Tuesday, May 6, 2008

On a Suicidal Note...

The scrolling news bars on the news channels nowadays make interesting news. These news scrolls are terse & in most cases - out of context. A couple of days before, my eyes caught such a 'news on the move' on one of the regional channels. It said - Mobile phones for farmers would be made cheaper. Going by the face value, it turns out to be good news. Unwrap the words a little & it spells out a portent.

Farmers in Maharashtra (also read Vidarbha) are already crippling under the heavy financial debt. The 2008 budget promised to turn a new page on the farmers' plight by its announcements of loan waiver. And like all good consumer goodies, this too came with a 'conditions apply' tag tied to its tail. Land reforms which haven't taken place for quite some years now pose a major problem for the much-debated waiver. And for those farmers for whom the package was designed... I doubt (doubt is still an optimistic-sounding word) how much of the total waiver benefited them! The suicide numbers of farmers do not depend on the number of media coverages & there has been no substantial reduction on the suicide front.

So, coming back to this piece of news. Mobile phones cheaper for farmers. Wow! Get a nice handset at lower price, show them lucrative offers like a wolf wrapped in a sheep's cover. Hide the 'conditions apply' tag; after all the farmers can't figure it out themselves! Then, a new phenomena will hit the TV screens in a few months - farmers committing more suicides due to mobile phone bills than financial debt!

Mr. Chidambaram, did I hear you say a bill waiver?

1 comment:

Sabah said...

Hilllaaarious!!! Awesome work there!!!! Perfect!! You knw you handled it so damn well!! Continue writing! and thanks for the comment on my blog too!! I just wrote it.. thinkin God knws what!!!