Development and its false notions.


We as the citizens of this country has been aspiring for development, Everybody wants to see our country’s progress because right for a decent living with minimum amenities in place to satisfy our needs is democratic rights of each and every citizen of this country. We vote candidates from different political parties based on plank called “Development”. Have these representatives of the people do justice to their promise to the people, I think this question lingers large on everybody’s mind. The most recent stampede in Mumbai on the railway overbridge proves a point beyond doubt that Govt priorities changes once they are elected to power, they consciously forget their responsibilities towards common people of this country because either they have an agenda to pursue which has been far away from the realities on the ground or a misplaced notion for development . However, they pursue policies to favour the rich and corporates, help them gain maximum profits for the corporates out of it. In today’s environment, it has been increasingly evident that the Govt policy measures are not in sync with the reality, But politicians have consciously tried to pass the message to the larger audience that they are trying to build a new India. what is this new India means to common people, Is new India, govt talking about leave farmers to die because of not able to pay their debts, or children die out for not receiving the oxygen on time , or scores of people are left to die while standing in the queue to withdraw their savings from the bank,But frankly speaking all these campaigns by those in power is nothing but an effort to keep us living in fool’s paradise with hope that sometime someday something better would happen . Now, let’s take the incident happened in Mumbai around 25 valuable lives had been lost in the stampede, it is well known and many times it has been brought to their notice that the railway overbridge is 120 years old with the narrow passage which inadequate to handle the volume of passengers who commutes daily. But on the other hand, we have seen PM launching a bullet train project from Surat to Mumbai with a project cost 10,000 crores. But left to lurch in perennial neglect Do you think it is because of the misplaced priorities and opportunity for photo shots to be in the realm of public life as” Vikash purush “. I think beyond that govt’s has scant regard for the valuable lives of the common people. So it is quite natural to think that launching a bullet train project attracts more eyeballs, improve the optics than the repairing, improving the existing infrastructure of the railways. The major source of income to govt comes from the taxpayers money through direct and indirect taxes, Out of that major source of revenue comes from the indirect tax sources which you and I pay while purchasing our grocery or filling petrol in our vehicles , but the moot question is where do they spend the money collected from us ? Had they been spending the resources wisely frequent occurrence of rail accidents could have been avoided.

Misplaced priorities.

In the last several decades and increasingly so in the last three years, the optics of development for this govt has been through series of announcements of schemes, But very little budget or money has been allocated to improve the situation. Take in the case of rural distress and farmers problem, in the last three years we have not seen any concrete or well thought out plans to address the problem faced by the farmers, Now we have started debating whether the demonetization has delivered its objective , still many argue that the long-term benefits would overweigh the short-term problems. How is it possible when Govt allowed the daily wage workers, farmers to starve and die of poverty. When you have global oil prices at all time low, how can they still allow it to be costlier in India without passing the benefits to the common people? These issues need immediate address rather than ministers after minister trying to justify the move by showing very less importance to issues affecting the common man on the streets.

Optics matter more than the reality.

A responsible government and its administration should be spending the time to address the issues faced by the masses and how they could solve the issues faced by the public at large. In the case of demonisation as the biggest administrative act by the govt has failed miserably, because the reports are out in the open which states more than 90% of the money in circulation came back to the banks. So the purpose of the demo has failed completely. One shock after the other flawed implementation of GST has destroyed the backbone of the economy further, So serious of shocks had already put the ailing patient in ICU, which takes for the patient to come out of the danger. But the optics created by Modi government being that they are sincere in their efforts to attack the black money and GST has been hailed as the biggest reform since independence. If Govt has had any seriousness in curtailing the black money in circulation they should have acted with resilience in bringing the black money stashed abroad, And also should have imposed more taxes on the elites, If they had done any of these it would have signalled some credence to their sincerity in curbing the black money. . Job losses have hit economy badly which really pulled GDP growth down, overall distress in rural economy has taken the situation to such a low, perhaps it takes time to recover.

Inclusive development

You cannot have changed priorities once you get into power Because elected representatives carry the hopes of millions of people who daily fight to survive, lead a life of dignity. So any development for that matter should be inclusive in nature which takes care of the basic needs of the common masses. Take for instances the agriculture’s contribution towards GDP has been declining steadily for couple of decades , Govt, after govt promised to take care of the concerns faced by the farmers, But little has been done to improve the situation, like this many sectors be it education or healthcare which needs a lot of attention and care to improve it. So a real development is nothing but taking everyone together, For the last 3years we have seen hue and cry happening over cow vigilantism and nationalism, Do such priorities of the Govt do any good for the
80% of the population?

Cost of Bullet train

The project cost is expected to be Rs.110,000 crore ie is which works out to be Rs.217crore per km. In 2016 Indian railways reported 186 deaths which go up to 325 deaths, why Modi goes for this expensive project when the entire railway infrastructure meddles with problems of long-term neglect. so it has been the classic case of misplaced priority.

Source:  Frontline October 13, 2017.

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Unabated exploitation for water


water-crisis

When we are going through severe drought crisis and farmers suicide across India,  to impose a ban on the US-basedbeverage manufactures  Coco cola and Pepsi in Tamil Nadu is nothing but a decision in the right direction to signal an end to the exploitatation  done to natural resources by these  Global manufacturers.  But certainly these big corporate has the wherewithal to fight a legal battle against the ban, probably they might win the battle to continue their operation of exploiting the groundwater,  commodifying & selling at a higher price and make the profit out of their operation. The long-term threat posed by these companies is unimaginable and might seriously lead to a severe water crisis. Although it is well-known fact due to over-exploitation of water resources, deforestation and global warming the climatic conditions across the world has seen serious changes, which resulted in the severe shortage of fresh water. The move to ban coca cola and Pepsi in Tamil Nadu is in the larger interest of the society, traders across the state of TN has decided not to the promote the products manufactured by these companies .Both these companies earn more than 1400 crore yearly from southern state alone, they have four manufacturing units across the state of Tamil Nadu.

Over the past two decades the sale of bottled water consumption  has seen significant increase and in the coming years it would double its consumption , such is the opportunity these major brands see in a developing country like India, Our economy is vastly acquiring the status of consumption driven nation  with huge scope of growth and development in the next two decade or so, But we as a nation is also  facing   serious shortage of clean drinking water because of various reasons  post-globalization induced chase for  materialistic pleasure . Adding insult to the injury these companies are using every opportunity to drive home a point that it is always safe to drink bottled water which is full of minerals on another hand river water is contaminated and unfit for drinking. The growing middle-class population in India has started to spend more, they understands the importance of clean drinking water, so since they have disposable money to spare, they started depending on these bottled mineral water manufactured marketed by these companies under the brand name Aquafina and Kinley , they also seriously bought the culture of drinking carbonated drinks from their nation and tacitly placed those brands  in our society as aspirational   one , but on the other hand less privileged who can’t afford  ends up consuming  unsafe water.

These bottlers increasingly tap on the aquifers that feed rivers and lakes across the country, the cost of their operations has seriously lowered the water tables in the region. A liter of bottled water requires 1.6 liter of water to produce which makes the industry a serious consumer of water. They also want to  create the shortage of water making the people’s life more miserable, naturally when the demand for drinking water goes up they see an opportunity to manufacture and sell more, The post  world war 11 saw the industrialization gaining momentum , proliferation of industry had seen more usage of water resources and its subsequent increase in polluting the river and streams which were once used as a source of drinking water, More industrial and chemical waste degraded the water both surface & ground water sources.  Water is inevitable right of all  living creatures on this blue planet, But due to increased exploitation of ground water and other water bodies , the basic right of clean drinking water is taken away from them, Only source  as claimed by these MNC’s is  to depend more on them for  drinking water . They make most  lion share of their profit by selling these packed drinking water. Marketing of packaged drinking as mass produced commodity leads to plastic  bottle waste .  we have seen instances globally on the reported ruptured relationship between countries sharing common water resources, and several countries which are economically powerful are taking the fight to next well by building huge dams to restrict the flow of water to neighboring countries , So fight for water is becoming interstate & intrastate in nature. The era on fight for oil is over  as global community slowly moving towards a war on accessing water, which is fastly becoming a reality .

The Book by Brahma Chellany “Water peace, And water is good to read on the water crisis.

Democratic globalisation is the need of the hour.


In the world of  post globalisation , free flow of  goods ,labour and capital is been  made easy than ever before with fewer restrictions in place across the boundaries. But the question largely re…

Source: Democratic globalisation is the need of the hour.

Global Climate Change and way forward


The 2015 united nations global climate change was recently got  concluded in Paris ,France , where a global agreement was signed by 196 representatives on an  agreed text after a  very long deliberation and representation  from  countries. The most important, notable fact is that globally this issue of global warming is getting acknowledged and some serious initiatives would be in its process to get it implemented in the coming years by nations on a global scale. Already the global climate changes and vagaries has shown how devastating the effects  could be on  our planet, We have seen many alarming situations like floods, famine and unprecedented increase in temperature which affects the agriculture , livestock  and people. We need to blame ourselves for forcing us to be in this predicament.

We have seen this multi fold  increase in global climate change,   post industrialization, where no one ever thought of the consequences of this unbridled use of fossil fuels, industrial emission of gases in the environment , deforestation and many other reasons which are nothing but purely a reactions  of   human induced actions . We never thought or not given  any  importance for  a sustainable living in this blue planet.  Nations which are now Developed nations was  busy building their capacities  to become economic power , poor nation’s resources was being put to uncontrollable exploitation without  anticipating the danger in the foreseeable future  leads to destabilizing force which eventually would turns out to be a  global catastrophe .

Now the situation is little bit naïve and complicated because of the simple reason  that in Paris they have agreed to set a limit of 2 degree Celsius by 2030 globally, How would it be possible for the developing and third world nations to rapidly switch to other alternative sources of energy creation? , Currently relatively cheap sources by using coal as input is the mainstay for the developing nations like India for addressing their energy needs. Richer and developed nations are in better position economically to invest in alternative sources like solar, wind and nuclear, but most populated and economically backward nations are not in a position to invest heavily on alternative energy sources.  How much and how far developed nations are willing to contribute for the change in less advanced economies is something which remains to be seen.

The Climate protection performance index of the countries vindicates the above conclusion, those countries who has shown highest achievements in climate protection are richer nations with higher per ca pita income.

And economically backward nations needs a helping hand both economically as well as technological know how.

statistic_id266138_climate-change-performance-index_-achievements-by-country-2016

Industrial Revolution

The  onset  of industry revolution was somewhere close to 1750 till 1840 , where new manufacturing process was in operation , since then mankind has invented new machines like steam engine , many more use of machines in the  world of manufacturing  lead to increase in productivity , History has lauded this as one of finest achievement of human being .But since that period the co2 emission has grown to un assumed proportions which is alarming .

statistic_id264699_global-co2-emissions-1751-2013

Individual level participation is also key.

Leave the industrialization and other reasons, Are we as individuals are doing enough to play our role as a change agent in bringing down global temperature Please find the below reasons and their share respondents.

We need to highlight countries like japan and Netherlands where people prefer cycle as their preferred mode of commutation .Time has come or time to  realize that we are living on verge of global climate change & pollution every action of ours count more than earlier , and we have identified the root cause of this problem, If we really want to protect this wonderful planet , we need to  do  some sacrifices for a better tomorrow , Otherwise in the  worst case scenario this blue planet would become the worst place to survive for our future generations to come.

statistic_id410971_environmentally-motivated-actions-taken-in-the-preceding-month-in-the-uk-in-2014