Will 2013 be more affordable ?


Strange paradox ! As jubilant merry-makers will sit up late tomorrow night to sip down the welcome drink hailing the arrival of 2013, for the common man on street even the most meagre meal seems unaffordable.
Ironically, as 2012 comes to a close, the common man is seen talking less of the New Year resolutions if any and more of the sky-rocketing prices that threaten his very survival. While several ordinary food commodities record unprecedented price hike, the staple item of “Dal” costs nearly Rs 100 per Kg and wheat used for preparing “Roti” costs equally high which, in other words, means that proverbial “Dal- Roti” has also turned unaffordable.
And this despite the fact that all the major political parties of the country are battling it out amongst themselves to salvage the common man from the scrouge of price rise, that all the top leaders of the country are working overtime to retrieve the black money deposited in foreign banks, that the corrupt are lodged inside Tihar jail leaving the socalled corrupt outside to negotiate with Anna Hazare over how best a Lok Pal could rescue the common man from the ordeal of daily bribes he is called to offer to gain access into a civil secretariate as much as to gain entry into the holy temple of Tirupathi.
The more foundational question, however, is that at a time when the world is aheading towards a global economy and India claims to be in the fore front of this giant economic leap under the stewardship of a Prime Minister who is hailed as world’s leading economist, why the common man from lower social strata is finding himself incapable of buying barely two square meals for himself and his family ? Mark Twain once quipped, “economy is too serious a subject to be left to economist alone”. Do we, in that case, need to conclude that the economy of this country is too serious an issue to be handled by an “Economist -Prime Minister”?
Mahatma Gandhi always said, what use is freedom or liberty if it is achieved after leaving behind a trail of widows, orphans and deceased….however holy might be the objective of such liberty ? In the same vein, one might ask, what use is such economic prowess which cannot ensure a bare meal for all its subjects ? And, that indeed would have been Gandhi’s likely lament had he been alive and around today to witness the plight of a large majority of hunger-stricken populace of this country who, according to Bapu, comprised the real India.
Strange are the progress patterns of this developing world where a certain common man has his fill and a certain common man goes to bed empty stomach. Umapathy’s incessantly unresolved dilemma was thus summed up years ago by Sahir Ludhianvi ‘‘….Kahin Pyaale Labo-Lab, Kahin Jaam Khaali Hain !’’


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