TODAY -

Pin pricks also matter
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: September 23 2011 -



After more than 50 days of the economic blockade, when the prices of essential commodities have touched the sky, when many items of daily use have disappeared from the shops and many more on the verge of disappearing, there is a discernible stirring amongst the public.

In the past few days, there has been some sporadic sit in protests by various organizations. The AMSU has also been very active, trying to keep the galloping prices in check.

Their activism supported by the women vendors of Kwairamband Bazar, though successful in registering the frustration of the people at the exorbitant prices of essential commodities, did not succeed in keeping the prices in check.

But in these 50 odd days of economic blockade, people by and large have been relatively quiet, they carry on with their lives, taking every thing in their strides, save for a sigh of exasperation once in a while.

We are so used to deprivations of all sorts in our daily life of our most basic needs drinking water, electricity, sanitation, proper roads, etc. that few more additions to it hardly seem to make any difference.

If there is no drinking water supply, the economically better off sections will buy water tankers, the rest not so unfortunate will make do with whatever is available from ponds, rivers.

No electricity supply ? Buy invertors or generators, solar lamps, or the many substitutes available in the market; the poor of course must learn to see in the dark.

The same attitude makes it easy for the people to cope with the present crisis brought about by shortage of essential commodities.

The people of both the classes need only transfer their expertise in dealing with the day to day deprivation in normal times to abnormal times to a more acute stage of deprivation.

Here also, the richer section, since they have the means, will carry on with their lifestyle and in fact would relish the luxuries of life all the more since it is that much harder to come by.

So, now even if a litre of petrol sells at Rs 200/- or a cooking gas cylinder at Rs 1500/- or above there will still be buyers. The poor of course will opt out of this sellers' market and carry on with life as best as they can.

The beauty or the tragedy, depending on one's point of view, is that both these sections will rarely complain or do anything about it. This, many people from other parts of the country find rather perplexing. They just cannot figure out how a people can bear so much silently.

One reason of course is the sense of resignation to their fate, the sinking feeling that nothing much is going to change however much you try.

Another reason could be they are so used to fighting for much higher ideals, that price rise, deprivation of basic amenities etc no longer arouses their indignation.

But as with the human body, even pinpricks should startle us for it alerts us to the dangers we might face ahead. Feeling the pinpricks is as important as feeling the agonizing pain of a deep gash for the preservation of the human body.

Being scandalized and indignant about deprivation of basic amenities, about price rise, about the all pervading corruption would do a world of good to the health of our society.





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