By Parag Aggarwal
Edited by Madhavi Roy, Senior Editor, The Indian Economist
“Poverty is the worst form of violence.” – Mahatma Gandhi
India- the ‘land of mystery’, the name rightly earned, has seen the prices rising on a rocket, and ironically, now it’s falling. In the past 2 decades, the value of the Indian rupee has depreciated greatly. Inflation has fallen, the rupee has depreciated, but the situation of people has fallen devastatingly.
It is said that India is a growing economy, it is never said at what cost. The growing GDP, the falling inflation, the cost of all this is borne by the common man, the true tax payer. The one who pays the taxes, pays the duties, pays his debt to society, feeds his family of four, and provides for his parents and all of this in his limited salary of less than ₹30,000 a month. He learns to adjust, but for how long? There will be a day when the rising prices will kill his virtually non-existent savings. From a man making progress, a man about to buy a car, to man fighting to save every penny to put his children through school. That is the progress India has made?
They say “India now has the lowest inflation rate in 2 decades”, they forget to say how the suicide rates for our growers – our farmers- has gone up by 75% in the past decade. The farmers who kill themselves because of a debt of a mere ₹3000. They had to mortgage their family lands, sell every utensil in the house along with every other thing that had monetary value, all for ₹3000. Their lives aren’t even worth that much, is that what the Indian government is saying? The fact that this is ignored, the fact that only 53% of the total population is actually above the poverty line (and that is after the poverty line has so many different income levels) is demeaning. India doesn’t need to change overnight, but it needs to empower the providers at least to a level where they can pay the tiny debts of ₹3000 rather than killing themselves. A couple of years ago, farmers wanted to directly deal with the buyers without the middleman as it would be more profitable for everyone. The middleman saw this as a threat and they went on a strike, forcing the farmers to always use a middleman. This is how unjust the Indian judicial system is, where a person isn’t allowed to choose who he wants to sell his good to.
The prices have nearly doubled for even the tiniest of commodities like a simple gel pen in the past 5 years. The prices rise, while the country falls. The price of 1 USD went up to ₹67 from ₹45 in exactly 3 years. How? This is at a time when incidents like the USA government shutdown occurs, their debt keeps on rising and their economy is perishing too. The major problem in India is the inequality of income distribution. The money is black-marketed and transferred to banks of other nations by the officials of our country, which is why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The entire monetary system of India is highly flawed and calls for a change.
Is India actually on the path to progress? Will every single Indian be proud enough to say that he has cleared his debt? Will India ever be a super power? Will it ever clear its debt and make a mark on the world? India today is a country progressing without its people.
Parag Agarwal is a 17 years old, doing the IB Diploma Program from SVKM International School. His hobbies are reading, writing. He maintains a blog, which he writes at shadowblog01.blogspot.in. He plays squash and soccer at times. He is not a party person and prefers staying at home and reading a book.