Phoney Protest against Petrol and Deisel Prices[/b]
The demonstrations against the rise in diesel and petrol prices at some places are like a déjà vu. Decades ago, there was an agitation of students of law faculty of the Delhi University against the rise of the tuition fee of nearly five Rs. Students were asked by their leaders to march to the office of the Vice-Chancellor, which was less than a Kilometre away from the law faculty. There was full volume sloganeering against the exorbitant (?) rise in the tuition fee. Some of them sat on a dharna, they were goaded and supported also by some disgruntled teachers.
The Vice-Chancellor was a gentleman, he came out of his office and asked the students about the reasons for staging the demonstration. He patiently heard some of the student leaders and then asked some questions to them like how much they spent every month? In those days, a cup of good ice-cream or a piece of chocolate was costlier than the whole month tuition fee of students. But no rich boy or girl student was ready to give up even one ice cream or a piece of chocolate to help support any other needy student. Here also no one is willing to stop burning petrol in fancy cars or asking the so-called farmers to help needy peasants by their tractors.
Even during lock down the sale of cars of all categories registered a big rise. Car purchasers were fully in the know of the fact about the imminent rise in the petrol prices, yet they did not baulk for a moment. An increase of Rs 50 per cylinder is being projected as if heaven has fallen on them despite knowing the fact that crores of poor people are being provided heavily subsidised cooking gas cylinders every month. More than eighty crore people were given five kilogrammes of rice/ flour and one kg dal/ chana every month for eight months in addition to Rs five hundred per month in cash. Not even one person is reported to have died of starvation during this biggest epidemic in the known history of mankind.
The massive management of resources and their proper distribution with the help of technology is a historic feat of the central government. The distribution system has wonderfully worked with almost negligible corruption. The famine of Bengal of 1943 at the time of the Second World War sends a chill down the spines, which took a toll on more than three million people. It had happened when the combined population of East and West Bengal was only six million. Now the population of the county is above1350 a million and, that too, when the entire country, nay the world has been in the grip of the Corona pandemic.
Manufacturing and business activities had come to standstill in the COVID time and yet there has not been any shortage of essential commodities. Prices remained almost stable. The country could proudly boast of producing COVID vaccination and enough medicines to supply scores of other countries. An enemy like China was beaten hollow on the border. The morale of the country remained very high. After all, when the help is being freely provided to the vulnerable section of the society, its cost has naturally to be passed on by those, who can afford it.
The consumption of Petrol and diesel has gone manifold in the last few years. The increase in their cost is but natural. So, the well-fed persons, who are seen protesting against the marginal rise in the prices of gas cylinders, petrol and diesel are politically motivated perverts and they must be rebuffed with the contempt they deserve.