Switzerland is going to vote in a few days. They are going to have a referendum about raising the minimum wage in the country to twenty five dollars per hour. More than 90% of their blue collar workers already receive more than that. The country is going to vote for the other 10%. To save the reader mathematical gymnastics, a 40-hour-week would translate into a monthly salary of around six lakh rupees a month.
I got this news on BBC a few days back, and have gone into deep depression.
It is not that I’m not happy for the Swiss working class, or that I do not wish them well. It is just that I am reminded of our own working class. The official minimum wage in India is between 100 and 115 rupees per month. Another quick calculation. Even if a factory hand were to get a monthly salary of five thousand rupees, it would take him/her six years to make what his counterpart in Switzerland does in a month.
This was not the reason for my depression. The reason for depression is to be found in the spectacle of the ‘great’ election that has been unrolling across the country for the last one month. In the context of the news from Switzerland, look at the news about our elections that has been saturating our news media.
Having watched snippets from dozens of channels in English, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam, and scanned the major English newspapers and periodicals, the impression one gets is that there are no major issues that these elections are being fought on. Oh I forget. There is one grand issue this election. Does Mr.Narendra Modi make Prime Minister? Really? Really?
Is this really our concern? Well, I wish he won’t become my Prime Minister. But – common sense dictates that most probably he will make it. I for one had predicted twelve years back that this man will become PM this election.
And, why ever not? How is he any less deserving of this success than any other politician in this country? And, pray, how is any other politician in this country any different from Mr. Modi? One would be hard pressed to name one politician in this country who is above having some Muslims raped and slaughtered whenever realpolitik requires that it be done.
It does not even have to be Muslims. It is just that they lend themselves to this purpose best. Thirty years back the Sikhs had served this function admirably. An occasional Christian has also played his/her part with distinction. There are plenty of other minorities – all shapes, sizes and descriptions. Everyone will have their day.
Who is responsible for an election where Narendra Modi is the only issue? I stop short of naming the media. The media in the country does not deserve to be credited with that kind of significance or influence. Suffice to say, the media practitioners in India have played their part in maintaining the unfortunate status quo. Even honorable exceptions are hard to come by.
Can’t really blame the ‘common man’. Educated, uneducated, rich, poor – he is just cattle. He will follow any piper who plays the flute. I am inclined to lay the blame at the door of the intellectual. They are expected to, supposed to set the agenda for the nation. Where are they? Let us go forth in the day light, lantern in hand, in search of the Indian intellectual.
So much so horribly wrong in the country, and over half a billion people vote for an election with no issue? Sorry, Narendra Modi is not an issue. He is just a tragedy waiting to happen.
Almost 3 lakh farmers have killed themselves in less than two decades, but that is not an issue in this election. The middle classes have got this new rubric of ‘development’, which is all very well…….. But, why should development come cloaked in the blood of the innocents? What does it say for the population of a country when they actually choose this model of development, untouched by the barbarism that accompanies it? Tera bharat mahan. Not my idea of India, pal.
There is also this tiny little aside, where all this ‘development’ and ‘growth’ must happen at the expense of the labor force. They should be content with whatever ‘trickles down’ to them. Does all this business development have to necessarily happen through corruption and nepotism? And, yes, all of this business development is happening within the larger ambit of good old crony capitalism.
Why did we not have a single candidate who stood up and said: “Vote for me because I will make it possible for you to conduct your business and make all the money that you can make honestly”? Where is the candidate who will cut the red tape and make it possible to do big business without having to bribe everyone in sight? Why did Arvind Kejriwal not say this? If you can’t do this, I have made a mistake voting for you. Fighting corruption is all very well, but you also have to create wealth for the nation!
The developed countries are doing well for themselves because they have flourishing industries that create immense wealth for them. Their working class averages a minimum wage of around ten to fifteen dollars per hour. How many centuries are we away from the minimum wage in these countries and in Switzerland? As it stands, for ever.
Let us imagine an India on its road to prosperity. An India where the farmer can grow food and be paid well for it. When his land is taken away from him in the name of development and special economic zones, he becomes a partner in the profits that are to be made from that land, in perpetuity. An India where the factory worker gets paid well enough to live a middle class life. They make up a market that is about three quarters of a billion. The business men in this country will grow rich selling goods and services to this huge market. All of this will be done in honest and ecologically friendly manner.
Where are the politicians scrambling all over themselves to have the privilege of realizing this ideal? We have never had them, we don’t have them now. Will we ever have them? That is when we will have an election with real issues.
As for this grand election….. Like a more famous compatriot from this very planet agonized four hundred years ago….. All sound and fury – signifying nothing.
I have a doubt. With 3000 Rs. earnings, one can run the family for a month in India. Is it possible to do the same in Switzerland? Have you compared the cost of living?
படித்த ஒவ்வொரு இந்தியனும், இந்த நாட்டை விட்டு வெளியேற துடிக்கிறான் — உனது வருங்கால கனவு என்னவென்று கேட்டால், அமெரிக்கா என்கிறான் – முதல்வன் முதல் குடியரசுத்தலைவன் வரை, எரியும் வீட்டில் பிடுங்கின வரை லாபம் என சுருட்டுகிறான் – இவர்களிடம் அமெரிக்கா, இங்கிலாந்து பாஸ்போர்ட் உள்ளது – மக்கள் இவர்களை நடுரோட்டில் உதைக்கும் கட்டம் வந்தால், மாயமாய் மறைந்து விடுவர்.
கடைசியில், உங்கள் வீடுதான் எரியும் – நீங்கள்தான் அடித்துக் கொண்டு சாவீர் – எவ்வளவு நாளைக்குத்தான் இந்த பாழாய்ப்போன பாரதமாதாவை கட்டிக்கொண்டு அழுவதாக உத்தேசம்?
நேர்மையான மனிதர்களுக்கு இந்த நாட்டில் இடமில்லை – எங்கே போனாலும் லஞ்சம் ஊழல் தலைவிரித்தாடுகிறது – மனித சரித்திரம் கண்டிராத ஒரு மாபெரும் உள்நாட்டுக்க்லவரம் வெடிக்கப்போகிறது – எந்த கொம்பனாலும் இந்த நாட்டை திருத்தவே முடியாது – இந்த நாடு உருப்படவே உருப்படாது
எவ்வளுவு சீக்கிரம் முடிகிறதோ அவ்வளவு சீக்கிரம் இந்த நாட்டை விட்டு வெளியேறிவிடுங்கள் – இல்லாவிட்டால், நசுங்கி சாவுங்கள்.
ஏதோ இந்த தரித்திரியம் பிடித்த நாட்டில் பிறந்து விட்டோம் – முடிந்தால் வெளியேறவும் – இல்லாவிட்டால், அடுத்த பிறவியிலாவது இந்த குருட்டுக்கிழவி தேசத்தில் என்னை படைக்காதே இறைவானு பிரார்த்தனை செய்யவும்.
The seed for change in poll topics should shart from experts and get into politcal spectrum.
Experts are either interested in painting town red/saffron depending on their enslavened belief. Political class is filled with criminals who don’t know abc of economics or become lap poodles of their maliks.
I consider myself to be center-right and open to tilt to center-left but I don’t have a visible experience that would justify that tilt.
Look what happened in in West Bengal?. She promised alternative to Maoists, Lefts, Congress, Rightists, capitalists and literally every one in the ideological spectrum. She loaded her ministry with educated, experienced people. But have they given her any wise counsel when she turns authoritarian and whimsical in her actions?
All I could see is her eagerness to emulate the 1991-96 governance of Miss.Jayalalitha and probably upstage Miss Jayalalitha in earning disrepute for her governance.
Neither Swiss laborers spent in INR nor Indian workforce earn in Swiss Franc. So why compare apples and oranges? Pls share a PPA adjusted comparison. I’m sure there will still be disparity to a higher ratio. At least it would moderate the scathing generalized attack on rich vs poor deliverately attempted here.
I’d suggest take South Korea and China in 50s and compare it with India on what they are now.
It will be helpful if you could detail their ways for development.
So you will understand the problem after explaining what you want to hear. Very nice.
He is showing the heart and stomach, where you want to fill with economics.
It is you have to set right your vision before look into those economics. The great economists just ruined our wealth and the memories are so fresh and the irony why you are angry is that you are not able to accept the Modi and Co’s agenda which will be put to show soon.
Hope the BJP do not get absolute majority and depend heavily on regional parties.
is your reference to purchasing power parity? if so, the figures that i have quoted are after correcting for ppp, though they are of course approximations.
the real issue is that india is still a desperately poor. underdeveloped country. we have not made the economic progress that countries like japan, south korea or taiwan achieved in the last half century. that is our failure and our tragedy.
Nice article. I also would like to highlight one important reason why sucide rate especially in Maharashtra is so high among farming community. Our farmers were persuaded to use Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) seeds a.k.a BT Cotton & BT Brinjal. We should kick these Agro biotech companies like Monsanto (big brother), Syngenta, Con-Agra, etc out of the country. They are not only ruining our farming community also mother earth by contaminating the soil. Of course all these with the blessings from our govt. Please watch the documentary file called ‘Bitter Seeds’ to understand the magnitude of the issue.
Shameless tamilians.. when we vote & elect the actors & actress to power, what you expect?
It is a very good article Mr. Ajit. Mr. Nanjunda Moorthy stop this f**** concept of dividing India and sell that to China or whatever, Bharat Matha know how to manage her family would you suggest the same to your father/mother/wife to sell children to neighbours since they are figthing each other or could not feed them properly. India is just 60 years old and tries to gather all her old strength and prosperity that she lost and was looted by many rulers. If you really concerned about Bharat Matha simple leave the nation to any bull s*** country.
BHARAT MATA IS GETTING BAPTIZED IN USA:
INDIA IS A NATION OF WILLFULL SLAVES waiting for others to build better nations and give them better quality of life. This is a filthy slumdog Hindu nation waiting desperately for jobs and immigration in front of Muslim and Christian nations.
Bharat Mata is standing at the doors of Christian nations for a loaf of bread from JESUS and she proudly displays her H1B Visa like a old concubine proudly posing in the Rolls Royce of her Nawab — Most of the Hindus living in US, UK and Australia have abandoned Hinduism and embraced Christianity.
Stupid slumdog Bharat Mata is waiting at the doors of JESUS to get BAPTIZED.
Will it be better for you if she is at the doors of Arab countries and Allah for the loaf?
It is strange to see your venom against Christians; normally you spit against Hindus.
Any way, I am sure you will continue like this in a filthy way in the name of Allah. So tragic.
CHRISTIANS MUST CREATE JESUSTAN:
Millions of educated Hindus, especially Brahmins, are desperately waiting to abandon their slumdog Bharat Mata FOR A LOAF OF BREAD FROM JESUS.
4 million Srilankan Tamils of TAMIL EELAM are 100% Christian — 6 sister states of NE region(“Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura”) is more than 95% Christian. – Apart from this millions of Christians are suffering at the hands of Jihadis in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Sonia must take up this matter with US/UK/Vatican and create a JESUSTAN, an independent homeland, in NE region for 150 million Christians of Indian subcontinent..
This JESUSTAN will attract 900 million Hindus to Christianity en masse and Bharat Mata will become MARY MATHA within 10 years.
UNEMPLOYMENT and OVERPOPULATION WILL BREAK INDIA:
India is 1.3 billion and growing at the rate of 30 million per year. It produces around 1.5 million engineering graduates every year. Even the entire world can NOT give jobs for 1.5 million engineers every year.
Around 15 million job seekers from numerous disciplines of science, engineering, commerce, arts and skilled trades are hitting the job market every year — Around 5 lakh gets some decent jobs. Destiny of others is unknown.
India’s brilliant youth and able manpower is standing in long ques under hot sun in front of Christian and Muslim nations for jobs and immigration. Every youth wants to quit India. Most of them say openly that there is no future in India, eventhough they love India —— HOW LONG CAN THEY SING THE SONG OF BHARAT MATA WITH EMPTY STOMACHS?.
India is seriously overpopulated and will NEVER grow with this huge burden. It’s a threat for her survival — INDIA IS MARCHING TOWARDS A BLOODY CIVIL WAR AND DISINTEGRATION.
BREAK THIS FILTHY SICK HUGE NATION:
As long as India remains as one unmanageable, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, overpopulated sick nation with conflicting ideas and values, crooks and criminals can easily grab power and loot the nation by hiding behind the garb of patriotism and democracy.
ENTER ANY TOILET IN ARABIA, you will find Hindus working there as toilet cleaners — More than a million HIndus are working as toilet cleaners in Saudi alone — WHILE HINDUS COULD NOT GET EVEN A TOILET CLEANER JOB in their own Hindu nation and running to Muslim nations, WTF 400 MILLION Muslims will get?.
With 1.3 billion growing at the rate of 30 million per year, Indian federation is terminally ill, clinically dead and beyond repair —- TIME TO PULL THE PLUG.
India is standing on the brink of 6 major civil wars — It’s simultaneously facing scarcity civil war due to overpopulation, Naxalism, regional, caste, corruption, and a FINAL Kafir-Muslim civil war. – WHY CAN’T WE DIVIDE INDIA INTO TAMIL NATION, KASHMIR, KHALISTAN, NAXALISTAN, DALITISTAN, BRAHMANASTAN, ARYAVARTHA, DRAVIDA NADU, JESUSTAN AND ISLAMISTAN? — Why do we need such a huge slumdog nation? —
Let Tamils, Brahmins, Aryans, Sikhs, Dalits, Dravidans, Christians and Muslims live in their own lands —- Otherwise, there will be a nasty civil war and we will kill each other.
Ajit – I share your concern, but there are very strong macro/socio economic forces at work that no one can break. In most industrialized ( meaning well developed and so called wealthy) countries, the gap between the rich and poor has been increasing. The middle class in these countries cannot afford the same standard of living the previous generations of middle class did. So the policymakers in those countries are working hard to make sure the free market does not irreversibly cause damage to the middle class by raising the minimum wage.
India is still a poor country and everyone here is more worried about ‘job creation’ than ‘wealth creation’ because of the huge demographics and young population that comes in to the workforce every year. There are too many things we need to change in order to ‘share’ the wealth. Subsidies will make their lives a little bit easier, but they are paying very dearly in terms of not being able to afford good education, healthcare, etc., etc.,
do not say that the socio-economic forces that is keeping india down cannot be broken. they can be broken. one political leader with a vision completely different from anyone that we have had till now could do it. could it be kejriwal? we do not know. could it be modi? i seriously doubt it. i am not discounting the possibility that he might do some good for the economy.
i am inclined to believe that sooner or later someone will come along with the agenda for change that we need.
also, i am not advocating sharing of wealth in a bourgeois sense. the right kind of development is when everyone gets the possibility to create wealth for themselves, which really is the wealth of the nation,
until that day, subsidies play an important function, as they should in any welfare state. and, any civilized society should be a welfare state.
“TAMIL DESAM (FRC)”, a federal republic of CHINA:
Indian HINDU RAW establishment lavishly funded LTTE liberation movement till 80’s but later they realized that they are foolishly funding to create a TAMIL JESUSTAN — This is the reason, they helped Srilankan army to rape and massacre 150,000 Tamil Christians and wipe off their TAMIL EELAM nation.
Surprisingly, NATO and USA closed their eyes when Srilankan army massacred Tamil Christians — They will pray Jesus to protect the BLACK CHRISTIANS and will rush to send NATO troops to protect the WHITE CHRISTIANS — They are true RACISTS and NOT religious fundamentalists.
Today 4 million Tamil Christians have become refugees in their own EELAM nation and are denied entry back into their motherland TAMIL NADU — Now, 8 crore Tamils have lost faith in the Indian federation and Tamil Nadu is getting ready to become TAMIL DESAM.
Is an Independent TAMIL DESAM viable?:
Today, USA has become impotent in front of China and Russia — China wants absolute control over Indian ocean and Tamil Nadu is sitting at the entry port of Indian ocean — TAMIL NATION leadership must forge a strategic pact with China to become a federal state of China in return for development, growth and regional peace.
TAMIL DESAM (PRC) will attract all South Indian states to join the Chinese federation which will eventually culminate into DRAVIDA NADU (PRC) — This is the best way to protect the rivers of Tamil Nadu which are originating from other states — West Bengal and Mongolian NE states are already good friends of China and let other states remain with India or do whatever they want.
Why should TAMIL DRAVIDANS suffer under the tyranny of a blood sucking devil called BHARAT MATA any more?
Ajith, You have not made any mistake in voting for AAP. read this – http://aamaadmiparty.org/letter-by-arvind-kejriwal-to-businessmen
“‘AAM AADMI PARTY’ wants to create a system where running a business with honesty is smoothly possible.”
thank you for your response. i checked out the link you sent me. i am happy that this is arvind’s position on the subject.
yet, i do wish that AAP had presented this as the primary thrust of their campaign. now we have a situation where modi has co-opted development as his own very personal agenda. why should development become the sole property of the one party that is blatantly, unapologetically against all minorities in the country?
Agriculture and Water crisis needs immediate attention in TN but that lady is in Kodanad doing Ayurvedic massage…
LOL, but sad to know that it’s true!
Nice Article. but we are not lucky.
we have to make our own luck.
Thanks for your wonderful insights Ajitji. It’d be good to know more about you, such as how to contact you, link to your FaceBook page, link to your website, etc. Probably, we’d need a common platform to connect with each other.
thank you for your response. you can contact me at at email@example.com. i hardly use my facebook account. anyway, the link is https://www.facebook.com/ajit.hari.9