Is it the hundreds of millions of
people hovering around the ambiguous line, otherwise ‘termed’ the ‘poverty-line’,
a line that is as controversial as the second tenure of Manmohan Singh as India’s
Or is it the politicians who, in
collaboration, with bureaucrats and number-crunchers, define who should be poor
and who should not be poor and who should not be ‘so poor’, obviously, more on
Or is it the Indian democracy
that has come to evolve as an exploitative System where the millions of the
poor, who are as important in the eyes of its Constitution, the world’s most
extensively written Constitution, as the elite politicians hibernating in the
plush environs funded by the pubic money, but have been pushed to the extremes
of the periphery where they are not seen even as the entities to be co-opted to
mitigate the chances of emerging threats?
Or is it the multitude of the
hundreds of millions of ‘poverty-line’ stricken Indians who seem to have
forgotten or seem to have never known what should be the ‘quality’ of their
‘quality of life’?
Or is it the multitude of the
hundreds of millions of ‘poverty-line’ stricken Indians who have come to
reconcile with the developments making them subservient to the political class?
Over 1200 millions of Indians
that make India
the world’s largest democracy – more or less, it is a functional democracy it
But this functional democracy is
yet to find how to count its poor. There are many ways. There are definitions.
There are methodologies. And there is confusion. Huge sums are spent on finding
how to define the ‘poverty-line’ yet the controversy remains. The Rs. 30 a
month ‘poverty-line’, the average of all the expertise involved. Why?
Because, the poor here are not seen
as human beings by the prevailing political thought process. They are yet
another votebank, a significantly large votebank that cuts across the layers of
religion, regionalism and caste.
This significantly large votebank
has the tendency to act most impulsively of all the votebanks. Impoverished
they have been, impoverished they are, and it can be understood. They don’t
know what to expect from life than to survive every coming day. They are not
expected to expect from life.
Poor, they are, but they do not
own their poverty. They would do all to get rid of it provided they are given
the help they need to do so.
But that help is not extended to
them by those who own their poverty.
Those, who run the System, the
politicians, the policymakers, the elite, the business people, and the likes of
them, they own their poverty.
Instead, they are given
occasional shots of calculated empowerment, empowerment that gives them
borrowed moments of hunger-free and relatively easier days when elections
approach. A food security bill is announced in 2009 but is put in motion in
2013 when elections are due in 2014. Farm debt waiver was announced in 2008
when elections were due in 2009.
The borrowed moments of
hunger-free and relatively easier days push the voters from this votebank to
react impulsively to cast their votes in favour of the political outfit doling
out the ‘largesse’, something that should rightfully be their fundamental
Those, who run the System, their
interest is in keeping this votebank poor.
Once out of poverty, the prospect
to get the votebank react impulsively gets a certain negative hit. Why to take
They, who run the System, own the poverty in India and they
don’t look in the mood to bequeath it.