Off late ive been watching some really ridiculous news stories that have infuriated me to no end. For instance, 2 days ago there was a huge debate on whether the President of India should be awarded with a salary hike of 100 %. (His current salary is Rs. 50,000 p.m). Now this may sound like a trivial salary which the PRESIDENT should be earning, it sounded that way to me too ntil I heard the following statistics - Rs. 2 cr on maintenance of presidential gardens. Rs 4 cr. on salaries of the 600 employees of the house. Rs. 64 lakhs on Presidents medical expenses, Rs 4 Cr.on maintaining his vacation homes, Rs 6 Cr (or thereabout) on maintaining the present house and a host of other expenses that I cannot seem to remember. After the end of this list, I wonder exactly what expenses the president incurs. Shouldn’t all this be counted for in his lump salary as perks?
Just a week before this debate, was a press release made by the President of India which I won’t delve into detail, but the crux of it was that Indians working in the private sector should be paid lesser and should lead a frugal life – the discrepancy in economic proportions between various strata of Indian society apparently leads to social unrest. While I don’t disagree with this, I have to ask myself how the numbers stated above spent on one man alone is frugality? If I were Mr. President, as the first citizen of India, I would first cut down on all unnecessary money spent on my gardens and vacation homes, and spent them on schools, hospitals, free food schemes, improvising the law and order etc- it is the confluence of these factors that in my opinion, lead to social unrest.
Another news item – Ms. Mayawati (CM –UP) has amassed assets worth Rs. 50 Crore in the last 3 years alone. That would mean a spurt of nearly 300% in her assets in the last 3 years alone – of which 34 lakhs has been declared as jewellery. Bear in mind that if this is the figure that has been disclosed, the actual figure must be give or take another 5-10 crores. I mean how does someone who apparently earns lesser than the president even have so much income? Which is the flyover that dint get built, or the houses for the poor which were actually sold to greedy businessmen or relief program that got only half the amount of funds than were allocated.
The world misjudges us, India is not a poor country – I think we have richness in abundance. Its when and only when ALL the money and resources get percolated down to the grass root level when we will achieve development. Sadly so, I don’t see that day anywhere close.