R.D. Bhardwaj “Noorpuri”
Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh’s press meet (with just five selected journalists) on the 29th June has turned out to be very much disappointing, on more than one count. On inflation, just like many earlier occasions also, he has again assured the people that it would be brought down to around 6% level by the March, 2012. In fact, like a seasoned politician, he has now learnt the art of demagoguery and is now trying to please the people people by playing Carrot and the Stick game with them, for the last 18 months. Practically speaking, the prices of most of the essential commodities had started increasing irrationally just after 3/4 months of last general election of May, 2009, when one of his cabinet colleagues started giving strange reasons for the price increase of sugar, rice, vegetables and cooking oils etc. And the huge increase in the prices of petro products almost 5/6 times during the last two years, have added fuel to the fire and thus, stubborn inflation has made the lives of the poor and the middle class families very miserable and unbearable.
And the latest hike in the prices of LPG by Rs. 50/- per cylinder and diesel by Rs. 3/- per litre has really pushed the poor to a very tight corner. Not to speak of saving some money for the bad times, people are now finding it very difficult even to manage their house hold affairs within the whole salary they are getting. And see, Delhi’s Chief Minister has also played a foul with the Delhiites by giving a subsidy of Rs. 40/- per LPG cylinder to the BPL category families only. It would have been better if she had waived off sales tax from these petro products so that the prices would not have gone sky high and thereby, all categories of consumers could have benefitted from this move. And on the top of it, the Prime Minister again says that he needs another nine months to tame the burgeoning inflation. Arre ! Khak ho jayenge hum inflation down hone tak.” Not only that, the Prime Minister very conveniently forgets to take note – as to who will bear the brunt of killing inflation till that date? The BJP leader, L.K. Advani is simply right when he says that this is the most ineffective Prime Minister India has seen since independence, as his priorities are mischievously limited to just keeping a studied silence over most of the problems people are facing these days and sticking to the chair and thereby, complete his term, and also remaining least concerned about the fate of the people being grinded by the killing inflation, when we have an economist Prime Minister at the helm of the affairs. Needless to say, most of scams have also been witnessed during his tenure. And the Congress people take pride in saying that he is an honest politician. Surprisingly, even during such nefarious times when people are virtually reeling under the pressure of nasty inflation, members of parliament have always been quick to increase their own salaries, perks and allowances etc. just within five minutes by thumping the tables of the house.
In such a scenario, I think that what Shri Anna Hazare and his associates are doing is just right, and once the Jan Lokpal bill is passed, they should be ready for taking-up cudgels with the Govt. on another issue i.e. for bringing an amendment for making a provision for the Recall of the Elected representatives like MLAs and MPs etc. who do not perform well and simply fall flat on the aspirations of the people – who have voted them to power.