Friday, August 27, 2010

Yet another scathing write-up on food security


"Maharashtra ended famine forever by passing an Act that deleted the word ‘famine' from all laws of the State."
Food Security - by definition
"....Who will you export it to? Are there good global prices for rotting grain? Grain that even when in best condition was not of superior quality? What you will do is flog it at rock bottom prices to traders who know you won't consider any other option — like letting the hungry eat it — and can knock your prices through the floor. And then the traders can export it as cattle feed — like India has done before in this very decade. About the only thing Iran and Iraq could agree on in 30 years was that the grain exported to them from India was unfit for human consumption. Both rejected shipments early this decade. But there are always, never fear, European cattle. Talk of sacred cows — these will be subsidised by some of the hungriest humans on the planet....."

Why isn't P Sainath our Minister for Agriculture?

If you have read this far, here are even harsher and more uncomfortable questions -
"A dismal debate all around. Yet, in the next few weeks, the government, the NAC, Parliament, and the judiciary will all be called upon to take major decisions, even vital steps, on the food security of the Indian people. They might want to remember that there is existing legislation to draw from. Legislation far superior to and of a very different kidney from the “Maharashtra Deletion of the Term ‘Famine' Act, 1963.” That is, the Directive Principles of State Policy — that give us the vision and soul of the Indian Constitution.

Of course, the moment we speak of the Directive Principles, up pops the point: “but these are not enforceable!” Yet, the very line of the Constitution which says they are not enforceable goes on to say they are “fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the state to apply these principles in making laws.” How the state — and others — perform their duties will be on display in the next fortnight.

Will the courts say anything about the notion of shipping grain abroad when millions go hungry at home? Will the government say something other than ‘no' to the needs of the hungry? Will the NAC rethink its stand on a universal PDS? Will Parliament accept fraudulent definitions of food security? Will anyone speak for the Directive Principles of State Policy and how policy must work towards strengthening them? It would, of course, be silly to expect a government of this sensitivity to care a fig for the Directive Principles. But perhaps we can hope that the Supreme Court does?"

An ordinary reader is bound to be ashamed of the country's 'heavily burdened' food minister, insensitive Agricultural ministry and greedy bureaucracy.
(cartoon courtesy: The Hindu)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.......! We need Swaraj once again...

The morning's headlines have given an extremely sick feeling in the pit of the stomach.
Government set to let suppliers off the hook

We will need to renew Tilak's call - "SWARAJ is my birthright, and I shall have it".

Swaraj, this time, from predatory nations, corporate classes and political asses.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Commemorating the 6th of August

It's now six decades and a half since Hiroshima-Nagasaki. It appears that this person is the only surviving member of the 12-member crew on Enola Gay that brought hell on Earth.
Apparently he has no regrets over what he did - "I've never found a way to fight a war without killing people. If you ever find that out, let me know."

No, I did not consider that interview worth my time.

Sincerely do not wish to sound cynical - to me it appears a typical US mind-set. In 1945, becoming a war hero at the age of 24, he may not have heard of MK Gandhi - the simply-clad son of the soil somewhere in the third world - actively trying to fight just that kind of 'war', ...
Surely he's wiser now? Apparently not. Only older. Someone should let him know.

As GVK put it, "Astonishing. His is an acute case of conscience-deficit disorder."

74 nations participated at a memorial event in Hiroshima.
"Hiroshima was careful to ensure that the memorial — while honoring the 140,000 who died on or soon after the attack on Aug. 6, 1945 — emphasized a look-forward approach, focusing not on whether the bombing was justified, a point which many Japanese dispute, but on averting a future nuclear attack."
That was an extract from this report on the event, that has plenty of its readers supporting that final action on 200,000 civilians that ended WWII.

Japan seems to have learnt its lessons from history, and has abstained from poking the nose in other regions in all these years. The world will have to wait much much longer before its neighbour across the Pacific keeps beak and claws to itself instead of thrusting them half way around the world and beyond...

Shade - and shades!

Shade - and shades!

Lest we forget

Lest we forget

Think about it -

WISH YOU A RESOLUTION-FREE, CLUTTER-FREE, INWARD-LOOKING, LESS MATERIALISTIC, LESS POLLUTED, MORE EMPATHETIC, CONTENTED NEW YEAR