Chennai - Sandesh

The Homeless Show How To Keep Alive ‘Family’

What looks like an effort to cry foul over lack of State-run family shelters for homeless in Tamil Nadu, the findings of a study reported in the media, all the same, has in it a nugget of information. It is this: “Around 70 per cent of the homeless surveyed in three districts – Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore – were found to be living as families”. Yes, “living as families”! Even in their dire circumstances the surveyed homeless have chosen to live as families. Law courts in the land may keep passing orders pronouncing ‘live in’ and homo depravities as legal, a step in the direction of destroying the institution of family in Bharat. The learned justices may be enlightened with this pertinent piece of information that the study among the homeless has thrown up. (The survey, it is reported, was done by Information and Resource Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities (IRCDUC), Chennai Uravugal Social Welfare Trust (USWT), Chennai, Nizhalgal Social Welfare Trust, Coimbatore and Gurusamy Rights and Development Education (GRADE) Trust, Madurai).

The April 18 Madurai Dilemma: Voter Or Devotee?

Madurai, the ancient pilgrim city is in for a dilemma: Its own Chithirai Festival (April 8 to April 22) of immemorial origin peaks on April 18. It is the Rathotsavam on that day. The annual festival witnesses over half a million devotees drawn from several districts thronging the city. This year it may be overlapped by the once-in-five-year festival of Lok Sabha polls, as the poll day for the state too is April 18. Madurai, according to legends, is ruled by Meenakshi (Parvati) for six months and by Sundareswara (Shiva) in the remaining six. No administrative hitch absolutely. The district administration (also in charge of elections) did precious little than brazenly announcing April 18 as public holiday in Madurai district; it failed to post the festival schedule to EC. So, Hindus as usual have resorted to legal remedy . Meanwhile, election officials went to funny extents and erased the usual rangoli (kolam) drawn inside temples citing the reason that its design contained the lotus, symbol of BJP. Critics shot back: will the hands of every one be chopped off, as every one has hands and hand is Congress symbol? 

Freebie To Voter A Fraction Of Stimulus To Corporates

Inevitably, the question of freebies pops up once the poll schedule is declared. Forget mixie, grinder, laptop, bicycle, cow, goat, rice... that is all old hat. Just days before poll notification, the AIADMK government began depositing Rs. 2,000 into the account of BPL families. Even the DMK notorious for its ‘Thirumangalam formula’ (of bribing the voter) was speechless at this faux paus. A 2011 comment by Chennai-based economist Dr. Venkatesh Athreya presents another picture: he looks at the free rice scheme (of Jayalalithaa) from a different angle. Listen to him (THE SUNDAY INDIAN, August 16, 2011): “Rice at low price is also popular in other states like Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. We are giving the people rice to eat. We are not providing them with clothes or shelter.” The economist adds, “If suppose we give 35 kg of rice at Rs 2 and wheat at Rs 3 to every household in India, the subsidy bill will hover around approximately Rs 1,40,000 crore. This is less than 1.5 per cent of our GDP. But we give the corporate sector Rs 5,00,000 crore in the form of stimuli and other incentives. When it is given to corporates, it is called as 'stimulus' or incentive but when it is given to the poor, it is called freebies.”. Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi ... are you people listening?

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