India today

The government is busy pushing a bill that will ensure that no one in our country goes hungry. This should be a wow moment for all as the 5000+ kids who die every day of malnutrition is a statistic we can well do without. The effort should be applauded as it would ensure that mothers need not stuff their children's mouth with chili to ensure they drink a lot of water and hence do not feel hunger pangs, that no 5 year old look like a 2 year old. But somehow it does not fell right. What comes to mind is that it will be just another way for corrupt beings to fill their pockets. Had the now ageing ICDS scheme worked then no one below 30 should have been malnourished. We all know who the real beneficiaries of that scheme were: petty bureaucrats and politicians of all hues, corporate houses who were quick to hijack contracts and so on. Activists are already calling it flawed  One such activist states:"As far as children are concerned, whatever was mentioned in the draft has not come in this proposed Bill."Many also feel that it will not reach the true beneficiaries. The whole effort may be well intended but is fraught with pitfalls that no one is willing to see. We all know what happened to the midday school meal! The reality is that children will still die of malnutrition in 21st century India 5000 a day.

That is one side of India: the hidden and dark side that everyone wants to brush under the carpet. An India that is real and should outrage the so called civil society. But that is never the case because a child dying in a remote village in the boonies does not affect the likes of us. So we remain mute, aloof, and unmoved. We only find our voice for things that let us say concern us.

The recent issue of a weekly carried the following headline on its cover: A voyeur's guide to the Billionaire experience. Open the magazine and you will discover where and how the uber rich spend their money. The choice is ample: you can spend a night at a hotel in New Delhi @ of half a million rupees. And if that is enough you can splurge some more by buying yourself the most expensive (9999 rupees) pizza at the hotel's signature restaurant. The same magazine invites you to taste a paan @ 5000 Rs, one that promises to increase your libido, or try the the new Rolls Royce priced at 3.25 crores. It is already a success and many have been sold. Confusing... not really this is India today!