People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 05

February 04, 2007

In India Everything Kills Except Poverty


G. Mamta


FOR some winter is a season to enjoy. Travelling thousands of kilometres they visit places to enjoy the snowfall and experience the chill. As a poet has said, for them, 


“Cold is beautiful as it causes winter's snow.

Cold is hideous as it makes the ice to blow.

Cold is playful as it lets you see your breath”.

But for the majority of the people in the words of the same poet, 

“Cold is sinister as it freezes you to death.

Cold is vile as we lose limbs to frost bite.

Cold is cruel as it freezes your breath away”. 


Media reports indicate that the animals in the zoos in North India are in warm comforts in their enclaves while people are freezing and dying. Alas there are no PFPs (People For People) while there are many PFAs (People For Animals)! Across the world people die of cold, heat, water (floods etc.,) and all other elements but never of hunger, poverty and destitution, as for us they are not interlinked. After all, we are integrated to a globalised world and are achieving the magical growth rate of 10%. If people in this world die of hunger and et al they become part of statistics and not of reports even in the media. Haven’t we heard of peasants committing suicides out of insanity and their greed for compensation? Never bother of the increasing production costs, declining subsidies, minimum support prices and flooding imports. Children labour to augment the productive capacity of our country as we are severely short of human power. They work out of their interest in labour, hatred to study, play and to satiate the greed of their parents. No, not because they are poor. Anyway, where is poverty in our country? If Indira Gandhi has failed to achieve garibi hatao our statisticians have done it. Poverty levels are receding so fast that even a tsunami wave will feel ashamed at its speed.


Remember we are the second fastest growing economy in the world. We should not be bothered about the 127th rank in the Human Development Index nor about the occasional facts that see the light of the day that more than 200 million of the rural poor earn only Rs 12 per day and more than 30% of the urban poor earn only Rs 19 per day. They are misnomers. Let us not bother too much about them, instead think of the hefty pay-packages some of the MNCs are offering and drink our cola (after all it too costs Rs 12, a days income for many). If prices of essentials rise, so be it, as long as we can munch our chips (any way we do not think twice before buying 20gms of chips for Rs 10, while many in our country do not have the capacity to buy a kg of potatoes at that price). It is a fashion for us to wear torn jeans and cut sleeves, even in winter, and are we not being aped by those ragged trousered country bumpkins? Let us not waste much of our time on all these trivial details or facts or reality as some call them. We have already layers of woollens over our already thick skins. Instead let us indulge with the bulls and bears as our animal instincts soar. But if there is a thing called conscience in our hearts covered by all these cosmetic externalities, let us always remember 


Cold in winter plays a vital part.

But, Cold is deadly inside a human heart.