|Courtesy: Joshi Daniel|
More than a century and a half ago, Charles Dickens converted selfish Scrooge into a compassionate human being on the Christmas Day. Today’s Indian Scrooges have awarded themselves a gargantuan pay hike on the occasion of Christmas which has already been converted into Good Governance Day.
Our MPs have decided to double their salary. If the proposal is approved (it will be), each MP will take home Rs 280,000 every month as their salary. Plus all the freebies whose cost will run into lakhs of rupees. Plus a doubled pension. When the vast majority of Indians who slog their entire life for pittances will retire in their old age with no benefits such as pensions, an MP who may serve a term of a few months or 5 years at the most will enjoy a monthly pension that is higher than the annual income of many families in the country.
Democracy has been strengthened, mocks a cartoon in today’s Malayala Manorama referring to the MPs’ pay hike.
Are these the achche din promised by the Modi government?
According to the India Rural Development Report 2013-14, poverty among marginalized groups in is pathetically high. About 45 per cent of Scheduled Tribes and 31 per cent of Scheduled Castes in rural areas are struggling to make both ends meet. More than half the SCs in the rural Bihar are still fighting poverty — the highest among states at 51.67 per cent. In Chhattisgarh, 48.19 per cent of SCs were poor, while in Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, the figure was around 41 per cent. The all-India figure was 31.52 per cent, according to that report.
|Courtesy: The Telegraph|
We don’t need such reports to understand poverty. Take a walk in the countryside and anyone will realise that all the promises about development and achche din were hollow dreams. Except for the privileged sections whose benefits are looked after by the MPs along with their own. And who will pay for their privileges? The answer is the Christmas gift for the majority of Indians!