Last Updated : 24 September 2012 at 13:35 IST
Creating economic, political and common sense
Source :Commodity Online
Author :Binu Alex
I don’t care if the kirana store near to me shuts down. I need fresh products procured from farmers at a better price and delivered to me without any middle men. To hell with the middle men and instead I would like to see the money at the hands of farmers. Without them, we will go hungry. Why are we not protecting them? Why are we not giving them a chance to discover their true prices?
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I have gone through the terrible 2G spectrum radiation in the last couple of years so much so that I strongly believe this as the main reason for my hair fall. Now I am going through a CG Scan (Coalgate) which is changing my complexion from a decently dark skin to complete darkness. In the middle of these two there have been so many scams, scandals, agitations, dramas, fasts and a number of other activities.
But what I missed was growth path. We spent almost all our precious time we gave to politicians in debating and discussing and fighting over something that none of us could gauge, leave alone understand or have an idea of.
Even today, I can vouch about my countrymen that they have no idea of what 2G was or where the figure mentioned in the CAG loss came from or went to. They were discussing and clearing their doubts that suddenly coal got slapped on their face.
A friend of mine, after the Church sermon last Sunday, made an interesting point. He said Vinod Rai, the current CAG, is an agent of a western country – preferably China or the US. He had his own reasons and two primary reasons he quoted were these.
One that the astronomical figure Rai proudly presented in his report contained so many zeros that people will never understand. It is like throwing a rabbit to a pack of wolves. Rabbit will never have a choice to escape. To illustrate he puts the loss like this. You go to a seven star restaurant, spend a fortune on food and next day when you sit on a toilet seat, will you be counting the losses you made on the food previous day because you are on the verge of losing it? The second point he made is who can possibly be the beneficiary of India’s lower than expected growth. In other words, if India doesn’t grow at the expected 8 or 9 percent, which other country will reap the benefits?
And I have all the flimsy and rugged reasons to believe on my friend’s wild imagination because when you read between the lines, when you see the papers presented by the CAG, when you see the notional loss envisaged by Rai and his team, there is no reason why I should oppose him. Icing on the cake is that 98 percent of the CAG staff in India has no qualification to audit. Yes, I repeat to audit. They are simply lower division clerks turned upper division clerks turned head clerks. What if the designation changes to Section Officer turned Assistant Accounts Officer turned Accounts Officer in that chronological order?
And at the nick of time, the Chief Justice of India, S H Kapadia struck a note which made me proud that someone, I repeat at least someone agrees to my thoughts.
This is what he said: ““Sometime we see certain TV programmes and we build our perceptions. How many of us know the basic principle of valuation? Today a number of controversies on valuation are discussed but the basic principle of valuation is that loss is a matter of fact and profit or gain is a matter of opinion.”
Let me repeat it again the last sentence. “Loss is a matter of fact and profit and gain is a matter of opinion.”
Along with me, my country men have no idea of economics. Those who know are forced to remain quiet because they are in the wrong party. Take the best example of none other than Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, considered to be the messiah of foreign investments and darling of NRGs and NRIs.
He has gone out of his way, made beeline in nondescript countries, signed irrelevant MoUs with unknown foreign companies, spent half of the state GDP in Vibrant Gujarat Summits, made Google hang out of fame – all for not attracting the Indian business but foreign investments.
And for compulsions known only to him, he is now opposing FDI announced by the Central government. I recently asked a person close to the CMO whether the Vibrant Gujarat Summit will summarily reject applications of IKEA and Walmart to participate. Well, he laughed himself out of my sight.
Now rewind yourself back to 20 years with only Ambassadar as the mode of transport. If India had decided to stop the entry of automobiles then, what would have been our choice? Why are we defending the so called Mom and Pop Kirana stores – the biggest cheats in India? They loot the customers but we don’t see it as corruption. They take us for granted stocking only those products which gives them higher margins and we not only have any problem but goes on to defend them.
Who will fight for a person like me who would like to have better products with better shopping experience and better price? I don’t care if the kirana store near to me shuts down. I need fresh products procured from farmers at a better price and delivered to me without any middle men. To hell with the middle men and instead I would like to see the money at the hands of farmers. Without them, we will go hungry. Why are we not protecting them? Why are we not giving them a chance to discover their true prices?
But if you still ask me if this is going to harm the country, I don’t have an answer because like you I am also a novice. I have no role in public debate.
We Indians have lost the biggest gift God has given us – the gift to think and take our own decisions. As the CJI pointed out, economic sense is nowhere to be seen. We have never questioned CAG’s wisdom over his figures. Were they realistic? Have we lost so much of money? Has the culprits in the case pocketed those money?
Corruption in India is endemic and since it is imbibed within each one of us, I don’t expect any cleansing in the near future. I do not foresee any party that can come clean. If it does, I do not see it winning any seats.
A protest in a remote area is not our issue. Villages submerged somewhere in India has nothing to do with us. Anna is ours because he is in Delhi while Irome Sharmila is not because she is somewhere unreachable and fasting for a cause we don’t exactly know. If every wrong thing that happens in India is not our problem, why is that 2G and Coalgate suddenly ours?
Binu Alex is Editorial Director of Commodity Online. Extracted from his musings
Disclaimer by Author : Typed on a Tab with thumbs using a Swift Keyboard. Meant to be flow of thoughts. Neither edited nor structured. Read at your own risk.
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