Thursday, July 29, 2010

Our Priorities

"Treat the mind; body will follow" - The first tenet of Ayurveda, the Indian science of  life (Medicine)

During my school days my teachers used to say 'Spend half the time in understanding  the question before you attempt an answer'. Over the years I have found this principle of approaching problems is very true in real life too. Looking back at my failures, I now see it very clearly that they were simply due to lack of proper understanding of the problem rather than my ability, or lack of it, to tackle them. Most of the times I jumped into conclusions or fell victim to my prejudices and preconceived beliefs.

The case in point I would like to present in this context is the recent utterances of Congress leader Mani Shanker Aiyer, which took everybody by surprise . Congress top brass including the prime minister was rather angry at the utterances. And the media, both print and visual, made a big hue and cry of it. What did Mani say? "Personally, I will be unhappy if the Commonwealth Games are successful," said Aiyar, a nominated Rajya Sabha member. He continued, "I am very happy with the rains, firstly because it will ensure a good agriculture for the country and secondly because it will ensure that the Commonwealth Games are spoilt, if the Commonwealth Games are successful, they will further organise Asian Games and other events... I will be happy if the Games are spoilt," he said.

What nonsense is this maverick speaking? So much pains are being taken by every concerned Govt. and non- Govt. body to make the event a grand success; the works of infrastructure is going on a war footing. Is Aiyer mad or what? I am sure the general line of thinking of great many of us, "proud" Indians is going in this way. Congress Party has not only reprimanded him but also ordered him to shut up and not to talk a word about the Commonwealth Games any more. But that is not the point I am interested in. Aiyer or whoever so, the statement deserves a deeper thought before any kind of reaction.

Is it not a fact that more than 50% of the population of this great nation is struggling to get two square meals a day? A few thousand crores of rupees of tax payer's money is being spent on this event. For whose sake? For what good purpose regarding the upliftment of the society? We do not have proper health services in place leaving the rural poor simply to die or suffer. There are no sufficient primary schools to educate the rural poor. And there are no enough job opportunities for the educated middle and lower class. There are many, a long list, of problems that cry for priority attention than a sports event.

Mani Shankar Aiyer, a former sports minister further said that the huge amount being spent on the event could well be utilised to develop sports in this country.  He could be right in a way because, with over a billion population, we have not produced a single high calibre sports person comparable to world champions except cricket. And you know the sorry, rather dirty state of affairs of our national game, Hockey! Countries smaller than 10% of India,  in population and land size have consistently produced world champions in one or other sports discipline. I am not going to give a list of such small countries; there are many like Japan and Korea. 

But for me, sports after all is a pass time, a matter of entertainment. Should that get priority over the quality of living of a great majority of population? I am sure, over 99% of 'sane' and intelligent people do not take this question seriously. Some of them may even dare to call me an old fool! But that is the source where we may find solution to each and every problem of this great nation.

Treat the top (the ruling class which decides what our priorities are), the masses will get cured. Any takers?

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1 comment:

  1. I'm a taker! I'm really enjoying reading through this blog!