definitely do most of the things in his scope.

Anyway thats the end of gibberish about the inflating prices. A small story to add a positive note at the end : Few days back I went to a State Transport bus ticket reservation center. And they were using Linux for booking tickets online! Yes, we can ! :)


Suneel Madhekar said...

My economics is poor, so, I don't exactly know why the prices are the way they are... And I don't understand how the inflation rate is simultaneously supposed to be at a low value... Lack of maturity, lack of sensitivity, and hypocrisy have been the hallmarks of our society.

Long live Open Source! :)

Prajakta said...

onkar, tula konatya samasya bhedsawatil kalapana karan kathin ahe, pan tarihi kautuk watat!!

Mukta said...

kharach! echo dhame! supposedly developing asnarya aplya ya deshat rojach kityek lokana divsatun ekda khayla milala tari great asta. ashya paristhitit govt kay karu shakel, kay kartay yach barobar generallych aplya saglyancha kahi karyacha, parat dyaycha rahun jatay ka asa vatata kadhikadhi...

heliophile said...

Thats true Mukta. We too should try our best to bring some change. Rather than depending on govt, we can try to reach out directly to people. But in my opinion, all this comes after we ourselves obtain some security. This security will give us freedom to work in a way we would want to. Till then, we can continue to contribute bit by bit as we do in the present form.

Mansi said...

Wait till you come to the US,onkar!! 1 kg of tur dal costs $9 here!! :X

Anu said...

Use lentils and alternate dals to reduce the demand for toor dal and then the prices will have to come down :)

onkar said...

The fact is that even alternate dal costs went up. Mung-dal was 90 Rs/kg compared to 100 Rs/kg of Tur-dal :)

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