Supreme Court’s order to distribute to the poor must be taken in the positive sense
When you turn the experts’ advice what do you get?
Words, words and more words and mere words!
The Supreme Court in a well-meaning public interest advised the Central government to distribute the food grains stored in the open yards, rather than let the grain stocks rot and make the rats eat up the precious food items.
The response from the government, from the Union Cabinet Minister for agriculture and food, namely Mr.Sharad Pawar seems a bit curious, if not outrageously cynical.
How can such a senior leader and a farmers’ leader as well say, as the newspapers have reported that it not possible to implement SC’s order on free grains to the poor as impossible!
The Union minister has said so openly and so blatantly.”It is not possible to implement the Supreme Court order”. He is reported to have said this in New Delhi.
He said the apex court “had suggested to either distribute freely or sell at cheaper rates to the poorest of the poor. The government cannot distribute food grains for free” but in providing rice and wheat at cheaper rates for the poor. Press Trust of India reports from New Delhi.
Further the minister said:
“We cannot distribute freely. Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) is applicable to the poorest of the poor. We are buying wheat at Rs.16 a kg and distributing at Rs.2 a kg. We are already doing what SC is telling us”.
This is typical of Pawar. He is a past master in word play. He is good at point scroing. See how many stands he had taken and how many times he had come out the winner.
With such people entrenched in power there can’t be any imagination, any vision whatever and only further aggrandizement of power and funds, you can expect from this sort of clever politics.
Now, the other major partner of the UPA, namely, the Congress has its own strategy.
Leaving aside the basic issues of drawing up a strategy to raise food production and make farmers incentivised to stick to food economy, there are now drawing upon plans and image-building through the national Advisory Council’s own food security bill. What this bill will achieve? The winning of the next general elections? Or, ensuring the food security to the poor?
Already, there are differing strategies among the rival political parties, the states under Opposition parties, in TN and Chhattisgarh and MP, there are already cheap rations in place. In TN there is the Rs.one a kg cheap food.
No one has questioned and no one has investigated as to the feasibility of distributing food grains at Rs.one.
Obviously, there is a great deal of corruption in this scheme. Any populist scheme or schemes would work reasonably well within some degree of honesty and transparency only when the economics of the scheme is reasonably sound.
With such a mass scale distribution of foodgrains, an essential food item for the common man and also given the fact that neighbouring states like Kerala are also conducting such a mass food distribution, there is heavy smuggling across the borders.
Given the DMK party’s track record, the very party heavyweights and party activists are hand in glove with the officials engaged in the cheap rice distribution scheme.
Not for nothing, the very upright AP Chief Minister Mr.K.Rosaiah has announced on the eve of the Independence Day that he won’t announce any populist schemes! This is a warning to his counterparts in the neighbouring states!
If any government goes on announcing one after another populist schemes as done by TN, you can surely suspect the motives of such governments.
It is vote bank politics and unfortunately, we have to point out the accusing finger at the NAC too when it just talks about a food security bill when what we have at the ground level mass poverty and also mass power and degradation of the farmers, specially the marginal and small farmers.
If anyone, be it the politicians or the experts don’t talk of farmers and only talk of the food security, you can really suspect such talks.