WHETHER it is democracy, monarchy or communist rule, nations are made of people and people need to live. And for living they need essential things: Food, shelter, water, medical facilities, employment/earning opportunities, safety and social security. Sure, I know that this is a simple basic fact of life. But when any nation’s public has to not just discuss but get worried, anxious, upset and then angry about not getting even these basic things then for sure, that nation is fast leaping towards people’s revolution. People’s revolutions are not done in solitude. There are mobs involved. Mobs of common people when hungry are so angry that common rules of mob mentality do not apply to them. And when mothers see their children not getting milk to drink, when sons and daughters see they can’t afford their old parents’ medication, when fathers see they can’t pay their children’s school fees, when farmers see their crop dying due to lack of water, it is already too late to reverse the anger of a common man. Angry mobs in any nation do not fall from the sky. They are made of common public. And when own hunger and family’s food-water-milk deprivation are the causes of that anger, nothing stops such mobs to go to any extent. From French Revolution to Somalia and Haiti—the world has witnessed it all.
Price hike cartel in Bharat is pushing public in Bharat exactly towards such anger. Bharat has seen many famines and in some parts droughts. People of Bharat have tremendous patience. They wait longer than people in many other nations. But when their patience withers away, they get united and furious. We witnessed that in responding to Emergency. Then it was a mild revolution more resulting into political catharsis. But today’s anger of common public is not as simple as it may sound. During my travel I meet people and families from various communities and from varied social stratum. Unanimously, everyone is voicing one’s anger about brutal rise in the prices of dals, other foodgrains, vegetables, suger and now milk. They waited long. They waited patiently for the prices to come down. They were given the excuse of global economic crisis by the governments when many lost jobs. They still waited patiently even after losing their near and dear ones when they were attacked by jehadis as governments gave them excuse—neighbour is okay but jehadis want to disturb peace process (Public know that it was all humbug and due to vote-bank politics governments are not curtailing jehadi terrorism). They even waited when majority was slapped with 15 per cent reservation for minorities. But now large middle class and lower middle class are getting affected in a worse way. Lower middle class and middle class together constitute a large group and in Bharat they are over 82 per cent. They have simple dreams and basic trust in the governments. Parents want their children to get simple but proper food, milk and education. Today’s price hike has struck their basic dreams. This is the worst case scenario for any democracy. A family earning Rs. 10,000 to Rs 25,000 a month cannot feed their single child with two cups of milk! This is middle class. Labour class and below poverty line groups are not even able to think of “m” of milk as most families sleep without food. Both these groups know that while they were punished for their third child, their minority neighbour was rewarded for having unlimited number of children in the name of his religion. Yet, public of Bharat waited patiently.
No more. The common man (aam aadmi) of Bharat is no more ready to wait. He does not want to see his children dying of starvation or being sick of malnutrition due to criminal price hike of basic food items like milk, dal and sugar! This aam aadmi works sincerely and hard in whatever work, trade left out for him after various minority quotas. This hard work is for his children, caring wife, old parents and society. And when he has to see them not getting even a cup of milk for so long, his patience withers away. It has withered away now. We notice such signals in people’s behaviour. Road rage, sudden depressive behaviour among youth, family feuds resulting into on spur of a moment murder, teachers suddenly beating up children, looting in unusual places, juniors suddenly shooting at seniors—there are many such examples. Usually the common man never behaves like this. The common man in Bharat is generally quite ‘cool’. But no more.
The common man that is lower middle class and middle class put together in Bharat is not only facing the brunt of suddenly shrunk place for him as a Hindu due to vulgar reservations to Muslims, but whatever was left out for him has also become out of reach for him. Not because of scarcity of dal, sugar, milk that these things are out of reach of the common man. They are ‘made’ expensive and unaffordable for the common man. The largest hard-working and tax-paying group in Bharat has been made to keep their children and parents half hungry and with half or no milk! This is not only disgusting but also angering and this largest group is surely already angry. But who did this brutal crime of making essential food items out of reach of the common man?
The reasons are not natural like famine or drought. In Punjab there is an excess production of wheat and in UP there is an excess production of dal. But some say there are no labourers to lift that wheat and put in the trucks and therefore wheat is expensive; some say Korean dal looks good and it is selling cheap in the market. Therefore Indian dal has become expensive. Some say there is less production of dal therefore it is expensive. What about sugar? Some say sugar production was lower and so prices ‘will go up’. And lo and behold! Prices go up! The same great sugar baron in the background for two years had been saying sugar factories are going in losses because there had been excess production of sugar cane and that they had to give stipulated price to the farmers. That time sugar production was in excess! He even was doing marathon meetings with various people to see if loss-making sugar factories can be turned around! (To be concluded)
(The writer is a renowned cancer surgeon and secretary general of VHP. He can be contacted at [email protected])
Not because of scarcity of dal, sugar and milk that these things are out of reach of the common man. They are ‘made’ expensive and unaffordable for the common man. The largest hard-working and tax-paying people in Bharat have been made to keep their children and parents half hungry.