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.

Sunday 20 July 2014


40 crores of Indians are extremely poor – if we go by the estimates and the extreme poverty line of the United Nations.

The only catch is – if we go by the Indian estimates – many of them are not poor and most of them are not ‘as extremely poor as the UN finds’ – as propounded by the by the Indian Government standards – an exercise that began with a Planning Commission working group in 1962, continuing with four other exercises, to come again to the ‘unacceptable’ Poverty Lines (Urban/Rural) of the Rangarajan Committee which submitted its report last month, a report that got public this month – but has failed to come with logical and sociologically viable Poverty Line(s) for a society that has the maximum number of world’s poor (including the ‘extreme’ poor).

If we take the Tendulkar Committee’s Poverty Lines, being used by the Government of India and the Planning Commission so far, before Mr. Rangarajan’s figures were reached at – as expected, at Rs. 75 a day (with US$ to Re. exchange rate of 60), this extreme UN Poverty Line is almost double to the new urban Poverty Line of Rs. 47 as decided by the noted economist C. Rangarajan after almost 2 years of work.

There is no intent to downplay the work of Mr. Suresh Tendulkar or Mr. Rangarajan who was entrusted to find a way to correct the anomalies in the Tendulkar Lines. They, like others, who were assigned to research and give us an acceptable ‘Poverty Line’, have been the economists of eminence. The problem is, even our most common common-sense cannot allow us to accept that one can be termed ‘not poor’ based on the ‘poor’ expenditure limit of Rs. 47 a day in cities and Rs. 32 a day in villages.

Even the added sums of Rs. 7,035 per month for urban areas and rural monthly expenditure limit of Rs. 4,860 – for a family of five – though look fatter on paper – are grossly inadequate – even the most uncommon common sense would fail to suggest a monthly expenditure plan for such families that could support the basic minimum requirements to survive – food, clothes, shelter, medicine and education (in descending order of priorities) – simply impossible – unless a hugely compromised living style (that most of the Indians are forced to live with) is accepted as a way of living – a practice that our politicians and policymakers have been comfortable with.

Mr. Rangarajan’s estimates and study have been able to travel just worth Rs. 14 – from Mr. Tendulkar’s Poverty Lines (Urban – Rs. 33 a day / Rural – Rs. 27 a day) – in literal sense and on social obligations – some say the comparative outcome is ‘much higher’ – what a ‘much practiced’ way to reduce the number of poor in India – so what, if the global community weighs us on a different and more practical scale.

Being poor in India – it is social – it is statistical as well.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -