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.

Saturday, 11 August 2012


Gobinda Chandra Naskar - TMC – toured 6 cities – 11 days – Rs. 8.62 Lakh
Kalyan Banerjee – TMC – toured 14 cities – 19 days – Rs. 62.88 Lakh
Sumitra Mahajan –BJP – toured 8 cities – 12 days – Rs. 16.99 Lakh
A K S Vijayan – DMK – toured 6 cities – 9 days – Rs. 5.75 Lakh
Dara Singh Chauhan – BSP – toured 6 cities – 11 days – Rs. 20.31 Lakh
It is season of austerity; otherwise, each individual figure could have easily been in crores.
(The list is not exhaustive, there are many more.)

When it comes to splurging on taxpayers’ money, and that too, in a poor and developing democratic set-up (and not society), no country can beat the grandeur and opulence of the Indian politicians and their entourage; they are so thick-skinned and hard-working with their imbecile ethos that nothing affects them. They are so shamelessly gaudy that they launch measures in the name of the umbrella term ‘austerity’ telling us to be ready for higher prices and subsidy cuts while continue with their lavish lifestyles on public exchequer’s money. That is why I define their austerity as Austerectomy. (

And they continue to remind us that come what may they shall go on with their rampant disregard to every socialist value in a poor democracy of few rich. They say you make protests, we are not bothered. So we come across yet another irresponsible precedence by our esteemed lawmakers inhabiting the benches of the Indian Parliament.

The set of names and figures mentioned in the beginning are for the expenses incurred on different study tours of the members of the parliamentary committees. Obtained against the query of the RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, the information shows us yet another sham of our politicians. It also tells us that all are similar under the skin when it comes to save the skin evident from the unity shown by the parliamentarians across the party-line in derailing the Lokpal Bill.  

I had written about one such study visit of parliamentary panel on agriculture headed by CPM MP Basudeb Acharia in my ‘AUSTERITY HO!’ series ( Now this comprehensive information running into multiple pages details out very bit about the study visits undertaken by the parliamentarians since the UPA-2 came into the office.

There are many parliamentary standing committees to help the parliament steer clear of the bumpy roads the complex work function of the Indian Parliament provides. But as the RTI response reveals, objectives of many such study visits are either irrelevant or not yet ‘revealed’. Members of these committees that belong to the union ministries have chosen to stay in ultra-luxury hotels like Le Meridien, Leela Kempenski, Taj Bengal, Taj Krishna, Hotel Trident, Holiday Inn, Lalit Grand Palace, Taj Vivanta and many more while the austerity spectacle put into place asks them to be as economical as possible with the cost of the visit. Also, the list of such hotels tells us the kind of places chosen as study stimulators. It doesn’t matter if the places chosen had nothing to do with the subject matter of the study. Let’s see what the Mail Today report writes about the guidelines on tours of parliamentary panels. It says,

“Arrangements regarding accommodation for the committee (members) and the officers shall be made in one government guesthouse that includes guesthouses of PSUs, circuit house, MLA hostel etc. Where a government guesthouse is not available or it is not possible to accommodate the entire committee along with the officers in one government guesthouse, arrangements may be made for the stay of the committee and the officers in a government owned hotel. Where a government owned hotel is not available, arrangements may be made for the stay of the committee members in a good hotel befitting the status of a parliamentary committee. Arrangements for the committee shall be dignified, but shall not be ostentatious.”

Now almost of the cities have circuit houses or good government accommodations (as defined above) we all know that. But when every austerity move is launched with the clear intent of lip service, it is idiocy to expect sincerity and honesty from a lot riding high on corruption charges. It is no surprise that crores are easily wasted on pointless study visits in just three years of the UPA-2. Who knows what is in store for the extended periods but be ready for the expected shockers as the past trend says.

The UPA government has been beating its drums about austerity since it came to the power in 2004 but seldom looked practicing it. Its austerity bandwagon began with denouncing NDA policies and took centre-stage during the global economic meltdown. As the global economic situation remains volatile and India, too, is paying the price of policy paralysis of the UPA-2, austerity continues to be a buzzword for the politicians to do lip service and save skin. We have more than plenty of examples to show it. I am not counting them here. Just google with ‘UPA sham austerity’ and see the pages flowing.

A report this week said that the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has stopped giving travel grants for international conferences to its doctors after directive from the central government. Remember this central government is the same body that made the directive for the tour of the parliamentary committees. 

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -