Thursday, June 5, 2008

Eat NANO!

Diesel cost hiked by Rs. 3/litre; petrol cost hiked by Rs. 5/litre; cooking gas cost hiked straightaway by Rs. 50/cylinder!

I guess their logic is that on monthly consumption basis, the hike in petrol prices would add up to a lot more for individuals than the hike in cooking gas, because on an average, Indian households generally don’t use more than 1 or 2 cylinders of LPG for cooking every month.


This price hike has obviously been decided keeping in mind that percentage of Indian population who owns a car… and, of course, that percentage of Indian population who manufactures the cars!

But did anybody stop to analyze the effects of this hike on the majority of Indian population, who doesn’t have the luxury of owning a car? In fact, forget about owning a car, these people can’t even afford to pay for fuel-driven public transport! They either walk or use bicycles.

Let’s take for example my housemaid. She earns Rs. 1750 per month. Out of this, 950 bucks go to pay the rent and the school fee of her daughter. That leaves Rs. 800 to support her family of 4. (Oh yeah, the hubby doesn’t work! Typical, right!)

In other words, she has a little over 25 bucks per day, to feed herself, her son, her daughter, her husband and also pay for electricity and clothes etc for the kids!

So ok, she doesn’t use 1 LPG cylinder per month, it lasts for almost 2 months in her household. But a hike of 50 bucks every 2 months translates to “one day without food” for her and her family every month!

And she is still decently employed! There are others in our country even worse than her financially!

And I saw on the television – the middle class people are actually cribbing about the hike in petrol prices, and how it would affect their monthly budget! Heck! These guys never think twice about spending 200 bucks at one-go on a pizza from Dominoes! A movie ticket at any of the multi-plexes in Delhi costs at least 150 bucks! Cokes and Pepsis are a regular part of their lifestyle and their kids’ too! And they are cribbing about a Rs. 5 hike in petrol! Helloooo!

I had been secretly wishing for a Rs. 50/litre hike in the price of petrol in fact! Would have at least brought down the number of cars running unnecessarily on the roads… like the ones with just-started-dating couples inside, going on “long drives”! Oh yeah, I love long drives too! But let’s face it – the world is already too polluted!

The icing on the cake is this 1-lakh Nano – which translates into more people being able to afford a car – which means more horns honking on the roads, more traffic jams, even more pollution, more fuel import in the country and a budget deficit every year!

Agricultural land is being giving away to set up industries and Nano-manufacturing units! (The “Digha-malde” lovers have probably already laid their obituaries for their favorite among the “king of fruits” ‘coz the cultivatable land of Digha, which produced that special variety of mangoes, has been given away for the development of industrial area!) Farmers are committing suicide! There is severe shortage of food in even the civilized parts of the world! And all we can find to crib about is the Rs. 5 hike in the price of petrol! What an irony!

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