THE GUJARAT POVERTY DISCOURSE: THE TALES ON ‘AAM AADMI’ IS ‘KHAAS’ FOR THREE MONTHS

‘AAM AADMI’ IS ‘KHAAS’ FOR THREE MONTHS*
Pre-election sops:
The mad rush has already begun with the poll bonanza entering its final leg – It would be interesting to watch the scramble, to lure the ‘Aam Aadmi’ in the narrow spectrum of time available before the Lok Sabha polls are announced – to woo the voters

Such is the mad rush, as shown to us by the poverty discourse once again, Gujarat and Modi being in the centre this time.

In spite of all the claims, Gujarat is in India and cannot be free of the typical Indian problems of the day – corruption, social discrimination, poverty and so on.

Yes, the scale varies and Gujarat can claim having lesser degrees of these evils and Narendra Modi can rightly claim his governance being a reason behind somewhat improved levels. But it will be daydreaming to claim that peace and prosperity have become synonymous with Gujarat. That cannot be, not even in Narendra Modi’s Gujarat, in the prevailing social and political circumstances of India.

So, even in Modi’s Gujarat, there are always the chances of slipping, getting flipped on the side, to the weaker domain, to give your adversaries the needed arsenal to lash you as severely as possible.

And when it is the high-time of the Lok Sabha elections, every such attack gets magnified multifold. And so is the counter-response that is more in the form of counter-attack.

So, this time, it is about the poverty discourse that has come to the surface after a December 2013 circular by the Gujarat government on its website made its way to the newsrooms. The circular is for the Antyodaya Anna Yojna that provides subsidized foodgrain to the BPL (Below the Poverty Line) families. The circular caps The Poverty Line for the eligible families at Rs. 10.8 a day, much below the Planning Commission’s Poverty Lines of Rs. 32 a day for urban areas and Rs. 28 a day for rural areas.

As it had to happen, in the election time, it was a big issue, for Congress, and for the other parties opposing the BJP, and thus, for the BJP.

And in the election time haste, the Congress strategists went full throttle to take advantage of it, ignoring or suppressing the fact that this Rs. 10.8 a day cap was decided by the Planning Commission in 2004 and not by the state government.

Who cares for the finer details when the issue on surface and its proximity to the target make for the headlines?

And therefore, the mad rush was there and was fully blown, until the finer details emerged.

Congress and other anti-BJP parties immediately ratcheted up the debate by targeting BJP and Modi of insulting the poor while reminding the nation how the BJP and Modi made an issue of the Planning Commission’s Poverty Line figures.

Modi government and the BJP immediately came up with the rebuttal trying to put the Congress in dock by making Planning Commission’s guidelines a front of their defense.

Rounds of defense and attack continued as long as the newsrooms saw ‘rating returns’.

It didn’t matter if the ‘Aam Aadmi’ was interested in tasting this ‘old wine in a repackaged old bottle’ or not as long as the issue presented the political parties a prospect to lure the ‘Aam Aadmi’ votes without doing much.

*https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/aam-aadmi-is-khaas-for-three-months/

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

RAHUL GANDHI JOINS ‘JUSTICE FOR NIDO’ PROTEST: THE TALES ON ‘AAM AADMI’ IS ‘KHAAS’ FOR THREE MONTHS

AAM AADMI’ IS ‘KHAAS’ FOR THREE MONTHS*
Pre-election sops:
The mad rush has already begun with the poll bonanza entering its final leg – It would be interesting to watch the scramble, to lure the ‘Aam Aadmi’ in the narrow spectrum of time available before the Lok Sabha polls are announced – to woo the voters

Rahul Gandhi, in an unscheduled appearance (but not unexpected in the tidal times of elections), joined the protesters this evening at Jantar Mantar, in solidarity with their demand for justice for Nido Taniam, a 20-year old student from Arunachal Pradesh, who was beaten fatally by some shopkeepers in the Lajpat Nagar market of Delhi after he reacted to the racist comments by them, and who, later on, succumbed to his injuries.

Despite waves of protests after every such incident, such ghastly crimes continue. This is not a law and order problem only. It is in the mindset. The roots go down deeper in the psyche, a psyche marred by sick mentalities. Yes, it is a mindset problem, a mindset that afflicts the law and order enforcers, too.

It was good that Rahul Gandhi thought to be there, at Jantar Mantar, in solidarity with the cause to demand justice for Nido.

But can he justify the inaction of police that are directly under the Home Minister of his party’s government?

Why did he took almost a week (Nido’s incident happened on January 29 and has been in news regularly) to call the Home Minister, Sushilkumar Shinde, to ensure justice for Nido?

And why even Mr. Shinde needs to be called for something that is a natural, birthright of every citizen of India?

Shouldn’t the police take suo motu steps to nail the culprits when the very first information arrives? Why did the police try to hush-up the matter when the altercation happened that ultimately took an innocent life?

Who and what pushed the police to act in a kangaroo court fashion settling the matter that evening after the altercation?

The delayed act by Rahul Gandhi gives us reasons to think that the move was inclined more on the electoral premises to sound pro common man than on concern of ensuring justice for a common man.

We would like to think the contrary but Rahul (and most of the politicians) is yet to give us the reason to think so.

*https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/aam-aadmi-is-khaas-for-three-months/

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/