Friday, January 28, 2011

A new unit

Amid the scams galore, the amount of money vanished is simply mind numbing. You hear the numbers of thousands of crores, lakhs of crores. These numbers do not make any sense. They are simply astronomical and humble human brain is unable to comprehend them.

Here is how we can make sense of these numbers! Lets take 2G scam for example. The cost of 2G scam is estimated to be around 176,000 crore rupees. You don't like the number? Well, lets crunch it down to something we can make sense of:

176,000 crore rupees ~ 38 billion dollars

Now Indian population is 1.2 billion, and lets overestimate our daily food bill a little bit to make it 45 rupees, thats 1 dollar. Thus whole India has 1.2 billion dollars as its food bill per day.

Let's define IFC = India's Food Cost = 1.2 billion dollars
Now the cost of 2G scam = 38/1.2 ~ 30 IFC
Whole India can eat for one month free !!!

By this unit,
Telgi scam = 7 IFC = India could eat free for a week.
CWG scam = 7 IFC = India could eat free for a week.
2G scam = 30 IFC = India could eat free for a month (again to remind)

And they talk of taking care of hunger, poverty blah blah blah!!!


Mukta said...

Interesting take on the whole mess.

Swaprava Nath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Swaprava Nath said...

I know sometimes things sound well when they are said in a particular fashion. But the argumentative nature, which is the great tradition of Indian culture, must go on. The IFC may be a good thought, however, everybody knows India can't be fed with that, since the distribution of money would never be uniform. And this you can't complain about. People get paid according to their capabilities and forcefully uniforming it led to the fall of communist states. In other words, economics has reasons for Darwinism. Powerful people always make use and abuse of power. If one thinks of the sufferers of poverty, one has to make them educated about what is happening and how it could be stopped. Only when the wearer feels the pinch in his shoes, will think of changing or repairing the shoe. That will include involving oneself into active politics as well.

For the second argument on the corruption, let me do a thought experiment with the Bangalore traffic. Every day plenty of people violate traffic rules, the fines are about Rs. 500. What an usual violator does is to poke 50 bucks to the traffic police (if not more) and pleads not to make a challan. Any rational and intelligent player in such a setting would accept the bribe, and so does the police, given all other surveillance is off. There are 1000 odd road crossings in Bangalore, each has at least 10 violators per day. So the sum goes to 50 * 10 * 1000 = 5 Lacs = $ 10k per day !! That too in a medium city. I can't imagine how much money goes into the drain without notice. I'm not playing the devil's advocate, just trying to analyze how the mindset of politicians work and there isn't much to contradict. The change has to come from the grassroots, and these eventually pile up to the amount that you noticed. It is certainly alarming, but forget not to notice the mundane.

This topic is a good way to argue about the crisis. And arguments should always live.

"A defeated argument that refuses to be obliterated, is still very much alive" - Amartya Sen, 'The Argumentative Indian'

Suneel Madhekar said...

Such is the enormity and vulgarity of injustice!

Onkar Bhardwaj said...

>>"Only when the wearer feels the pinch in his shoes"
Yes, we should find out some way to make him feel it, to amplify the signal reaching his brains!
There will be Darwinism in Economics for sure. The combination of money and power maybe an example of it. The only way to reduce the inequity would be to make the weak "fit for survival" - which only points to education. Your points are well taken!

@Suneel: Yes, this vulgarity and enormity absolutely knows no bounds. We are getting ethically bankrupt!

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