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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Austerity Measures - Indian Hypocrisy

Shashi Tharoor, a Member of Indian Parliament and K. M. Krishna, the Indian External Affairs Minister had quite submissively walked out of the five star hotels they were staying in without even raising a single question. Even though they were paying for their stay from their own pocket!
Why? Because the Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had asked them to do so. And why did the Finance Minister had chosen to invade the private space of these two gentlemen with such a ridiculous and audacious request? We are told to believe (through the media) that their stay at the five star hotels in the national capital Delhi was sending wrong signals to the people when the government has announced an austerity drive and the Finance Minister had, therefore, asked them to move into a less costly accommodation.
There are 120 million people in this country called India. Out of these hardly 50 million people can actually read and write. More than 70 million people live below the government-drawn poverty line. There are 40 million people who are still looking for an employment. Food, health care, education and livelihood are issues that preoccupies these minds. Do they have time to read the signals sent by actions of two persons in this country? Do they really bother what our elected representatives and ministers are doing? Do the s0-called signals emanating from the national capital reach the millions of the people not even connected by roads?
What about signals sent by thousands of government babus travelling by air when they can take the journey at a much lower cost to the government by trains? What about signals sent by Mr. Mukherjee himself by traveling in c arcade of fuel guzzling bullet-proof vehicles spending thousands of rupees of government money. What about the innumerable Parliamentary committees spending millions of rupees to arrive at no conclusion?
Or what about the 20000 crores of rupees spent by the government in advertising its achievement just before the General Election? Or say 400 crores of rupees spent on the lunar mission just to prove that we also can have one. And what about accountability for wasting that money in a failed mission. What signals do we get from these?
Austerity - my foot! What more glaring instance of Indian Hypocrisy can we find?

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