Saturday, April 26, 2008


I do not like the concept of free meal. It is nothing but giving alms. And, perhaps, it has a placebo effect for the highest executive body of this country. Unfortunately all religions encourage poor feeding as it is referred to. During my morning walks, I find women from wealthy families taking out packets of food items and distributing to the poor, who have just woken up from their footpath bed. Those who take the packets have need for it. May be they slept empy stomach or just lying down without sleep because of pangs of hunger. But for those giving away the packets it was placebo effect. It is akin to watching a tragic film and saying to self, ‘ thank god this did not happen to me’.
By distributing free meals to poor students Governmment is doing exactly the same thing. Do you think the parents of children receiving free mid-day meal feel happy? On the contrary, they are sad about their inability to provide food to their children.
Instead of giving alms the Government should work for economically empowering the poor. According to sensus there is no unemployment in our country. The problem is one of wages. If a worker gets wages that can enable him to provide for food, shelter, clothing, education upto high school level and medical care for three members, he will not sacrifice his self-respect to opt for free meals.
There are many schemes for upliftment of the poor. But the benefits hardly reach the poor. Incharge officials of the scheme get richer. It is not enough to just allocate funds. Government should have a mechanism to see that the justice is done. Instead of giving free meals wages should be increased. Democracy is not for just 10% of the population. A handful of people from India coming in the bracket of ‘world’s richest’ is not an achievement, it is infact a matter of concern. When there is hunger, mal nourishment, planning for going to moon is akin to a starving family wanting to buy a colour television.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Through out the history of mankind, the previledged sections of society have resisted any social change. There is fear of losing the exclusivity of previledges. That is why the upper caste is resisting reservations for OBCs. They forget two things.
1) When it comes to primary education they send their children to private and very costly schools. In the social circles they boast that their children are in very costly schools. But the same people want Government aided institutions for higher education, where the educationnal expenditure is subsidised by the Government. UGC grants 1000 crores annually to these institutions of higher learning.
2) They talk of merit and quality. What is it? Memorising answeres to likely questions in a very expensive tutorial institute? That is merit.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Mahatma Gandhi will always be remembered for his fight against untouchability. He was not against caste system. Because of him untouchabiility was officially banned. But even today untouchability does exist. Do you come across any tea stall in any village in India operated by a scheduled caste person?

Ambedkar will always be remembered for his contribution in securing reservations for SCs and STs.

Kanshi Ram will always be remembered for empowering SCs and STs. He made the people outside the fourfold society aware of their political rights. Creating awareness is a great achievement. In my view he is the greatest of the three.