Jul 8, 2010
India has changed and so have Indian values. There was a time when the Indians melodramatically picked up a little earth and said, “This land is my mother.” The Hero in the War movie gave his life for Dharti-Mata and many a more Hero lost life on the battle field for the same cause. The Indian Judiciary was considered blind and could only give dates. But now India is in a situation when 250Crs worth of Dharti-Mata is illegally shipped off overseas while being under the watch of the Blind Judiciary. All of this accounts to selling off of his country in greed for money, an act so stereotypically deride in several movies.
The newspapers in the recent times read like typical movie scripts. The greedy Miners become the typical villain, a government which dances to their tunes, the corrupt officials, entire system gone awry and a lone old crusader against all of this has just given up. Any movie buff would know that it is just the interval now, as a hero would come and destroy all evil and set right the entire world. Where is that Hero?
Well the casting for various roles is still on and each one is trying to do his bit, to be the main hero and not the supporting one. The contenders include the Opposition MLC who filed the case with the Election Commission and was brave enough to stand up against the Villain. His Excellency the Governor, who having been forced into retirement manages to gain some TV Coverage, a small consolation as his successor at the Law Ministry makes it to Prime Time television every night, making one announcement after the other, almost giving a complex to the Announcers at Railway Stations. The Governor asserts himself and stands up to the might of the Miners. Then there is a Chief Minister, who would rather play the role of the sissy mother, crying away in her white sari, while everything in the world goes wrong. Most Ministers in the Government play the side-kick to the villain so would be the main hero- The Inspector Vijay who would save the day. The Superman of Karnataka!
CID took a break from legally watching the CDs of a Swami, spiritually enjoying the materialistic pleasures of life and jumped in to investigate the curious case of the Missing Ore while there already was the Toothless Tiger Department of Ombudsman.
The Announcer at the Railway station said, “Indian Railways announces the arrival of Train No. 1234”, not to be left behind, the Law Minister announced, “New to give more power to Lok Ayukta” and in one up man ship with Announcer at the station he further added, “ and the Communal Violence Bill is already.” The battle has been won by the Law Minister, two new laws to one train! The Governor is jealous and thinks of getting some attention from the media. He thinks and without any option, falls back on his cushioned and well polished Raj Bhavan Chair, thanking the hard working tax payers for his wonderful retirement and feels there could have been more Cushions on the chair had miners paid their taxes. The miners indeed are villains.
Well since there is some confusion over the hero, let us move on the other characters. The comedy in this epic tragedy is provided by the Port Officials who would jump into the sea if their chapels worth INR 250 got washed away, but when the sea ate away 250cr of their Dharti-Mata they did not even blink an eye-lid. The Director of the saga is the Chinese Dragon Economy and its hunger for our Dharti-Mata. With the fire in its belly, it would covert the Mata to steel and make Bird’s Nest.
The producer of the Epic Saga is the common man, the taxpayer. He is the person who would pay taxes from everything he buys from the chocolate for his little child to Jewellary for his beautiful wife. He feels pinched every time the Government announces a hike in Fuel Prices, forcing him to cut down on the little luxuries of his life mostly spent in deprivation. A homemaker, who had to cook a special dish with an expensive ingredient missing. This producer of the saga pays from his nose and sometimes from his happiness to erect the seven check posts, which looked the other way when his Dharti-Mata was being mined and transported to the port. A little child sits underneath a dripping wall in his village school and fears that the roof would collapse in a heavy downpour. His school would have been built, if the Government did not see more priority in spending money on an all expenses paid trip of the CID and the Lok Ayukta to the port. The producer wonders, why I should sacrifice my little happiness when the Villain would not pay his taxes for the school or the tattered road. The producer sits helpless, watching as the Ore Laden Trucks paints his town red and then see the drama unfold on television every night.
More the things change, more that they remain the same. India seems to love to export raw material and services. Even today our economy remain predominantly Primary and Service based, while manufacturing is galloping with 46% growth, but is still a pony. During the days of the Raj, India exported primary commodities like Cotton & Tea. We never thought of processing the Cotton into cloth. Even today, we shamelessly mine Iron Ore and Coal and load it into ships. We talk about banning private ownership of mines or legality of mining forest land, but we would never consider passing a law which bans the export of raw material.
Today, when ore is mined, there are total of 3 jobs which are created- Miner, Transporter and the Seaman. But if the ore is to be converted to steel in India before being exported, it would create 3 more jobs in the Steel Plant and the specialized products out of it. The process of conversion to steel would increase the value of the export several times and add more revenue to the state coffers, allowing better school and roads. This law would cause problems in the short-run, but has long term benefits. One more announcement Mr. Law Minister?
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