Tag: India

Protest against price rise

On 5/7/2010 there was Bharat Bandh. Parties belonging to Left Front, NDA and some others had called for bandh. The bandh was in protest against rise in prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG. Many leaders courted arrest. Buses were damaged.

The bandh was supposed to be for the common man of India. Bandhs disrupt life and do not benefit common man. There is loss of day’s work. People who had to travel long distance by bus, car, train or plane suffer. Some book tickets months in advance. Many people do not get medical attention and sometimes people die.

Parties should protest differently. They can go on an indefinite fast or one day fast. They can demonstrate in front of secretariats or ministers’ houses. Bandhs are not the way to protest.

Bandhs are bad when opposition parties call for them. They are worse when state governments enforce them. They fail in their duty and act unconstitutionally.

Parties claim they get support from people. Shopkeepers shut shops because there will be stone throwing.

Some years back Bombay High Court fined two parties 20 lakh rupees each for Maharashtra Bandh. It is time somebody moves Supreme Court for fining parties for Bharat Bandh and the fine should be in crores.

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Fuel Price Hike

On 25/6/2010 the government of India increased prices of petrol by Rs.3.50, diesel by Rs.2/- kerosene by Rs.3/- per litre and LPG by Rs.35/-per cylinder. Petrol and diesel prices were decontrolled.

The increase has come at a time when food price inflation is about 18%.

The increase was avoidable. For the week ended 18/6/2010 foreign exchange reserves increased by $3 billion. If the government had not increased foreign exchange reserves the dollar value would have gone down making oil import cost less and there would have been no need for price increase.

Now also the price increase can be reversed if the government sells $3 billion. That will increase the value of rupee against dollar. Whenever the price of oil goes up government can sell dollars and rupee appreciates and there is no need of price rice. India has enough foreign exchange reserves.

Oil is a finite commodity. We have to use solar and wind power. Oil prices are likely to go up and any accident like that of BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico will have far reaching consequences.

The government does not have to run oil marketing companies. Some years ago there was an attempt to privatise them. Vested interests opposed that.

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Corporal Punishment

Spare the rod, spoil the child.

Corporal punishment to students has become a controversial subject. There have been instances of excessive beating by teachers, causing injury and sometimes death. TV channels reported it for a day, some discussed it for a few minutes and everything was forgotten. A boy from La Martiniere in Calcutta died in February. After three and half months the death became controversial.

The boy was beaten on 8/2/2010. For the next three days he did not attend the school. On 12/2/2010 he attended the school. That day he was not beaten. He was told to bring his parents. The principal claimed there was no connection between beating and death. Alumni of La Martiniere came in defence of the school. If TV channels expected widespread condemnation of corporal punishment or the teachers or principal of La Martiniere they were disappointed.

Corporal punishment of students was banned in many states years back but it continues. Sometimes parents tell teachers to beat their children if they do not study or misbehave. Indian Penal Code allows it. Some want change in the Indian Penal Code.

Some have come in defence of corporal punishment. Some oppose corporal punishment. They say there should be counselling. What happens when counselling fails? The student has to be expelled from the school.

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