The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Monday, 21 May 2012


There could not be a better day than this for the sharp attack of wit by P. Sainath. His article ‘The austerity of the affluent’ on the editorial page of the Hindu (May 21, 2012) tears into the cacophony of the likes represented by Montek Singh Ahluwalia and it comes on a day when we saw some more sham acts by the parliamentarians and the government.

First Pranab Mukherjee presented the 108-page long attempt to cover-up and justify the lame progress (or regress?) of the government initiatives on the black money issue. As if this tirade was not enough, he ended up proposing a Lokpal on black money issue on a day when the real Lokpal issue was again pushed to oblivion. The Select Committee is expected to report back on the Lokpal by the last week of the Monsoon Session and we know ‘such’ committees never work on time in India.

It came on a day when the Rupee touched the historic low breaching the Rs. 55 threshold to the US Dollar.

What the government is doing? Nothing except the parliamentary eloquence!

Our dear finance minister, in his immense wisdom, recently proposed to introduce austerity measures while claiming that fundamentals of the economy were strong and the current phase was basically due to Greece and Eurozone crisis.

The Rupee has already seen a 22 per cent fall in last one year while, according to a Bloomberg report, currencies of other major emerging economies like China, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, have all maintained with just around 1 per cent of slide, if the Eurozone has really been any factor.

There seem, are enough reasons with his reasoning (of course in his insight) that his austerity measures would be able to iron out the rough spots in the economy and there is no need to press the panic button.

So blame the silly Greece and remain in the comfort zone (lest, this attitude become the Greek phenomenon for our economy!).

Now don’t we remember the austerity saga part-1, in the follow-up of the 2008-09 global busts?

Don’t we remember the crude pomp and show like some leaders travelling by trains (Rahul Gandhi) while some more enjoying five-star hotel accommodations (S. M. Krishna and Shashi Tharoor)?

Sainath’s article is an interesting read on this ‘austerity joke’ by the political elite. And he has chosen a perfect character, Nero of Manmohan Singh’s regime, Montek Singh Ahluwalia. Like always, Sainath is to-the-point with precise background information and statistical filtering. He unleashes his whip on Montek’s tyranny of poverty politics in pure P. Sainath style.

Take this: As the Chairman of the Planning Commission, Mr. Ahluwalia was on foreign tours for 274 days (mostly to the US) excluding the travel days during his seven years of tenure (till 2011). This was when his nature of job doesn’t require much travel. His four trips between May-October 2011 cost the exchequer Rs. 2.02 Lakh a day. This was for a person who takes pride in elevating the life of the Indian on the street by pushing him in the darkness even deeper. He proudly sticks with Rs. 32/29 (Urban India) and Rs. 26/23 (Rural India) poverty line figures. So most of us are rich. Isn’t it?

P. Sainath doesn’t stop at it. He goes on to find other interesting characters of polity’s austerity theatre.

The recent events gel with the write-up while you read it. A report on Bhaskar’s English website says some 20 crore was paid for the print advertisements on Rajiv Gandhi’s death anniversary. Couple this with the massive public money waste by Jayalalitha and Mamata Banarjee governments on completing one year in the office. Expect more misuse when the UPA government tries to paint the town in red (and pain us even more) on completing lackluster three years in the office tomorrow (May 22).

So many Nero(s) and their fake concerns! It, too, happens in India!  

/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -©