Thursday, November 23, 2006

Of jersey cows and free colour TVs!

An article in The Hindu entitled “Till the cows come home” caught my attention today. The article explains how the decision to give jersey cows to poor farmers in Vidharba is causing more harm than good to the beneficiaries. Apparently both the State and Central Governments have hit upon this novel idea of giving “relief” to poor farmers in this drought hit region which has seen a huge number of suicides! It appears novelty alone was the criteria in mooting such a relief package. The fact that these farmers are already starving and may not have the money to feed and maintain these animals seems to have been lost on the officialdom! The sheer reality as one woman points out is that the cow eats more than everyone in her family together!! Just shows how short-sighted our beloved Netas can be when it comes to “serving” the people!!

Another issue which has been on my mind is our Chief Minister’s free colour television scheme. While I must admit that I did make fun of this election promise as another gimmick, our CM has certainly proved me wrong. Being the cynic and critic that I am, I still can’t admit that this was entirely done with the welfare of the people at heart. After all, we do know that the undisputed No. 1 TV channel in tamil is owned and controlled by our CM’s kin. All other channels vie only for the second spot. And it certainly won’t do any harm to the No. 1 channel if every household has a colour TV, would it? What more, it has such a huge viewership that the demand for the channel is, as students of economics would put it, inelastic! And it comes as no surprise that the channel has decided to become a “pay” channel from December!! So, is the decision to give free TVs a welfare measure or is it a very clever decision to boost a family business?? Your guess is as good as mine ;-)

P.S: I know there isn’t any relation between the distribution of cows to poor farmers and the distribution of free TVs. But while the article on the cows made me sad and angry, the issue of free TVs has an indirect impact on me due to the fact that I have to shell out 12 bucks more on my cable TV bills from next month! Now, ain’t that unfair? ;-)

P.P.S: I admit this is a rather ordinary post even by my standards. Those of you who don't like it may kindly say so by leaving a comment. And those of you who do like the post may also leave a comment! Come on, I'm quite desperate to hear from you all :-)