Is economic liberalization a curse on the poor

The poor have been here since time immemorial and so have been the rich. In the olden times they lived their separate lives unless there was some blatant exploitation.

The contemporary problem is that the lives of the poor and the lives of the rich are intertwined. This Scroll article, through the review of a book titled “Understanding the Black Economy and Black Money in India”, tells how black money, the money that is siphoned off from various government policies, coupled with economic liberalization, has wrecked havoc with the lives of the poor. There are some stark statistics in the article.

Whether you believe in the basic message of the article or not is not the issue, but the reality is, the poor, no matter in which country they are, these days have to bear the brunt of the progress that is mostly enjoyed by the rich. This is an inescapable reality.

Take for example mining. Most of the natural resources extracted through mining are not used for local populations but they definitely pollute the land and the water around the mining areas.

In the same manner, various industries have polluted water bodies. The rich can afford to purchase water from companies that sell clean drinking water, but the poor have to depend on the dirty, polluted water. This dirty, polluted water makes them sick, and since treatment and medicine are expensive, they either end up spending all their earnings and savings on getting treated, or they remain untreated.

The supporters of the pre-liberalization era say that before economic liberalization, at least people could afford food and medicines. How much of this is true depends on who is telling you the story.

Personally I feel the problem is not liberalization, the problem is our political class that has no will to solve basic civilian problems. But then again, blaming the political class is very convenient because after all, who chooses these politicians? We.

It’s a vicious circle. The circle can only be broken by people like us, who have the means, but sadly, since for us the stakes are not very high, we are not motivated enough.


Are big fat Indian weddings coming to a stop?

There is an impending Lok Sabha Bill that may put an end to the big fat Indian weddings. The bill has been introduced by the Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan and it has a very interesting conditionality for people planning to spend more than Rs. 5 lakhs on a wedding.

If the bill gets passed, if you spend more than Rs. 5 lakhs on a wedding, you will have to spend 10% of the amount you are spending on the wedding, on the marriage of a girl from a poor family. The name of the bill is The Marriages (Compulsory Registration and Prevention of Wasteful Expenditure) Bill, 2016 and, according to this ScoopWhoop update, it may be taken up as a private member’s bill in the upcoming Lok Sabha session.

Yes, marriages can be insane but then, it is not up to the government to tell people how much they can spend on marriages. After all, the money being spent on lavish marriages isn’t simply being burnt; it is being pumped into the economy in one form or another. People spending so much money on marriages means so much money is being put into the economy.

But of course the bill doesn’t tell you how much you can spend. It only makes you spend the 10% of the amount you are spending on the marriage, on the marriage of some poor girl. The thought is good, although I don’t believe in forcing people to involve themselves in social causes. But this can be a good beginning. Certainly deserves more thought.

Rather than making people spend money on the marriage of some poor girl, they should be encouraged to spend money on the education of a poor child, whether it’s a boy or a girl.


Delhi may have a Nirbhaya Science Museum, but her parents want her real name to be used

Actually the museum is already there. It was opened in R. K. Puram in New Delhi, in 2013, as a tribute to the 23-year-old girl who was gang raped and murdered in a moving bus the previous year.

The science musing was named “Nirbhaya Science Museum”.

At the time when agitations were going on in the city against the brutal gang rape and murder, since the name of the victim cannot be revealed, people started calling her Nirbhaya and now the girl is known by this name.

But her parents want people to know her real name.     Why should she live in anonymity? If there is a museum on her name, then it should be on her name, not on a nomenclatures temporally defined.

Totally agree.


Mukesh Ambani says that for India, Donald Trump is a blessing in disguise

And I totally agree with him. I have been saying this for a long time that if Indian tech industry stops depending on the US, we can develop our very own thriving tech industry here in India and our techies won’t have to struggle for offshore assignments. Then Americans will be looking for work visas to work in India rather than the other way around.

There are 2 reasons why I believe in this: one, as Mukesh Ambani rightly says, we have a huge market. If the tech companies start solving domestic problems, we can have mega tech companies in our very own backyard by simply providing services to our own population, and who would know this better than Reliance? Their cheap mobile phones literally changed the way people communicate with each other – even the poor – and despite selling cheap mobile phones, the company made a killing just because of India’s population.

Two, we have the talent. The tech industry in the US has been run over by Indian software programmers and engineers. Just imagine what wonders these guys and girls can work when they work in India.


People found to be supporting terrorists are terrorists

This is what General Rawat has said and many, mostly liberals, have started scurrying around like startled ants.

When the Indian armed forces are fighting pitched battles with terrorists they are often disrupted by local mobs. While they are being fired at by the terrorists, they are also subjected to stone pelting by the locals. In most of the cases, our army jawans don’t retaliate to civilian provocations but now, it seems, enough is enough.

The army chief has said that there have been even casualties due to constant interference by the local mobs. Now these mobs will be dealt with strictly if they are found to be supporting terrorists instead of the Indian Army.

Locals carrying Pakistani flags in raising antinational slogans will also be taken to task.

I think such a stand was long overdue. India as a state has been apologetic for a long time.

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