commonwealth.. and common woes revisited

OK Delhizens loosen your purse strings, your state needs you. You will have to pay your tithe for the honour of hosting the commonwealth games! So from now on everything will cost more: cooking gas, CNG, ghee, tea, coffee, utensils, mobile phones. VAT is being increased from 12 to 20 %. The justification is simple: expenditure on Games projects had exceeded estimates while the "recession" had meant that revenues didn't keep pace. Whatever that means! The bottom line is that each one of us, rich and poor are going to pay for this useless extravaganza!

The fear of what the CWG would mean to the common Delhizen has been looming large on our heads for some time now. We were fist told of relocation of slums and we feared for our own, mercifully till now we have been spared. Perhaps it is because we are not on the routes the players will take to go around the city. And as we all know, the clean up drive is just cosmetic. Then came the ban on street vendors and that affected us as many of our parents lost their sole mean of livelihood and many their sole source of sustenance. We winced a little but carried on. Last week Delhi's school children were informed that they would have to go to school till the end of May. That was a shocker. With temperatures already soaring, wonder what the mercury will read come May! Yes the CWG were truly becoming an event to remember.

Finally came the last straw that breaks the proverbial camel's back. As if the recent price rises were not enough, and just when one had finally mastered the art of balancing a budget by stretching a potato or watering a dal, came the final blow: everything would cost more and the reason was to fulfill some delusional fantasy. We wince at every price rise, it is but human, but then we process the matter and assuage our feelings by telling ourselves that the money is meant fr education, development, health of the poor and so on even if we know that the benefits never really reach their destination. But where are the mitigating factors. Will someone enlighten me?

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