Beginning of a new year is the time when we review the year gone by and plan for the future. When we look at the year 2010 in retrospect we find that on the one hand a tiny minority of the population of our country appeared to be touching the summits of pleasure, prosperity, opulence and wantonness while on the other hand, at the foothills of these peaks of opulence existed the overwhelming majority of the masses, distressed from the unbearable rising prices, struggling day and night to fulfill even the basic necessities of human life. In addition, scams, immeasurable plunder of the national resources and unprecedented repression of the people’s resistances were the order of the day which added salt to the injury of masses already suffering in pain.
It would not be an exaggeration to call the year 2010 as the year of scams. Though corruption is an old disease in our country, the scams in last year left the old scams like Boforce scam, Fodder Scam, Hawala episode, share scam, Tehelka episode far behind. The scams of different hues hitting the headlines were the order of the day and every new scam appeared to break the previous record. First the vulgar reality behind the glitter of the IPL was revealed and then we witnessed the reckless plunder of the public money in the name of national pride towards the preparation of the CommonWealth Games; Then the Adarsh Housing scam broke out which was followed by the 2G scam and Niira Radia Tape episode which exposed the blatant anti-people character of the entire socio-economic and political system. The people were disenchanted with the Parliament, government, politicians, police and bureaucracy long ago but the events of the last year showed that even the institutions which were considered relatively untainted also advocate the interest of the propertied class and not that of the masses.
Apart from these scams the unbearable price rise continued to haunt the people and consequently the problems of starvation and malnutrition took gigantic proportion. Amidst this anarchy of corruption and profiteering it needs to be noted that the question is not just that of the illegal plunder of the nation’s resources. The illegal plunder is but a miniscule proportion of this plundering system. The real question is that of the day-to-day and hour-by-hour exploitation of the toiling masses in the factories and farms which enjoys the legal sanction in this system. In a country where 77 percent population lives on an average Rs. 20 a day, why is it that the number of billionaires is increasing every year? What is the secret behind the few sky-scrappers of opulence amidst ever expanding slums of poverty? Why is it that while the food grain gets rotten in the government godowns and eaten by rats, the starvation and malnutrition is rampant in the country?Our generation is faced up with such paradoxes which are plenty. We have to confront them like a brave, justice-loving, sensitive, human-loving warrior.