Thursday, 16 July 2015

Hemantha Kalam - 35 'Contrasts and Contradictions'

The news over the past few weeks was mixed and skewed more towards discomfort. And two photographs (appearing in the beginning and at the end of this blog) fed the content for this blog.

A Greek Pensioner Citizen Crying on knowing that he could not withdraw his weekly pension!

First, the Greek Crisis!

Much water has flown on this account and much has been written. With falling GDP rates, higher Government Deficits and low repayment capacity among others, the situation contrasted with the austerity methods proposed by the troika comprising of the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). With ever polarising political and economic powers in the region, Germany, with its geo-economic power, stood firm on the austerity method.

The Greeks, who are used to comfortable entitlements such as education, healthcare, housing, pensions from early age and unemployment benefits, must have felt that the bubble would last forever and apparently did not ensure creation of a next generation of people to continue industrial productivity and thus increase the GDP. Left with hardly any other choice, the question looming large before the Greeks were European Union (EU) or Greece Exit (from EU) or simply GREXIT! Greece withstood the onslaught for the time being but the government has to face an imminent internal battle where the success is a big question mark.

As Mr. Sanjaya Baru wrote for ‘The Hindu’, imagine a similar Greece like situation happening to one of the weaker states in India. One realises, thankfully, that the Indian Union did not stop from being just an economic or a political union, but adopted the principle of federal financing. (

But again contradicting the above, even in India, one can see the dilly dallying by the Central government in ensuring the promise of Special Status for supporting Andhra Pradesh, which has been split for political reasons, with not even an excuse of a referendum. While the carved out portion of the United Andhra Pradesh (UAP) is sitting pretty on the budget surpluses created by the UAP, the residual portion of Andhra Pradesh, with gargantuan deficits is being forced to receive just promises, but in effect is to fend for itself.

Talking of the Central Government, the intentions might be good like fostering good internal and external relations. While Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is trying to strengthen the country’s relations with neighbouring countries and those countries that matter, the internal problems of severe opposition for his travelling abroad frequently, the unending ‘Vyapam’ issue, problems facing the five women ruling party leaders being alleged of their roles in minor and major incidents and scams, etc., are contrasting this claim of building good relations and governance.

In the same Andhra Pradesh, the state government which believes and says it does, has empowered women DWCRA groups with the responsibility of fair distribution of river sand (which of late has become a source of high income for the mighty, and making any construction reaching the skies and stars), hoping that being women, they would be much more judicious and less corrupt in discharging their duties. Contradicting this belief, a group of DWCRA women had allegedly assaulted a Tahsildar, in the rank of Mandal Magistrate, again another woman herself, who was discharging her duties in preventing illegal quarrying and smuggling of the sand by a sitting minister of the State Government of Andhra Pradesh at the instigation of the same minister who allegedly came to the spot to ensure that his trucks and tractors of sand move out smoothly, in the cover of the night. 

And recently there have been reports of a man being booked on charges of commenting about women in a distasteful manner on the Facebook and the court is taking up the case to proceed in the matter suitably. Contrasting this, there was quite an amount of newspaper printed upon, on how a court has released a rapist on bail / parole so that he can go and mediate with the rape victim to marry him and so he can escape further penalising.

Contradicting the above are the successful and happy cases of women, like Ms. Sania Mirza who was victorious at the Wimbledon and that Chennai Metro Rail is being piloted by women – Ms. Preethi and Ms. Jayashree.

And when talking of the recently launched Chennai Metro, stringent rules are laid out that people may carry food in packets and boxes with them but they cannot use the train cars and stations for eating. Is this not a contrast, when elsewhere, in Delhi, there was this gentleman who blatantly and in face of a camera eased himself inside a train car by taking a pee? Not that I am recommending or supporting either!

The Chennai people appreciate the Chennai Metro Rail services, but with a protest right from the first day that prices are too high and that they should be normalised, or else…

While talking about prices and costs, the latest World Development Report (WDR) 2015 titled “Mind, Society and Behaviour’ seems to be suggesting that poverty is a state of mind and behaviour and hence behavioural economics should be applied in making the poor take on a positive behaviour. In other words, as Mr. G. Sampath’s article is titled “Teaching the poor to behave”, the poor should be taught to 'behave' such that the poor do not make any wrong ‘economic’ decisions? (

Now see the contrast! Poverty is a state of deprivation of most of the resources including basic / decent education. So, when the poor does not even have the means of filling his stomach, how does one teach the poor to behave, in any other way than being and feeling poor?

Well, then is it 'Mission Impossible' and we need to use the services of Mr. Ethan Hunt? 

Or is it that, that over the centuries, we, as people of different, ancient and neo-civilisations, have been continuously failing or floundering and that still “Might is Right’ and we continue to live in jungles following the rules of the jungle, especially the 'Survival of the Fittest' rule?

Have, we really come to that stage, where we realised, that we have to retreat and start from the scratch?

Please, tell me! 

Till then, 

Krutagjnatalu (Telugu), Nanri (Tamil), Dhanyavaadagalu (Kannada), Nanni (Malayalam), Dhanyavaad (Hindi), Dhanyosmi (Sanskrit), Thanks (English), Dhonyavaad (Bangla), Gracias (Spanish), Grazie (Italian), Danke Schon (Deutsche), Merci (French), Obrigado (Portuguese), Shukraan (Arabic), Shukriya (Urdu), Sthoothiy (Sinhalese) Aw-koon (Khmer), Kawp Jai Lhai Lhai (Laotian), Kob Kun Krab (Thai) and Asante (Kiswahili), Maraming Salamat sa Lahat (Pinoy-Tagalog-Filipino), Tack (Swedish)

Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy
Chennai, India


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much Mr. Paul Cohn. Appreciate your time and much obliged for your response and support! :-)