Monday, July 27, 2015

Dear PM, No - I won't give away my subsidy - because that is all I have got!

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

Being from a family that had a take on political scenarios and involvement in attempting to do good for people, politics was something that I grew up with. The damning ten years under the Congress rule, I had seen the society and the economy being crippled by the unscrupulous crony capitalism and favouritism. The KG basin reserve prices quadrupled in less than a decade, the coal blocks were allocated to family and the exact land was bought just before it was to be acquired by the government for plum projects. It was the resentment of the entire nation that flushed the Congress out and not the genius of the BJP. You were chosen by the rule of elimination and I think you already know that.
The promise of the persona of Mr. Modi – the talks of development and the right-wing inclinations – was something that the majority fell for after the decades of loot and selective appeasement and it is not their fault too. I also agree to a major extent to the efforts you have already put in to driving a much needed change. The angry government officials speaking ill of you are a testimony to the biometric attendance that is making them come to work every day if not on time – it is a beginning of a change in due course. I appreciate the compulsory annual declaration of family assets by government officials – something that can be used as an indicator of the corrupt. Your efforts to project India as a progressive nation, the inspired logo of Make in India and a sincere effort to make business easy deserves an applause. There may be a lot of other things that I am unaware of and a big thank you for all of those.


This does not give the BJP any right to tell me what to eat and what to drink. I am particularly appalled by the beef ban in Maharashtra and the vine of liquor ban. I do not eat Beef – the only Hindu thing about me – and I still am completely against the Beef ban. You may be wilting under the weight of the Brahmin RSS ideology – I am a Brahmin too – but you being the government have to pull yourself up and stand tall. Are you listening Mr Devendra Fadnavis? I am an ardent follower of the RSS too – family you see – but what is wrong is wrong. The RSS has been monumental in keeping the nation together and stemming the evangelist rot to retain the ‘hindutva’ of this nation – but then agreeing to everything that they have to say shall ruin us.
Remember the essence of ‘Hindutva’ it is the collegium of wisdom of ideas of saints/scholars that have run down over millennia as against the single headed jargon of the newbie religions – it is this difference that has kept us sane and not made fanatics out of us. Let us take the example of the honourable Father of our Nation. One man headed our freedom struggle and his followers shunted the others out if they were an inch close to possibly steal his limelight. See what we have now – a Pakistan and a Bangladesh – progenies of the same land and yet perpetually at war. People were fooled for the next 60 years at least by people who only carried his name and claimed the legacy for the power of rule. You have to reign in your zealous commanders to strike a balance that is much more essential for the nation – for you to stay in power and continue doing good for the country.

Mr PM, I – the upper caste middle class common man, have been suffering from the socialist measures drawn under the garb of concern for the less fortunate for ages. I pay taxes from my nose for the politicians who waste crores of rupees for the parliament sessions doing nothing but passing a resolution for a pay hike for themselves while chewing subsidised rotis, driving in cars and fuel paid for by us and living in airconditioned palaces maintained by us. And we do not find it funny at all when someone like a Vadra or a Pawar applies for a farmer or declares assets less than 10 crore year after year. We do not find it funny when the service tax is increased by 2% to cover for national debt when there is billions of dollars of unaccounted money here in India – forget about Seychelles and Mauritius and Swiss banks. We eat in to ourselves to save our pennies and then you levy a tax on the fixed deposit interests. Are we supposed to never grow? Or just start evading tax like most to add further tax burden on those who pay?

Mr. PM, I particularly get angry when you in your soothing voice you request us to give up our gas subsidy for the less fortunate. No – I will not ever give it away even if I am earning a million rupees a day. You first justify why I have to study in a tier-2 institution after scoring 99% marks when someone with a caste certificate and a score of 40% gets admitted to a tier one institute? Tell me why his fees too are waived off (paid by the government)? Why don’t they get to choose from one - concession in marks or fees? Thousands of engineering, medical, management seats are going vacant – why can’t they study there free of cost? And if they want to opt for a concession of aptitude they should be made to pay. Why do we have to pay both ways – just because we are from a supposedly superior caste?
After 60 years of independence and decades of reservation – the supposedly lower castes have been fast forwarded to being in top positions on most government institutions and we all see how mediocre these institutions have become. I am not being racist – but you cannot have a concession for aptitude as the decision making then affects a billion people. Reminds me of a head of a national institute giving an interview on Cloud Computing and having reservations about the functioning of the system when it rains!

Mr. PM, none of your dreams will bear fruit if you have such people at the helm – there can be no substitute to capability – not money, not caste. So, the next time you would want to appeal to us to give away our limited privileges – be prepared to be abused to the core and not because we hate you. Because, we think you can bring about the change – the right change and not a right-winged change.

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