Sure, Mr PM, we’re shamed by malnutrition. But are you?

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Daredevil, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Sure, Mr PM, we’re shamed by malnutrition. But are you?


    It’s a fair bet that many of us don’t get to see and experience abject poverty and malnutrition up-close beyond the beggar girl at the traffic light with her kwashiorkor-distended belly who taps on the taxi windscreen before she is shooed away by the driver.

    We’ve become so inured to the sight of slums and squalid living quarters in our urban spaces that we no longer even notice them anymore. With unseeing eyes, we’ve consigned them to the suburbs of our minds, pushing out to the periphery that which doesn’t appear in our field of vision.

    So, we doubtless feel a pang of guilt when we’re reminded, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh forcefully did today, that the level of malnutrition among Indian children remains “unacceptably high” and that 42 percent of our children are still underweight.


    The Food Security Bill isn’t about food security. AFP

    Hold on to that emotion – because that is a very legitimate response to the shame that we ought to feel as a nation. If we had an iota of empathy, those of us who skip a meal only out of a sense of calorie consciousness or for observing religious self-purification rituals would feel the pangs of the millions who go hungry because they cannot afford a meal.

    But also, hang on to that same emotion, because that’s precisely what Manmohan Singh and his UPA government want to milk for what it’s worth – so that they can achieve by guilt-tripping you what they cannot ever with the power of reason.

    For all the insight that they offer into a slice of India that lives on the edge of starvation, the statistics relating to the “national shame” that Manmohan Singh cites are just numerical devices to hijack the social agenda with ill-conceived and populist welfare schemes that have come in for justifiable criticism.

    There is no better way to silence critics of the Food Security Bill, for instance, than by citing these statistics, and insinuate – as some commentators have done – that anyone who opposes the bill is heartless, lacking in empathy and really wants to see malnourished children die.

    As Firstpost has argued here, the Food Security Bill isn’t about food security: that objective can be better achieved by creating jobs and raising incomes, ensuring higher food output by raising agricultural productivity, and providing a food safety net for those who fall through the cracks.

    If millions of Indian children are still malnourished, if many millions more live in abject poverty, it is a commentary on the poverty of policy-making in India in the 60-plus years since independence. It’s not that taxpayers’ money has not been spent over the decades on poverty alleviation measures and providing subsidised food: it’s that throwing money around has become a substitute for effective policy that works.

    It is a perversion that India, which has more per-capita arable land than China and produces as much grains and milk as the world’s biggest farming nations, is still home to the world’s largest population of malnourished people.

    Right from the time of Jawaharlal Nehru, who in 1947 called for “the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity”, every Five Year Plan has paid token lip service to the poor and the marginalised, yet their absolute numbers have only increased over the years. Instead of informed policy, the poor were given political slogans: garibi hatao – and a limitless array of schemes named after dead Congress leaders.

    The famed economist Dr Raja Chelliah, whom Manmohan Singh was fond of quoting in the 1990s, noted that India’s continuing poverty was the result of a failure of public policy.

    He argued that the major fault of India’s economic policy was that it was largely based on “democratic socialist thought” – which invested the government with the greatest responsibilities but without the appropriate policy mechanisms to respond to the challenges.

    Dr Chelliah also faulted politicians who gave in to “competitive populism” and focused on short-term political gains instead of long-term poverty alleviation programmes. It’s a fair bet that were he alive today, he would have had much to say about the Manmohan Singh government’s record of throwing good money into flawed welfare programmes that won’t deliver.

    So, Mr Prime Minister, thank you for reminding us of the “national shame” that these statistics represent. We, as a nation, do feel sufficiently humbled and are wracked by guilt.

    But what about you, Mr Prime Minister. As someone who has either had oversight over (or influenced or implemented) economic policy-making for decades, including in the last seven years as prime minister, do you share that shame?

    And what do you plan to do about it, beyond guilt-tripping us into coughing up more taxes while your government pushes through with extravagant welfare schemes that won’t address the problem but will only bust the bank?
     
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  3. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    An hard hitting article against out dearest PM. Mr. MMS wants us to take on a guilt trip to sensitize us to pass the extravagant and hare-brained bills like Food Security Bill. Venky Vembu did a good dissection of MMS's statement on malnutrition.
     
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  4. Blackwater

    Blackwater Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    DD bas bhi karo poor MMS ke peche par gaye ha sab log
     
  5. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I am sure even if he is uncomfortable about malnutrition in the country, he can do fanny adams about it.

    It is only when Mum G is concerned will something be done!

    Is Mum G concerned is what matters.
     
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  6. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Same govt refused to distribute excess food that would have rotted away in FCI godowns when SC directed it to. MMS's statement is softening the way for Madam's FSB.
     
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  7. tiranga

    tiranga Tihar Jail Banned

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    Hopeless govt will definitely ruin this country has been doing it for all this year still some ppl. support these idiots
     
  8. tiranga

    tiranga Tihar Jail Banned

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    We pay our tax and do our duty, so the only one to be ashamed is the govt which has the power to implement and use this tax money for the development of the poor not for stuffing it in swiss banks
     
  9. sukhish

    sukhish Senior Member Senior Member

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    Food security bill is coming, these is all in pre text of that.
     
  10. niharjhatn

    niharjhatn Regular Member

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    They don't only need to tax us, i.e. middle class, but upper classes as well.

    About 17% of our gdp comes from taxation - other ALREADY developed nations e.g. US is at 27%, Norway is at 43.6% (!) have much higher taxation rates.
    List of countries by tax revenue as percentage of GDP - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    If we want to end poverty, the government also needs the money to do it. So many people who earn a lot hardly take their fair share of taxes, and infact, the current taxation system encourages this - ask any doctors in private practice how much they eventually contribute to taxation. The govt needs to streamline the taxation system, and couple it with a fast-tracked judicial process for those commiting tax fraud and corruption - and I am not talking about the rikshawala trying to feed his family, but the big guns looting from the poor.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The Food Security Bill cannot be implemented.

    It will meet the same fate as the PDS.

    The eating habits of Indians require to be tweaked so that the intake of proteins is increased.

    Malnutrition is not confined to the poor alone. Faulty diet and fast food can also lead to malnutrition.
     
  12. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    The 17% taxation as a %ge of GDP in India is because much of our population is still under poverty or just about scraping through. How can you expect them to pay taxes?. Only when we increase their productivity that one expect to increase taxation %ge as part of GDP by increasing their consumption and the indirect taxes resulting from it.

    But the current govt. doesn't want to take this route, instead it want to feed the poor without making them productive through training/counseling/providing opportunities. Because this is the only known short cut to get votes in bulk.
     
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The poor have the skills to produce excellent pieces of work. However, they have no marketing expertise on a large scale to sell their product for profits.

    There are skill development initiatives undertaken by the Govt, but not marketing the products made.
     
  14. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    We are ashamed of Malnutrition, but we don't have executive power to change things. You have executive power, what have you done in last 7 years to change this situation?.
     
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  15. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    I believe only 2% or thereabouts of Indians are tax payers. The vast majority are either too poor or self employed. Self employed such as shop keepers, traders and many big businesses, including corporates, evade tax to large extent. Agricultural income is exempt from taxation, big farmers should be taxed. So expanding the tax net should be the way to go rather than increasing the burden on salaried middle classes.

    As for FSB, the existing PDS is being implemented in an efficient manner by states such as TN and Chattisgarh. There is large scale pilferage in PDS with grains being sent out to Nepal and BD by corrupt babus and netas from states like Uttar Pradesh. Moreover ration card system also needs to be cleaned up; in Karnataka in a recent drive to identify fake ration cards by the state govt it was found that there are many more ration cards than eligible BPL families, I am sure the situation far worse in states like WB. Instead of cleaning up the existing system like pilferage in PDS and rotting grains in FCI godowns Sonia Gandhi and NAC want to bring in a behemoth FSB that will entail Rs 50,000 crores annual expenditure from some estimate. How is FSB going to be better than PDS that cyrrently supplies food items to BPL families? What guarantee is there pilferage will not take place when the same babus and netas will be implmenting the new scheme?

    I find it a shame that this govt at center refused to release food grains to poor when SC directed it. OUr babus and netas are heartless selfish creatures who have lost touch with the aam admi, the only aim in many schemes seems to be to win the next election. I have no problem if the govt uses tax payers money for schemes that will genuinely help our poor and hungry countrymen but going by past history, well...
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  16. Vishwarupa

    Vishwarupa Senior Member Senior Member

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    Is MadamG is aware of this:mad2: ...is she finding it shameful or happy looking at Pulpy Raul baba( wondering in UP)...Irony is opposition is also very weak.:frusty:
     
  17. Vyom

    Vyom Seeker Elite Member

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    The taxes are enough, if only they can stop their pocket filling in lacks of crores each year. Government earns taxes even on toilet papers, what more can they ask for?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  18. Arunpillai

    Arunpillai Regular Member

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    Malnutrition and poverty are intricately linked to various other factor like casteism, feudalism, discrimination, exploitation etc.. So real poverty alleviation requires something of a revolution with active support of government, society and NGOs. The sheer number of people below poverty line indicate that we need huge huge resources to uplift them and that reality is that currently our resources cannot support everyone.. Few populist schemes like MNREGA, FSB etc wont wipe out poverty and malnutrition but it certainly helps a little bit..
     
  19. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

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    The principal opposition party is the biggest joker in the pack. They are behaving like As..oles.
    They have a CM Raman Singh who has done tremendous job revamping the PDS system, it is even acknowledged by the Planning Commission, but instead of holding this as an example they have simply not done anything. They should implement these steps by CGrh Govt. in other states ruled by them and then shame the Central Govt. by their achievement. But then this requires hard work and they are not ready to do that.Silly Bugrs.
     
  20. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    For that to happen, all parties need to get rid of vote bank politics. Instead, I see there is an increase in vote bank politics on the lines of caste, creed and religion. So, we will suffer on this front.

    We have resources to help the poor people of malnutrition and other problems. But just throwing money without proper policy and implementation is not going to solve this problem. You can see this happening in almost all welfare schemes of the govt. - the money gets leaked by the politicians, babus and everyone involved in the implementation.

    We need to fix this policy implementation paralysis if we are to expect to reach the resources needed by the poor.
     
  21. lcatejas

    lcatejas Regular Member

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    Kush nahi aur sharad pawar ke jaise 3 -4 aur pal lo aur gilt feel hoga...
     

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