We know that the whole world is going through an economic crisis of soaring inflation and the danger of economic recession. However, in most western countries the governments try to stabilize prices of consumer goods because they do not want to burden the common man. This is why these governments continue to subsidize on essential commodities as much as is possible. This step of the governments is a great relief to the economically poorer classes. Unfortunately, in India the government today does not show any concern for the plight of the poor. The effects of high inflation are being felt day after day with the continuous rise in prices of essential commodities. We have seen the monstrous surge in fuel prices in recent months. Today CNG price is again being hiked and who suffers from all these? It is the poor. CNG which used to cost Rs. 500 or so, has today shot up to an unbelievable Rs 1150 and with today’s further increase, it will cost Rs. 1200 and more. The vicious cycle of rising fuel prices results in the soaring prices of essential commodities. Some vegetables which used to cost Rs. 30 per kg, today cost Rs. 120 per kg. Fruits have become a menu of the rich. The poor can no longer afford to buy them.
Rising prices of commodities means extra income for the producers of these goods and who are these? They are the rich companies owned by rich Indians. What is morally wrong with these rising prices, is the fact that in our country the poor earn so little that they cannot cope up with the inflation. While the salaries of government or company employees keep increasing with each financial year, the wages of a poor mason, a builder, a carpenter or a cleaner do not increase. There is great injustice in terms of earnings in our country. This is why the poor in India will always become poorer and they bear the brunt of every economic slowdown. It is evident that the present government is not a poor-friendly government. In fact, it can afford to waste public money on endless glamorous projects while not caring for the poor people who can no longer afford even a full meal a day. Whatever we may say, the Congress-led government was more considerate for the well-being of the poor sections of the country and it had initiated a number of poor-friendly projects. As of now, the BJP-led government has proven itself to be a nightmare for the poor. The many economic steps it has taken like the demonetization or the unreasonable GST imposition even on basic essential goods, clearly point to a systematic persecution of the poor in this country. As it is rightly said “the poor people in India have a nightmarish existence today.” Let us hope that our citizens will conscientiously vote in the right government in the coming general election of 2024.
Barnes Mawrie, sdb
Why this petty mindset in an educational institution
The celebrated St. Anthony’s College which has been graded A by NAAC has the notion that apparently ‘body hugging clothes and showing minimal skin tends to cause mental rape.’ It all started with the origin of the word ‘Mental Rape’ in the college premises. There have been numerous occasions when students, especially girls would dress up and eventually teachers would come up to them and utter astonishingly obnoxious and gross comments. They would then go on to using gross sentences like – “you are making me uncomfortable by wearing such clothes and making me perform adultery in my mind and rape cases are caused by girls like you for wearing such dresses and you are giving men a chance and idea that they can rape you.”
For the information of such teachers, according to a notice circulated by the Disciplinary Committee of St. Anthony’s College, girls are not allowed to wear: Body hugging clothes, sleeveless t-shirts etc. One of the teachers literally said, “Whenever we see you girls wearing revealing clothes, it makes men extremely uncomfortable. We commit mental rape because we can’t help ourselves. I’m a married man and I have a wife at home. I’m committing adultery by seeing you. Please try to understand us. Even the girls commit mental rape whenever they see boys wearing revealing clothes”
To our sheer surprise even one of the higher authorities said that “her skin was very alluring.”
Above are some of the very few glimpses of the culture of atrocious toxicity that is brewing in the nooks and corners of the college campus that was once free from such dirt. Once the college had hosted the college week of 2022, where one of the themes was ‘Back to School’. Never have I come across any girl not wearing a skirt during their school days. However, on the ‘Back to School’ themed day, when they wore their original school dresses, reminiscing their school days, they reached college only to be left disappointed and were scolded for presenting such ‘obscenity’.
College campuses and institutions should be a place for free discourse, dissent and discussion. It is places like these where the future of our nation gathers the lessons and courage to be unequivocal against anything that’s detrimental and rudimentary for the society.
When we as a nation have scientifically engineered missions to Mars and the moon, here we are discussing how clothes, especially of a girl, can intimidate someone. That’s a great shame for an educational institution. No wonder India ranks 147 out of 170 countries in the Women, Peace and Security Index of 2021.
Name withheld on request