By Apoorva Dixit:
Onions can make you cry for wrong reasons these days. The price of Onion, which was considered as the cheapest form of meal for the poor, has soared to Rs.100/Kg in few parts of India. It is as if the government is suggesting the poor people to eat healthy vegetables, which are cheaper than onions. Is it an artificial scarcity created by the Czars of Commodity Trade along with the corrupt politicians? Farmers will never know this, and Common man will never bother to ask.
“Onion prices will remain high for the next three weeks and the situation is likely to improve only after two-three weeks. Ban on onion exports should help reduce the prices,” Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said today. On what basis did Mr. Sharad Pawar estimated ‘2-3 weeks’ is still a mystery. If this calculation was possible, then why there was no action taken in advance? Were the same calculations made about Sugar earlier? If such prediction is possible, why was it not predicted a month back? Asking such questions will be a stupid act of hope.
Earlier this week, Government had suspended the onion exports in order to balance the soaring prices. I am not sure whether Pakistan is exporting Terrorism or not, but it surely is exporting Onions to India. 34 trucks reached Amritsar Attari-Wagah border and 50 more trucks arrived on the 24th of Decemeber.
Few people are making the most of this situation. Shopkeepers are offering 1kg Onions free on purchase of goods worth Rs.1000 and so on. A tyre seller in Ranchi is offering 5Kg Onions on the purchase of the truck tyre and 1Kg on the purchase of the car tyre. If the situation persists, no wonder people will keep onions in bank lockers. Loans will be offered against the Onions you posses. Onions will play a major role in the hereditary properties. Tanishq, Nakshatra etc. will soon launch their collection of timeless classic, exquisite blend of traditional mystique and contemporary glamour called ‘Onions’.
Jokes apart, what is the solution to this problem then? According to me, let’s have a ‘Jain Month’. Let’s stop the usage of onions in our food for a month, the onions will rot in the warehouses of the traders and the skyrocketed prices will crash. As such, it will take 3 weeks according to the respected Agriculture Minister, so we have as such nothing to lose. Gandhi Ji went for Satyagrah, we will go on ‘Pyaazagrah’. Sounds silly, but that is the only way to deal with it if we are eager to find faults but scared to enter politics.
With Christmas just over, I am very much sure what people of India expect as a gift. Santa should better be running around buying Onions.
Prices will surely come down when the crop is properly harvested by the Traders and the Politicians. Till then, Traders are smiling as usual, common man is crying as usual and the farmers are innocently ignorant, as usual. For India’s bright future, Prices of Onions, Food Inflation and Corrupt Politicians, all should come down as early as possible, preferably within 3 weeks.