First Things First

August 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm 9 comments

First things first
Six lakh families below the poverty line will be given mobile phones –the latest in the freebies envisaged by the Congress towards empowerment. It is compared to ‘Garibi hatao’.As a slogan it sounds good but Garibi hatao failed to bring in the votes the Congress perceived. Similarly a phone in hand for the BPL families is definitely going to fail.What is ridiculous is the fact how a Prime Minister who is supposed to be an economist has okayed this scheme.
It is unbelievable that for a hungry stomach the mobile phones will fill. Let us look at the figures. The cost is put at 7000 crores. May be the tax payers money comes handy for the government to indulge in this absurd welfare. One would not grudge this had the Congress used its own enormous funds towards this but why should the common man-the tax payer pay for this already doomed welfare scheme. Look at the very idea when the BPL families need water-the first and foremost survival input and this right because the right to life would encompass survival inputs. No party is promising drinking water. If this is assured half the ailments-especially of water borne communicable diseases would be wiped out. There would be better health-better cleanliness and greater prosperity. Why has the Congress not thought of this? After all water is not only a survival input but an input not accessible and available especially to the BPL families. It releases power to the women who are the water fetchers-trekking long distances. It brings in prosperity at one shot. Water scarcity means drought-illness and denial of ones’ basic right.
The Congress instead is thinking of a mobile phone in the hand of every BPL family. How does this empower? It was laughable when Mani Shankar Aiyer in the course of his discussion on a TV channel in supporting this mobile phone freebie stated that this brings power because the BPL familes can contact the government. What he meant by government-the Rastapathi Bhavan,the Raj Bhavans or the PM’ office one is not sure. Are these Congress leaders out of touch with the people? Even if one is to present a grievance in person it is not attended to. Imagine a hungry person with an empty plate and an empty tumbler ringing up to whom, god alone knows- for roti and water. According to Mani Shankar Aiyer’s perception this call will immediately be attended to and rotis will be served or at least the cause for the person’s and his family’s hunger will be sorted out. Is that not marvelous?
Take another area where the BPL families’ suffer-health services-Most of our village PHCs do not function and if they function it is without medicines and without adequate medical personnel. How will the mobile in hand sort this out or fill up this essential service? Even when the poor are with great difficulty admitted in the government hospitals there is hardly a cot/bed for them. How are they attended? The sweeper injects the medicine-the ward boy performs the surgery and of course there is no nutritious diet given to them. How will a mobile in hand fill up this need? Should one ring up the Director of the Medical services and complain?
Does it mean that the mobile phones will also carry an inventory of who is who and to who to ring up in case of a particular need? What struck me is most of these BPL families live in darkness with a kerosene lamp –the kerosene being given on the ration card. How are these families to recharge their phones with no electricity in their houses? What a ridiculous proposition.(By the way there is a village panchayat that has banned women-young girls from using mobiles)
Where is the guarantee that these mobile phones will not be resold for a small sum of money? The Congress is bankrupt of some common sense and innovative perception. I was astonished that two English dailies supported the scheme. The 7 lakh mobile phones will only make the mobile companies richer.
Who pays the bills later? Is that also going to be subsidized? In the meantime the mobile phones would be in the hands other than the hands of the BPL families. There it is another scam in the making. to be investigated later. The poverty alleviation programmes like NREGP failed because the labor was employed by the rich farmers and the BDO’s office paid for the services. Where are the community assets creations? Similarly also free electricity scheme was also grabbed by the rural rich. The marginal farmers and the agricultural labor did not need electricity. The 7 lakh mobiles will find their way into hands which do not belong to the BPL families.
And finally it is insulting to find one with no water to drink-no sufficient food to eat and with no electricity in his/her hut sitting with a mobile in hand-symbol of empowerment according to the Congress. Does not matter if her/she is hungry-does not matter if he/she is in total darkness and does not matter if there are no health services-there is the Congress’ the HAND’s largess given in the form of a mobile to the hand of a weak-hungry and thirsty poor hand. Is that the perception of empowerment of the Congress? What a vision? It is insulting and dehumanizing. But let it not be at the cost of the taxpayers’ money. The political class has no value of money because they hardly sweat for it. This blood and sweat money cannot be made into a toy play things of insult for the BPL families while poverty continues in its spread-thanks to the bankruptcy of the Congress in even chalking out viable and valid poverty eradication scheme for the poor. The election propaganda posters can show a hungry person dying miserably clutching a mobile phone in his hand-that’s the Congress’ empowerment vision of the poor
Dr Mrs Hilda Raja,


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Double standards-typical example THE CONGRESS AND ITS BIASED PERCEPTION

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. T.S. Balasubramaniam  |  August 11, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Absolutely correct analysis. But this does not matter to the Congress Government. You say it will cost 7000 crores to the exchequer; but we should not be surprised if it costs 70000 crores. More the ciphers, more the loot to the ‘mantris’. Taxpayers in our country are a foolish lot, they will again and again vote Congress to power! The brilliant idea could be coming from the super brains like P Chidambaram and Montek Singh Ahluwalia. As far as the Planning Commission Chief is concerned the poor man needs only Rs 27 a day to lead a healthy life; but he needs to spend Rs.35 lacs to get his loo remodeled! As long as you have these jokers in important positions, you can only look towards Heavens for some succour! As far as Manmohan is concerned, it seems like a myth that he is a renowned economist. It is now very clear that the revival of Indian economy in 1980 was because of PV Narasimha Rao. Manmohan is a good servant, very obedient and honest to his Master.

    • 2. hilda raja  |  August 12, 2012 at 3:51 am

      Dear Balasubrammaniam,It is first things first.If you say water andmobile the water will be easily dropped because there is no multinational involved and no much area for the loot.Also look at the cost-at least let them given water and health services as a priority and them go to mobile.Imagine a hungry stomach with a mobile in hand-imagine a thirsty man with a mobile in hand-if you do not have roti then eat cake…a startling slogan for a revolution.No bread eat cake.Thats the kind of politican thinking and political class we have absoluely divested with any loop with the people-the aam admis.HR.

    • 3. hilda raja  |  August 12, 2012 at 11:02 am

      Dear Mr Balasubramiam.Thank you.Actually I got a bit confused and sent you a reply which was meant for another respondent.You had no problem in agreeing with me and the other repsondent wanted water along with mobile.My stand was that there is a priority list and hence First things First.Not that mobile is not necessary but it is not a sruvival input.If a babe is crying of hnger what will be our response give it a doll or a pacifer-how long this cheating?Regards.HR

      • 4. T.S.Balasubramaniam  |  August 13, 2012 at 5:07 am

        Thanks. I knew some mix-up had taken place. No problem.

  • 5. sagar pilare  |  August 12, 2012 at 3:05 am

    Respected Ma’am,
    The problems like non-availability of potable water, electricity, health-care facility are real. But I think we should not consider the matter as ‘water or mobile phone?’. Instead, the matter should be considered as ‘water and mobile phone.’ When colour television was launched in India, many socialist leaders had raised the question’T.V. or Bread?’. In fact, the launch of colour television gave boost to a huge entertainment industry which has provided bread to millions. So the question was not ‘TV or Bread’. It was TV and bread and TV became the foundation for providing bread to lacs. It has been proved beyond doubt that mobile empowers people in lower strata. If we see the the condition of plumbers, small electricians etc. before availability of cheap mobiles and after, definitely improvement is seen. These people cannot maintain offices and cannot be available at one place. Due to cheap mobile phone service, these people can be contacted over phone and this has definitely empowered them. Whether government should distribute freebies or carry out programmes for skill-development is another question and I would support the second rather than the first. However, I sincerely feel that the question is not ‘mobile or water etc. but is ‘mobile and water.’

    • 6. hilda raja  |  August 12, 2012 at 3:57 am

      Dear Pilare
      Please see my reply to Balasubramiam-it is apt for your repose too.I am only emphasising the priority list-let mobile be on the list but not as a priority when there is no survival inputs like water and health services.
      So it is First things First.Just wait and watch and see the scam that will come along with this mobile phone distributing.Why should the tx payer be punished?Let the Congress from its enormous amounts of funds go for the mobile distributiong and garner the votes.Spare the tax payer please.All the best to you.HR

  • 7. sagar pilare  |  August 12, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Respected Ma’am, with due regards to your opinion, I would like to state that in macroeconomic policies, it is hardly possible to go by ‘first things first.’ A number of activities are undertaken at the same time. Announcing a new policy or activity does not necessarily mean that the other priority undertakings will be ignored.Further, I fail to understand the phrase ‘tax-payers’s money’ which is often used and is used by you also. Everybody pays tax. Even the poorest of the poor pays taxes, as he pays indirect taxes on the things purchased by him. Only income tax payers are not the tax payers. I think public money may be the appropriate word. A better word may be there but is definitely not ‘tax-payer’s money.’

  • 8. S.Raguraman  |  August 14, 2012 at 12:59 am

    I am baffled by Mr.Pilare’s statement that ‘tax-payer’s money’ is not right and ‘public money’ is the appropriate word. What is ‘public money’, if not ‘tax-payer’s money’? Why this quibbling on words? As for the populist schemes, if this 7000 crores are to be spent on constructive schemes, the gestation period will be long and the ruling party will not benefit. But under Indian conditions, where the rate of illiteracy is high, people easily fall for the populist schemes. In Tamil Nadu, AIADMK announced populist schemes in their manifesto for the last elections and even Cho said that it was the right thing to do, to unseat DMK.

    • 9. hilda raja  |  August 14, 2012 at 6:02 am

      dear Raguraman,
      Agree with you.Thank you for the input.People even without drinking water may opt for a mobile because theyl ike to ape and want to be like those who have one in hand.But it is the duty of the government to see that taxpayers ‘ money whether it comes from the Income taxpayer or the ordinary people it is tax money should be judiciously spend and on survival inputs.When survival needs are not met then why the mobile is my question.Will a child who is hungry be comforted by a doll to play-this is cheating both the receiver and the taxpayers.What is the objective but just to create a mirage and make the people vote for the Congress.Is the Congress really bothered or worried about the wellbeing of the marginalised?HR


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