Dr. Veda Pratap Vaidik
RSS general Secretary (Sarkaryavah) Dattatreya Hosabale’s recent observation on the status of Indian economy might have elated the opposition parties for a while. But an analytical study of the statement will reveal that the RSS leader was not critical of the incumbent Modi Government at the Centre. Hosabale, as a responsible Sangh leader, was trying to alert the government in power on the acute issues the country was confronting.
In fact, governments often miss their focus on many critical issues and unfortunately most of the newspapers and TV channels do not muster the courage to criticize those in power. In such a situation, if the second in command of RSS, the mentor of the BJP makes any critical remark, it may sound scathing, but that could act as a panacea.
Hosabale has said that the chasm between poor and rich was widening in the country. The swelling fortunes of the rich and elite are headlines for the newspapers to compete. The media is often found discussing the rising ranks of the Billionaires in the global index of rich people. But it is sad that the same media conveniently forgets to say a word to those millions of our countrymen who are struggling for food. They never mention no those apples million who die for want of healthcare and treatment.
As per official data out of the 1.45 billion populations less than 200 million people are below the poverty line. But the reality is different. Hardly 400 million people are above the poverty line. Are there adequate facilities for food, clothing, residence, education, medicine and recreation for the remaining 1000 million people of this country? Do they have the similar life our MLAs and MP enjoy? Have you ever compared the facilities our elected representatives enjoy with those who elect them to power?
Government figures show that only 40 million people are unemployed in the country. Is this the reality? Today, corporations and big industrialists are providing employment because they are making huge profits. But what is the plight of small industries and agriculture? The government keeps talking aloud of the many lakh crore rupees they receive as GST and other taxes. Earnings have increased, but you ask the authorities on the number of people who are taxable- the rich in the country? They will be below 10 percent of the total population and the rest of the people of this country somehow survive.
On one side you have the bureaucrats , ministers and leaders living luxurious lives at the expense of the taxpayers and on the other side the taxpaying citizens are overburdened by acute inflation, ever escalating prices of essential commodities and food materials. The common man is distressed and agitated. Of course the government often tries to contain the public rage by announcing certain sops. But how far will the people with empty stomachs remain quiet? They need food and not silly sops or stimulating lectures!
*Dr. Vaidik is a widely travelled scholar-journalist. He has visited more than 80 countries on diplomatic and educational missions. Dr. Vaidik has won more than a dozen National and International awards for academic and journalistic excellence. He has been a member of several Advisory Committees of Government of India.