Thursday, July 12, 2012

The curious case of the Greek Aid

In the immensely popular cartoon series Chhota Bheem, there is an episode in which the Greek strongman Hercules comes to India to challenge our mighty Bheem in a contest. Dr Manmohan Singh probably watched that episode (thanks to Pogo's relentless telecasts), and he would have thought that the Greek and us have been friends since eternity!

This could have given rise to the munificence shown by MMS and our government.

Otherwise, how can we imagine giving out 55000 Crores to bail out Greece, at a stage when the Rupee is at its lowest, the GDP is debilitating, half the country is hit by drought (and the other half is reeling under floods), the government is in shambles, and we're not far away from an Egypt-style uprising against the inefficiencies of the rulers! 55000 Crores - wow!!

I've been trying to think of a few Greeks who've played some part in our history, and I can't seem to recollect anyone in the modern era! Yes, there's Plato and Aristotle who've given us various schools of thought, there's Megasthenes who's documented a part of our Indian history, and of course, Pythagorus, who is responsible for a third of the Maths torture which all Indian students are subjected to. If there were any good left in the world, Greece should have sent in a few thousand crores to try and make up for inventing Trigonometry.

Every single state in the country has a file pending with the center, requesting for special funds to either rescue them from some disaster or to support them in some pending project. While the 20000 Crore write-off which Mamata Banerjee asked the government may seem unjustified, most other requests deserve merit. There's no power in the country, there's no water, agriculture is at its ebb, and infrastructure is completely stalled. Yes, scoring brownie points with the European Union may bring in good tidings in the future, but not at a situation when the whole country is reeling from an economy in shambles! 55000 Crores, to be put into perspective, is more than the budget of most of our states, is more than the revised scam figure of 2G spectrum, is more than what Delhi spent for hosting the CommonWealth Games! A more relatable stat would be that each of our 790 esteemed members of parliament (Lok Sabha + Rajya Sabha) could siphon off 70 crores each, and the country would be none too worse! I wonder why they did not think of that fact.

If we had to help someone out to gain good karma, why not look closer to home? Nepal recycles the trash we drop on Mt. Everest, Sri Lanka entertains us with good cricket, and Pakistan keeps our Security forces employed. Afghanistan provides us with a chief guest for Republic Day, Thailand takes care of our travelers' kinkiness, and even Bhutan deserves some help by virtue of being our silent-est neighbor. But Greece?

Strange are the ways of our poor excuse of a government. My logic would be that since Greece and Italy are neighbors (the are separated by just 150 miles of the ocean), the woman at the helm would have wanted to 'Help Thy Neighbor'. We can only thank god that a crisis hasn't befallen Italy - or our whole country (or what is left of it) would have been pawned off to bail Italy out!!

And meanwhile on Pogo, Chhota Bheem defeats Hercules, and makes friends with him, with promises that Hercules will come to Bheem's aid when needed. I can only pray that Pogo changes to some other cartoon, for next up is Bheem's trip to China!!


Viplav Singh said...

Awesome article Adi bhai!! i can see you being honoured with a Rajya Sabha seat by the opposition ;)

aksharapriya said...

Dittu ,

You're just somebody spl.