While TCA Srinivasa-Raghavan makes good suggestions in his column, “Modi’s poverty problem” (September 9), the ramifications are far-reaching.
Poverty is a political industry. Forty six years ago a prime minister said “garibi hatao (eliminate poverty)”; even today, her grandson proclaims that his party is for the poor. In India, most poor people vote for their livelihood; about 6,000 people require these votes for their livelihood. The richest pay nothing to run the country; agricultural farmers and corporate farmers are there to do this job. All poverty-alleviating schemes are perpetual.
One tough way to reduce poverty is by reducing the number of poor people — ensuring that the poor do not bring any more poor into the world. But with some political leaders urging people to have more children, which they think guarantees more votes from a caste or religion, and industrialists, who need a large number of unemployed people to pay little, subsidies have fed not only the hunger in the stomachs but also something else.
Link subsidies and the definition of poverty to the ballot box and see the change. Srinivasa-Raghavan says all citizens have been “continuously and mercilessly” cheated since 1957. We have also allowed this country to be thrust demographically into perpetual poverty.
T R Ramaswami Mumbai