Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Co(a)lgate – Inflation good for Farmers and banning SMS


Technology should not be shunned but be used to the hilt and for using that, one needs to understand it !!  In olden days, the ruled were the masses, who were ignorant the rulers were the ones endowed with wisdom or had wise Ministers on their side. If you cannot educate the subjects, perhaps to bring in equality, the rulers must also unlearn …. – often we come across unintelligible theories from Ministers occupying important post.

Inflation is bad for the economy – we have a Professor of Economics at the helm as PM, and Harvard educated Finance Minister, but a Minister says that ‘Govt is happy about high inflation as it helps farmers’ !  - golden words of Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma – who is quoted as saying “We are happy with the inflation, it will help farmers… Dal, grain and vegetables are more expensive. The rising prices is a benefit. We are happy”. He said the media was making a hue and cry of increasing prices. “Media kehti hai ki khane ki thali mehngi ho gayi hai…Isse fayada kisano ka hai, aur sarkar kisano ke fayda ki pachdhar hai” (Media says that cost of food plate has increased but it is benefiting farmers…and the government is in favour of farmers profit),” he said.

Naturally such spiraling prices only affect the common man and the elite can afford to turn blind eye – they can never understand the plight of the people.  The price rise is not restricted to any particular sector and how would the poor farmers who at places have been committing suicide cope up with increased cost of fertilizers, seeds, implements and freight.   Bizarre it sounds but he is not a loner - this is not the first time that a UPA government has tried to rationalise inflation by saying it benefitted farmers. In July, current Finance Minister P Chidambaram also suggested that the middle classes should not complain about inflation because, in any case, the “poor farmers” were benefiting from higher foodgrain procurement prices.

At a time when NE exodus is the main topic, the Home Minister instead of providing solace spoke of running more trains and now they have the easy way out. ‘blame it on thy neighbour – Pakistan – sabotage from across the  border’ for all the ills. In an age, where you see at least two shops selling mobile and more than a dozen selling sim cards and recharge cards, sad that the State remains clueless on how technology works for the masses.  To them Anna Hazare is a projection of digital media and a source for love and socializing.  Now the phone, particularly SMS is blamed for NE exodus.   When it comes to statistics, the same authorities would reel out that close to 50 million [irrespective of the fake accounts] have mobile connection – now they want that banned.  And even when banned there are applications through which bulk SMS can still be sent.  

Ahead of External Affairs Minister SM Krishna’s visit to Islamabad, the government has  decided to step up inter-ministerial consultations to compile evidence on the alleged Pakistan origin of the morphed images of Assam violence and blocked over 250 websites for orchestrating the online campaign of hatred. Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai met Krishna and briefed him about the alleged role of Pakistan-based elements in using morphed images on internet that triggered an exodus of northeastern people from other states, government sources said. And one TV was quick to claim that they have had access to the data that is to be shown to Pakistan as evidence !!!   Krishna should be talking more about Kashmir, 2008 Mumbai terror attack, the activities of Hafiz Saeed, the alleged 26/11 mastermind, and others – while what can be done inside India needs to be done at home to counter and eliminate such media campaigns.   There are reports that the Govt on  Monday blocked over 250 websites and blogs for uploading doctored videos and pictures. By Tuesday, around 275 such websites could be forced offline for spreading hate messages on a slew of social networking sites, including Facebook, Google and Twitter.

Away from all the media related glare, both the Houses of Parliament are likely to be stalled as BJP yesterday decided to aggressively demand the resignation of PrimeManmohan Singh over the CAG report on the allocation of coal blocks. So it is going to be ‘coal gate’……..   the opposition party wants the Prime Minister  to introspect and resign because he was himself the coal minister for most of the period the allocation of coal blocks was done.  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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