‘U’ turn into the wrong lane


India is the land of paradox and contradictions: thousand of poor across the country is committing suicide; thousand of tons of food grains rotting in Food Corporation of India (FCI) depots across the country; Supreme Court wraps the Government of India for mismanagement of food stock and the honourable Prime Minister “respectfully” ticks off the Supreme Court, that tackling food shortage, rotting food grains etc., – are all policy matters.

The Governments own records shows that as on Jan 1 this year, 10,688 lakh tonnes of food grains were found damaged in FCI depots, enough to feed over six lakh people for over 10 years. A right to information (RTI) query reveals that between 1997 and 2007, 1.83 lakh tonnes of wheat, 6.33 lakh tonnes of rice, 2.20 lakh tonnes of paddy and 111 lakh tonnes of maize were damaged in different FCI godowns. But what the Head of our Government says is that it is for his government, not the court, to decide what to do with the grain now rotting in millions of tons – 17,000 tons to be exact.

This is the same kind of arrogance that had done the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in, in the 2004 Elections. The people of India took the now famous ‘India Shining’ campaign as rubbing salt in the wound. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government, the Economist PM Manmohan Singh, the embodiment of austerity and Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi  and the new Messiah of  tribals and PM in waiting, Rahul Gandhi should know that you can’t reap political dividend from the big-ticket National Food Security Bill and lip service of social inclusive growth. In order to create an ‘Incredible India’ what is important is doing public good. The Government should not be worried that Apex Court has stolen a march over them by stepping into the realm of “policy formulation” as the PM put it.

Though Manmohan Singh didn’t confront the Apex Courts judgement opening he questioned the ruling by asking “How can we give food to 37% of India’s population”. What he has conveniently forgotten is that, if the Agriculture Minister, who is digging his sticky figures in the Cricket money and had concentrated on policy formulation, the Court had no reason to intervene. And if Government of India policy dictates that food grains stored in the government run FCI depots go bad rather than let hungry people eat it, so be it. That sure is no business of the Indian Supreme Court, Mr. Prime Minister.

Photo: Coyright with Yahoo

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    • ramalingam ramaswamy
    • September 17th, 2010

    In the book WASTE uncovering the global food scandal authored by Tristram Stuart – Penguin Publishers, startling disclosures are made how food grains and food articles are wasted all over the world. In our own country, the stake holders are yet to focus attention on this urgent issue. I am looking for like minded people like you to join hands to take this cause further.

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