Friday, March 5, 2010

Pangs of poverty

We live in a funny nation where Pizza reaches home faster than ambulance or police… you'll get car loan @ eight per cent but education loan at 12 per cent; you need qualification to manage work but no degree needed to manage the country where school admissions are more painful than child birth… ever since I received this message on my cell-phone, I cried like the dancing peacock who wails after seeing its ugly claws. Peacock is our national bird. Legend has it that when self-enchanted peacock starts dancing on its beauty, all of sudden the bird sees its claws. The bird feels that they are ugly as compared to other beautiful parts of his body and the bird burst into tears. Like the self-enchanted peacock, the self-enchanted nation, delighted about the success of its economy, is also crying out, seeing the ugly condition of the common man.

Factories, roads, houses, bridges are not the factors of nation-building. Nation- building starts since childbirth. When a grandfather takes his grandson to the school for the first time, nation walks in the form of a little child. In this budget, no provision has been made to make the feet of nation beautiful. The budget has much about the infrastructure and basic infrastructure but it does not have any proposal for its soul.

So far the nation has failed to provide equivalent education to its children. At this juncture, it should be decided which class does this nation belong to? In metros like Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi, the factory owners' children are studying to become owners. Children of bureaucrats and other services are spending sleepless nights to become employees and children, studying in the schools in remote areas and villages, are dreaming of becoming servant to servants.

Those in power don't want to implement a common education system as they want their children to become owner or master and your son to become their servant or servant to servant - fourth class employee. Altogether, when your son gets education in such a system, he wouldn't be able to do anything, besides becoming a servant. The factory that makes servant is called 'School'. These 'schools' are owned by businessmen not by academicians.

Let us have a look at other aspects of this issue. Education spread rate has been comparatively low in the constituencies like Phoolpur, Rae Bareli, Chikmagalur and Bellary – which gave prime ministers to the nation. This shows that the semi-literate people elect nation's premiers. But Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata had never been constituencies of an elected premier.

You have seen Priyanka, Rahul, Jitin and Nitin. Now, see your child, who does not have a thumb in his hand. He is Eklavya of today. Without resources, he has to compete with those who were born with silver spoon. He does not have thumb of resources and recommendations in his hands. Only lucky people have lucky sons. As he is the child of an unlucky person, he is raw material of the so-called nation-building factory.

A Gandhi, a Bhagat Singh and a Subhash Bose raised your voice against your slavery but you do not utter even a single word against it. You will have to bridge the gap between a firefly of village and a tubelight of the city. In the gilli-danda vs golf competition, Bharat vs. India's 'Bhindia' is seeking its definition. All amenities, including light, roads and food are confined to cities only. While tube lights illuminate India, Bharat still lives in the dark. Why no one takes stand against this injustice? What are we doing for nation-building?

Budget is the mirror of our plans. Government's index ends with the analysis of budget. Budget has dual parameter. While it has 'consumer index' for the rich, it has 'Gross Domestic Product' for the poor. Apparently, the rich and prosperous get all the facilities they want, even as the poor are asked about their contribution to the nation-building. The poor will get education, cloth, medical facility, justice and housing in the proportion of productivity. As a result, teachers, constables, farmers and soldiers are getting included in the list of the poor and stock broker, actors, players are getting richer. Those who are ready to sacrifice their lives for the nation are depended on the pity of 'parasites'. Is there any solution to the problem?

(Published in By-Line National Weekly News Magazine (Hindi & English) - in March 13, 2010 Issue)

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