In a huge, huge achievement, in a
trademark Montek Singh Ahluwalia style, packaged and presented in the Manmohan
Singh style, yesterday, all of a sudden, we the Indians were told by the economy
wizard of the nation that his government had lifted almost 15 per cent of the
Indians above the poverty line since 2004-05.
Maybe, we, the Indians, could not
assess it given our choked mental faculties that keep working 24/7 to ensure
how to handle the daily and monthly expenses with regular price rises, of
almost everything of use, from routine items, to the means of absolute
And like Manmohan Singh has
always been very comfortable with the manipulative duplicity of statistics,
this time too was no different. Only a week ago, the economist in Manmohan
Singh had proclaimed: “The percentage of population below the poverty line
declined at 0.75 percentage points per year before our government came to
office in 2004-05. It has fallen more than 2 percentage points per year between
2004-05 and 2011-12” – and so be it. Isn’t it?
After all, one of our principal
lords says it. After all, he represents the luminous class of the politicians
with a parasitic lifestyle enjoying luxuries of life on taxpayers’ money while
regularly lecturing the taxpayers to practice austerity.
It is indeed largesse on their
part when they give us the lowest possible figure (statistics dear!) for ‘our’ Poverty
Lines. It is, in some way, a sort of mechanism to take millions of Indians away
from the clutches of the ‘defined’ poverty limits.
And so, the Montekonomics version
of Manmohan’s proclamation is now out.
It is like – see, you are not
poor because we say that you are not in the poverty line list. So, celebrate
your day with Rs. 33 a day if you are an urban Indian and Rs. 27 if you are
from some rural neighbourhood.
A mouth organ sort of tool of our
lords, the Planning Commission of India, headed by the Economy Nobel defying
wisdom, that we also know as Motekonomics, of Manmohan Singh’s learned deputy
Monetk Singh Ahluwalia, has come up with the miraculous statistical
manipulation, yet again, to lessen the miseries of ‘we, the Indians’ – by
telling us to believe that hundreds of millions of us have become richer by overnight.
Overnight, because, the intended
millions did not know or could not realize their windfall gain (the gain, thanks
to the committed acts of Manmohanomics). Probably they would realize it now.
So, the school of Montekonomics,
the Planning Commission of India has announced: “The percentage of persons
below the Poverty Line in 2011-12 has been estimated as 25.7% in rural areas,
13.7% in urban areas and 21.9% for the country as a whole. The respective
ratios for the rural and urban areas were 41.8% and 25.7% and 37.2% for the
country as a whole in 2004-05. It was 50.1% in rural areas, 31.8% in urban
areas and 45.3% for the country as a whole in 1993-94. In 2011-12, India had 270
million persons below the Tendulkar Poverty Line as compared to 407 million in
2004-05, that is a reduction of 137 million persons over the seven year
And see, how the Montekonomics
under the aegis of Manmohanomics has achieved it.
The Planning Commission has
calculated, based on the method it uses (the controversial Tendulkar Method),
the state-specific and all India
urban and rural Poverty Lines for 2011-12.
It is Rs. 816 per month (Rs.
27.20 per day) for rural India
and Rs. 1000 per month (Rs. 33.30 per day) for urban India
while the same was Rs. 356.30 (Rs. 11.86 per day) for rural India and Rs. 538.60 (Rs. 17.95 per day) for
Now hundreds of millions of us
complain that surviving a day on Rs.33/Rs. 27 a day (Rs. 18/Rs. 12 in 2004-05)
is not possible and such ridiculous estimations must be changed. Pity us when
we demand so. After all, what else can give us such a comfortable psychological
cushion to forget the chronic problems we are in – the poor citizens of a rich
And we repeatedly fail to learn
Last year too, the country had
seen a huge uproar when the Montekonomics had come up with the previous Poverty
Lines (Rs. 32 for urban India
and Rs. 26 for rural India).
Our lords led by Manmohanomics and Montekonomics were so pained that they had
to form a committee (like many others in the past) to look into the methodology
to calculate the new Poverty Lines. Its head, C. Rangarajan, say it will take
one more year to come up with the reworked Poverty Lines.
One more year! How could our
caring politicians leave us in peril by denying us the psychological cushion that
could tell us to ‘believe’ that we were not poor ‘as we were not on the Poverty
So, they decided to take the pain
again. They are so committed to the millions of the poor that they would be
ready to face the brunt of the ‘uncalled for’ criticism yet again.
And so, yesterday, we had the
Pathbreaking development when millions of us were lifted out of poverty; when
Manmohan’s and Montek’s Planning Commission of India came up with the
‘miraculous’ and ‘new’ rural and urban Poverty Lines of Rs. 27 and Rs. 33 a
Now that they have told us, what all
we need to do is to believe them, as we have been doing in the past ‘by telling
us that we are not poor because we do not figure on Poverty Line lists. They
have given us back our psychological cushion to fight the poverty.
See, it is so simple. Isn’t it?
See, so caring they are. Aren’t