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Food for thought

punjab Updated: Jul 27, 2013 09:34 IST
Ravneet Sangha

Remember the song Paanch rupaiya 12 anna? Well, that's what's been playing on my mind for the past few days. The country is in a tizzy whether five rupees suffice or does one make do with 12 or should it be Rs 33 for a decent meal.

Fashionistas and society doyens are wondering whether one can put a price on the meal. I mean who asked the last time what was the price of cheese or mineral water so essential for one's diet? Imagine, putting a price on food!

And then we have our no-good politicians who are trying to justify what constitutes a meal and how a half plate of vegetables plus two rotis and a bowl of dal can be bought for Rs 5. Dear sir, please send me the address as restaurants, subzi wallahs and all sorts of karyana stores have forever fleeced us. If a meal can be bought, cooked and served for Rs 5, we can single-handedly eradicate poverty from the world. Ladies, we should all unite and forget cooking meals and trying to balance the ever-shrinking salary in these times of recession and inflation.

The fight over the meal has even made us forget that today is Kargil Vijay Diwas. Soldiers who defend our borders do it without being selective over a Punjabi or a Bengali or a Tamilian. For them, we are all Indians. But we are so engrossed in our infighting and have divided ourselves into north, south or worse still over religious identities. In fact, the day is forgotten and a mockery is made over the soldiers whose plight is sensationalised by the insensitive media just driven by TRPs and advertising pressures.

Why have we lost our ethics and moral standards? Why do our elected representatives disappoint one thing that we have, our hope in a future? Personal gains rule the roost and long-winding speeches just twist hate and rile us up to fight each other. We, as a nation, need to pay homage to the soldiers who fought for us, leaving behind their loved ones; and not make a mockery by forgetting them. They gave up their tomorrow so we may live ours with our heads held high. Today, we as a country are caught up between NaMo politics, communalism vs secular credentials, stripping away a Bharat Ratna given to an economist who has a right to speak…. Talk of free speech, anyone?

A common man does not need to be reduced to nothing, at least leave him his self-respect, that which cannot be equated in monetary terms. Till when does he need to contend with the tamasha playing on television?