What the poor say
- Spot-fixing: Chandila was in touch with four sets of bookies, says Delhi Police
- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives, to hold talks with PM on boundary, water issues
- IPL 2013: Delhi Daredevils crash to defeat, finish last
- Jaganmohan's wife attacks CBI, accuses it of working at Congress behest
- Blast accused death: UP govt seeks CBI probe, FIR against 42 persons
In his logical and engaging piece 'Protest, softly' (IE, July 6), Pratap B. Mehta makes two interesting points: "The government claims to be pro-poor"; and "democracy also requires that real problems best remain invisible". While his fear is real, how "pro-poor" the present Union government is, is open to question if what my friend's domestic help — who otherwise earns her livelihood as a daily wager — had to say is any indication.
Yesterday, when he found her in a tearing hurry and asked why, she gave a stinging reply: stop reading English newspapers which are not sympathetic to the poor. And their readers are simply "elitist" who do not understand "our misery in these days of sky-rocketing prices". Yes, you have raised my monthly wage by Rs100, but does it help? And her parting shot: this sarkar certainly is not pro-poor, and I'm in a hurry to go and participate in the demonstrations in connection with the bandh. My own take is that "lies, wild lies and statistics" being indulged in by some of the Central ministers will only damage the credibility of UPA-II.
— Prasad Malladi
This refers Pratap B. Mehta's 'Protest, softly'. Enlightened criticism of the government's functioning, even through bandhs and rallies, is a positive prerequisite for a healthy democracy. But one needs to pause and ponder whether the July 5 Bharat bandh was in any way an attempt to wake the government out of its unconscionable slumber on inflation or did vested interests try to squeeze maximum political mileage from the fuel price rise.
First, the bandh concentrated more on the deregulation of petrol pricing than on the rise in prices of essential commodities. Ironically, the protesting parties had themselves advocated such a step in the past. Hence the half-hearted protest was only to exert their political weight.
- Former Ranji player among 3 more held
- Rajasthan Royals to file FIR against tainted trio
- If found guilty, BCCI to ask ICC to erase Sreesanth records
- Top cops among 42 named in death of blast accused
- PM takes tough line on incursion issue
- Security forces blame Maoists, villagers say CoBRA man was killed in ‘friendly fire’