The "Right to Food Campaign" is an informal network of organisations and individuals committed to the realisation of the right to food in India. We consider that everyone has a fundamental right to be free from hunger and undernutrition. Realising this right requires not only equitable and sustainable food systems, but also entitlements relating to livelihood security such as the right to work, land reform and social security. We consider that the primary responsibility for guaranteeing these entitlements rests with the state. Lack of financial resources cannot be accepted as an excuse for abdicating this responsibility. In the present context, where people's basic needs are not a political priority, state intervention itself depends on effective popular organisation. We are committed to fostering this process through all democratic means. [emphasis mine]that's the foundation statement of the right to food campaign.please check the highlighted line again: don't our elections produce 'popular' governments? if elected governments don't represent 'popular' organisations, who does?
the barely concealed contempt for india's politics, democracy and the ordinary indian who considers himself a participant in both can also be noticed in the dazzling rhetoric of other 'right to..' campaigners. indian politics can't handle this serious stuff, so here's what the indian state, through its 'civil', hence neutral and untainted by the filth of politics, bureaucracy needs to do to deliver these 'rights'. in effect, what the campaigners want the state to do is to overrule the the 'politics' of the elected government.
and they've been succeeding. the nac is filled with these campaigners, and the nac, of course, talks to sonia gandhi more often than the elected government does. and why does the elected government have to consult with sonia gandhi? because sonia gandhi is the party. if she didn't nominate every one of the 'elected' lawmakers (down to panchayat sarpanches and even ward members, sometimes) and if her endorsement wasn't required for the 'election' of the lowliest official in her party across the country, you could have said: the congress is bigger than sonia gandhi.
that was a draft i had worked on 7 months ago. a couple of days ago, i see that sonia gandhi is not just congress party, or the government. she is god. food and consumer affairs minister k.v.thomas says:
“The draft Bill is ready now. I don’t say it is in line with NAC or not. But it is in line with what is in the mind of Madam Sonia Gandhi,” he said.in the 7 months since i started on this post, the priests of civil society have moved much closer to god, through the lokpal coup d'etat, pushing parliament into more 'ineffectiveness'. this current move shows utter contempt for not just parliament, elected through popular vote, but also ignores totally a majority of those who participate in the popular vote-- cultivators and workers. one wonders if god, while nodding her assent to all the sanctimonious mumbo-jumbo her civil society priests were chanting before her, had thought even a little about the answers they didn't have?
“The principle of Sonia Gandhi is that every citizen of the country should get legal cover toward a certain quantity of nutritious food, not simply foodgrains,” he shared.
* who shall pay for the increased procurement? the fci procures, and if it pays a higher msp to the farmer, the govt will have to dole out a greater amount by way of subsidies to the pds. in balancing these two actions, will the farmer always not get paid less to keep the subsidies lower? or will the msp not be a function of the pds prices, always? should cultivators and workers continue to pay with stagnation and death for the food security of the urban middle classes?
* wheat and rice, the brahmin grains, will drive this increased procurement, as always. what about the farmers who produce less brahminical cereals like jowar, bajra etc?
* will surpluses continue to be procured from 3-4 states? wouldn't that destroy any incentive for food security in the majority of states, like it has done in all these years?
* shouldn't food security be a concern of the states, primarily, regions within the states, and districts within regions and blocks within districts and villages within blocks to be more meaningful?
* rice is a water-guzzler and has taken away a much needed resource from millions and millions of ordinary citizens, especially in northwest india, a region which never produced rice in much quantity before the so-called green revolution.. who will pay for this water, which means thirst, hardship, lack of basic sanitation.. dry toilets and again stagnation, caste and much more?
* there is increased competition among many states to build costly but ineffective irrigation systems to tap water to grow rice and other such crops.. who will pay for all the bad blood among states and regions? for the ecological disasters and the adivasi displacements? does india need more rice, at such heavy costs?
questions. one can think of many more questions, but the priests know better, i guess.