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.

Wednesday 6 June 2012


My apologies if the title sounds unhygienic, stinky or unparliamentarily. Unlike our decorated and plum parliamentarians, I do care about my language but I accept I do breach it at times when our dear lords stuff us with genuine reasons like the one our beloved poster boy of the critically acclaimed planning function of the Indian Economy had in store for us today.

Words are oozing out and I am helpless. He has come up with something really praiseworthy.

I watched him explaining on a TV channel the Rs. 35 Lakh expenditure with meticulous precision and realized what a versatile personality he is. He was so engrossed in letting us know the facets of his wisdom about making of the grand Indian Planning Commission ‘toilet’ that he even didn’t care that he was looking absolutely comical. Such should be the level of concentration. Dear students, learn something from him. I regret why Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia was not at the helm of the affairs during my school days. I could have performed better.

He is keeping his ground firm on devising the ways to lift the living standard of every Indian in one wide sweep. There have been criticisms. He has been berated like anything. But he is taking all with a normal face, just for us. It is Montekonomics.

His latest innovation – a top-down approach to solve one of India’s taboo areas – poor sanitation facilities – the Loonomics, latest tool of Montekonomics!

A United Nations report in 2010 said mobile phones were more common in India than toilets. The report said mobile phone services were reaching to the 45 per cent of the population while, by 2008, just 31 per cent of the population had access to improved sanitation practices.

A UNICEF-WHO Joint Monitoring Report 2010 says nearly 60 per cent of India’s over a billion people still practice open defecation.

According to the Houselisting and Housing Census Data 2011, only 46.9 per cent of the households were having toilets.

Poor sanitary practices are a direct reflection of any country’s poverty. And that seems next mission for Mr. Ahluwalia. He looks so determined as reflected in the way he defended himself and his Rs. 35 Lakh toilets today. Mr. Bindeshwar Pathak of ‘Sulabh International’ might have some tough competition in the future.

The flurry of criticism doesn’t see the potential of the revolution that Mr. Ahluwalia intends to bring in just Rs. 35 Lakh. He has begun it. Millions of houseless Indians can own a house in Rs. 35 Lakh but Loonomics’ thinking goes beyond it. Mr. Montek, it seems, has a dream to equip every Indian with a house of the scale that can accommodate a toilet built at the cost of Rs. 30 Lakh or so. So generous and caring!

He is setting a precedent of sophisticated toilets and clinically proven hygienic practices. I hope the planner in him would already have drawn the roadmap to take this revolution to the last household of the last village of the country. We should not be surprised if Mr. Ahluwalia comes up with a guidebook of ‘toilet etiquettes’ in the near future.

Montek Singh Ahluwalia is the ill-understood planning geek, who, like a wandering sage, keeps on roaming across the world, to explore and so to serve the country (us) with transformational ideas. Why the fuss if he prefers to go first class spending around Rs. 2 Lakh a day on him. After all, he is a creative economist and needs physical comfort to exercise his mental excellence that produces such path-breaking ideas.

I don’t know why everyone is targeting him for over-expenditure after P. Sainath’s ‘austerity’ article on him. Being the close friend of our economist prime minister, Mr. Ahluwalia knows very well that the Indian government’s austerity drives are always sham. It is just a symbolic gesture for the stupid common man. So there is no question of our dear economic planner (or in that case, the other lords ruing over us) taking such a crap in the name of austerity that may affect his mental health and so the excellence.

It is not the first instance of the flow of refined intelligence from the poster boy who has held tight his stand on issues like a cowboy; a gem whom our dear prime minister was adamant to make the finance minister of the country but couldn’t succeed due to some ignorant and irrational party members.

Another gem by him proves the clarity of his mental finesse - after all, his miraculous calculation of urban and rural poverty lines at Rs. 32 and Rs. 26 has lifted so many of us above the poverty quagmire, even if it is a notional one. Don’t you see the ‘feel-good’ feeling has started trickling down? You know, now, just 29.9 per cent of us are below the poverty line.

This is the sheer power of Montekonomics, reducing the poverty in India, from over 65 per cent BPL (below-the-poverty-line) population to just a quarter of the Indian population, and that too, in just few countable years.

Great! We have Montek. I believe Mr. Montek will never disappoint us. He will keep on coming with innovative variations of Montekonomics. Yesterday, it was power politics of the ‘Povertynomics’; today it is the ‘Loonomics’, a patent-class Montek way to promote health and sanitation practices.

Montek Singh Ahluwalia rocks. :)

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -