Saturday, August 11, 2012

Free Phone For All Poor Families


NEW DELHI: In what could turn out to be its calling card for the 2014 general polls, the UPA government is finalizing a Rs 7,000 crore scheme to give one mobile phone to every BPL family.

Sources in the PMO said that the scheme, Har Hath Mein Phone, expected to be announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on August 15, will not only aim to give away mobiles to around six million BPL households, it would also provide 200 minutes of free local talktime.


Err… would you also be providing them with a house equipped with a generator to charge the battery of their free mobile worth INR 11,666 (70 billion divided by 6 million)?

No?! Why not? Surely, you are not suggesting that a mobile handset with free talktime is more essential than a house with electricity supply. Are you?? Is a free mobile more essential than… say providing food or education or vocational training or clean drinking water or clean public toilets?

IF any political party believes that with such a ridiculous scheme, it will be able to secure votes for the forthcoming elections – the party think tank clearly hasn't been thinking as much as it should. It would be better for the party in question to save the INR 7,000 Crore (70 Billion) for the horse-trading sessions it will have to participate in when thinking about forming the next coalition.

Perhaps THAT is what this is all about. Yet another way of looting the treasury. Oh come on, it is plausible.

What really got me riled up was Mani Shankar Aiyar trying to defend this crackpot idea.

When asked why couldn't the government use the money to have some infrastructure reforms instead (roads / electricity etc), this idiot Aiyar replied to the effect that INR 7,000 Crores was too small an amount to have any meaningful impact on the infrastructure.

We all know that INR 70 Billion wouldn't be remotely enough to fix the problems of this not so shining India. No one is contesting that. But there are some of us who are of the opinion that ALTHOUGH this money is definitely not enough to address all the issues, it just may be enough to… For example - set up a few homeless shelters across certain areas that could also feed some of the homeless or at least provide some relief from the heat-wave.

THIS is just one idea. I am sure a lot better ideas could be thought up if anyone actually cared (I don't. I really honestly don't. I stopped caring about that country and its people ages ago. Actually, I am not entirely sure that I ever truly did care. At times I just like to pretend that I give a shit, so I can have some material for a blog post).

Coming back to Aiyar's response - In simpler words, Maadarchod Mani Shankar believes that the best possible use of INR 7,000 Crore is the purchase and distribution of 6 million mobile handsets.

If the ruling party truly believes that the best use of a 'small amount' of INR 70 Billion is distributing handsets, then it is no surprise that the Indian Rupee (and the economy) has been taking a hit. Yes, we can finally stop blaming 'Global Cues' for the rotten growth rate. We now have a proper reason – Incompetence. 

Psst, Aiyar – here is a suggestion – take the 7,000 Crore and utilise that to get a brain transplant for the party think tank. In case some money is left from that 'small amount', get a brain to fill up that empty head of yours as well. 

Bunch of fucking jokers.

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