Reality Check India

Poverty. Poetry. Policy.

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on October 4, 2011

Act 1 : Villain intro

I stumbled upon this poem yesterday :

Reminds me of a Bengali poem, Daaridra-rekha (Poverty Line) by the late Tarapada Ray. It goes:

I was merely poor, very poor.
I had no food to eat
No clothes to hide my shame
No roof over my head.
You, the very soul of benevolence,
You came to me and said:
“No, ‘poor’ is an ugly word,
It robs people of human dignity,
No, you’re actually poverty-stricken.”
Stricken by relentless poverty,
My days of suffering,
My days of pain,
Ran on day after day,
I wasted away.
Suddenly, you appeared again, and said:
“Look, I’ve been thinking about it,
‘Poverty-stricken’ isn’t a good word either;
You’re impoverished.”
My days and nights in chronic impoverishment,
Panting in the furnace of summer,
Shivering in the chill of winter nights,
Soaking in the monsoon rain
I became more and more impoverished.
But you are tireless,
You came to me again, and said:
“Impoverishment makes no sense.
Why must you be impoverished?
You have always been deprived,
You’re deprived, historically deprived.”
There was no end to my deprivation,
To bed half-fed year after year,
To bed in the street, under the naked sky,
I had a skeletal existence.
But you did not forget me,
This time, your clenched fist raised high,
You called out:
“Awake, arise, ye dispossessed!”
By then, I had not the strength to rise,
Hunger had almost finished me,
My rib cage rose and fell like bellows,
I could not keep up with
Your enthusiasm and excitement.

Source : Antara Dev Sen “Below Sarkari Line” DC


Act 2 : The honourable men enter scene


Congress led UPA government.

For the simple reason that what was the entire telephony position of the Congress party and the UPA government must be very clear. Our position based on Planning Commission documents was ‘we were not there to make money. We were there to ensure that there should be maximum coverage. There should be affordable telephony available to people’.

Source : Karan Thapar interview on CNNIBN


Act 3 : The internet villians making a devilish connection

Mr Ironic : That in a country with Rs 32/day folks inspire poverty poetry, the Congress led UPA governmet  chose to consciously leave tens of thousands of crores on the table.

Mr Dubious  : There exists no body of research that supports your policy decision to leave tens of thousands of crores on the table will led to increase in teledensity or other social objectives.  Is a level playing field in a mature industry more important than revenue for the Rs 32 man ? Even the level playing field argument is preposterous – because then I need 2 Acres in EC Bangalore for 6 Lakhs & 20 years tax holiday that incumbents have enjoyed.

Mr Suspicious : Those op-ed writing, left leaning, NGO payrolling,  liberati do not see ANY CONNECTION WHATSOEVER between real wretchedness and policy. Totally disconnected things.