Saturday, October 17, 2009
It might turn out to be more appropriate to term it “austerity drivel”! After all, the phrase “austerity drive” sounds so hackneyed. It is one of those mantras of Indian politics that has lost all significance. The “aam-admi” is in no mood to buy into the argument that the pampered politicians are capable of turning austere overnight. The more austere the politicians are trying to portray themselves, the more hypocritical they appear. At best, the austerity drive is serving the purpose of a publicity stunt. In the couple of weeks that the whole farce exploded into public view, India’s photogenic politicians got a chance to grab some attention, just before the crucial assembly polls. Voters too got a chance to vent their familiar views on the extravagant lifestyles of the politicians.
The truth is that the Indian public has largely found these so called austerity moves comical, because the same leaders who preach austerity in public could not practice it in private to save their lives. Not only that, lots of money is also being pumped in simply to sell the austerity myth in public. Ministers travels in economy class of a flight, or by a train, but the government has to block many rows of seats in advance for their security personnel. This is in addition to the elaborate security arrangement at railways stations and airports from where these ministers board their train or plane. There is no rationale behind this kind of fake austerity drive. Crores of rupees are wasted annually on the security of politicians and their family members. In essence, the so-called “austerity drive” is nothing more than “austerity drivel” and the common man knows it.