Thursday, May 15, 2008

Indian Consumption Driving Up Food Prices? Joking, right?

I read this article in Tehelka with some consternation. Increased consumption in India? People how much have you been eating, and at what cost?

"It is not clear what got into US President George W. Bush to make him say that a reason for global food prices to be ruling at haunting levels — some countries have recorded food riots and several are showing considerable nervousness — is that India (and China) were consuming more food on account of improved incomes and cutting supplies to the international market, causing an acute world-wide shortage of food and a consequent rise in prices."

Are you joking Georgy? I know we are a billion and all that, but how can you make such a statement when your country is known to burn surplus wheat to maintain its price in the international market? No, you won't share your wheat with the starving masses in India because you think that lower prices of wheat in the world would mean American farmers would be bankrupt. Here farmers are starving and committing suicide and you add this insult to injury?

"The US president’s observation was preceded a day earlier by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressing the same sentiment. That makes the whole affair look like considered orchestration, possibly to head off international criticism of the US for being a prime cause of the unconscionable price rise, especially of cereals that the poorest so desperately rely on."

Are you joking Condy? Both of you guys, you Georgy and you Condi (has your name being Rice got anything to do with it?) No, we aren't yet near the stage where they have food riots but that's because Indians are such good distributors of food, and seldom waste food. Could you please withdraw that statement, please Ms. Candy [sic], sorry, Ms. Rice?

Come to think of it, I was told by my Sikh friend that two meals are a part of every Gurudwara's langar program, and every beggar who comes and stands with his hands motioning to his mouth gets a morsel or something or the other from the well off seth, with the big peth (stomach, if you don't already know). When I was living in Chembur there used to be a group of people from the slums who came regularly crying "Mayeeeeee" in the night, and they used to be fed excess food from our kitchens.

So is India consuming more food? No, I don't think so. May be you are wasting more food than needed. Right?

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