February 23, 2014

Mr FM, Whom are you trying to fool?

G Mamatha

Dear Chidambaramji, I AM a poor dalit and unlike you, am not so educated. Till recently I did not even know that there exists such a college called Harvard. How can I, who cannot afford to complete 10th standard in the only government school for our four villages? Even for my child, my dreams are only for getting a seat in the nearby government college in the tehsil headquarters. So Harvard and all, are not for me. But, tell me frankly, what does a school or education for that matter got to do, if it does not teach one to be truthful, honest and caring? Unfortunately, I don't know if they teach them in Harvard, I am sure even if they did, you did not learn them. What else can explain your budget speech? I was told that you do not accept growth which does not benefit dalits, tribals and women. You even said that our concerns are your concerns and allocated sufficient money for our welfare. Please sir, tell us how can you lie so easily, without any pain in the heart? When we lie to our children about why we are not able to pay their fees or buy them new clothes or give them proper meals, we always sleep with pain in our heart. It seems you do not have such healthy concerns. In the budget, according to rules, it seems you have to allocate 16.6 percent of the total funds for dalits and 8.6 percent for adivasis. You know that this percent is fixed according to how many we are in the total population of our country. Place your hand on the heart and tell, whether you did it? No. If you were truthful, you would have allocated 92,183.45 crores for dalits sub-plan (total budget for 2014-15 is Rs 17, 63, 214 crores). But you gave only 48,638.31 crores. That means only 8.76 percent, and it is half of what is supposed to have been given. Similarly for the adivasis, you should give 47,757.79 crores, but you gave only 30,726.07 crores, which again is only 5.53 percent. Still you are brave sir, and I respect you for it! My parents never allowed me to lie and see how I am suffering by still following that principle. I am sure your hardworking mother too might have taught you not to lie. We don't know whether she is sad or not, but you at least do not appear to have any problem in violating what your parents had taught you. Really brave, sir! Sadly, even that which you had allocated for us last year, was not spent. It seems that last year you promised to give dalits 41,561.13 crores but in reality gave only 35, 800.6 and for adivasis you promised 24,598.39 but spent only 22,030.47. You do not believe us? Sir, we don't lie and do not have the mechanism to collect all the figures. So we depend on your papers to show how bravely you can lie. This table, we got it from your papers. I know, you are aware of it and might even tell the figures in them without even looking at it. Intelligent na sir! But as you are concerned for us, please see it once again sir. Particulars of Total Plan and Non-Plan budget Particular 2012-13 (AE) 2013-14 (BE) 2013-14 (RE) 2014-15 (BE) Total Budget 1410367 1665297 1590434 1763214 Plan Budget 413625 555322 475532 555322 Non Plan Budget 996742 1109975 1114902 1207892 Particulars of allocation made under SCSP for Scheduled Castes Allocation under SCP 28218.81 41561.13 35800.6 48638.31 SCP in Percentage 6.82 7.48 7.53 8.76 Due SCP in percentage 16.60 16.60 16.60 16.60 Due SCP 68661.75 92183.45 78938.31 92183.45 Denial under SCP 40442.94 50622.32 43137.71 43545.14 Particulars of allocation made under TSP for Scheduled Tribes Allocation under TSP 16723.73 24598.39 22030.47 30726.07 TSP in Percentage 4.04 4.43 4.63 5.53 Dues TSP in Percentage 8.6 8.6 8.6 8.6 Due TSP 35571.75 47757.69 40895.75 47757.69 Denial under TSP 18848.02 23159.30 18865.28 17031.62 Particulars of allocation made under SCSP and TSP together Allocation under SCSP and TSP 44942.54 66159.52 57831.07 79364.38 Due under SCSP and TSP 104233.50 139941.14 119834.06 139941.14 Denied under SCP and TSP 59290.96 73781.62 62002.99 60576.76 Sir, but what you had done, we are unable to digest sir (of course, thanks to your brilliance, we do not have anything in our stomach to digest also). You promised in the budget speech to help “the poor who look to the government for a little help, a scholarship or an allowance or a subsidy or a pension”. But when did you keep your promises sir? Nine years is not such a long time sir, and we remember all your budgets sir. For example, for the post matric scholarships, you have reduced the amount from 1908 crores last year to 1500 crores this year. For the UGC you reduced it from 868 crores last year to 598 crores this year. So much so for your concern for our children’s education. Thank you sir, neither our children, and if the same trend continues nor their children's children too will never even see Harvard sir. So, your Harvard is safe and 'pure', for you, your children and their children's children. Most of the poor in our country are like us, living in the villages sir. You know it very well too. We work hard in the fields, so that even if we do not eat, you can eat. You have to go to Harvard no sir, and rule us. We work and feed you. What do we get in return, sir? You have closed 22 schemes and of course added 9 new schemes, but importantly, reduced the money from 1929 crores last year to 1888 crores this year. Don't worry sir, we will still work and produce food for you to eat, read and rule. Unlike you, we survive only when we work and die from our work, sir. You were home minister for the country too sir and know how many times we were attacked and how the cases are not registered and trials become a farce. Your experience as home minister might have taught you to reduce the money for ensuring justice to us sir. Otherwise, why would you reduce the money for prevention of atrocities on dalits from 130 crores last year to 90 crores? Sir, you might think you are wise. But we are also not fools sir. Life in our village ‘Harvard’'s have taught us to be honest, truthful and brave sir. We are also taught to question those who do wrong and recently learned to fight also. Please don't try to fool us. You have done your job sir. Now we are waiting for our job. In few months you will be coming to our houses for votes sir, then we will show you our power. Please do not opt for party work and do contest the elections sir. We want you sir, to enjoy our victory. Thank you sir.