In today’s India there is a great debate on who did more for India—Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru or Sardar Patel—but there were no differences visible between them in their time. They respected each other. But today politics has stooped to its lowest level. Trolls have become spokespersons, with cheap words, using Sardar Patel in their politics. “My only desire is that India should be a good producer and no one should be hungry, shedding tears for food in the country.” This quote by Sardar Patel clearly indicates that he understood the pains and the issues of the poor, and farmers. He never wanted any Indian to sleep with an empty stomach, but many, rather too many, are forced to do so.
The Prime Minister inaugurated 182-meter tall Bharat Ratna Sardar Patel’s statue situated near Sardar Sarovar dam on 31st October, this year. The completion time was 33 months, and the cost of making was ₹2,989 crore, according to a government portal. If Patel was alive, would he want this money spent on his statue? He would have rather said use this for people who are ‘last in line’. The most common reply that comes is: for removing poverty there are many schemes and plans by the government.
Farmers in India are committing suicide. The Indian government has not published data on farmer suicides since 2015. At that time, the National Crime Records Bureau director Ish Kumar said that the data is under scrutiny and the report will be published later, likely, in 2016. In 2014, the National Crime Records Bureau of India reported 5,650 farmer suicides. According to P. Sainath, a leading Indian journalist who reports on rural India, and its unprecedented economic crisis, the 2011 Census of India showed that for the first time urban India added more to its population than rural India. This implies that millions of people who earlier engaged in agriculture are now roaming around the country, a “footloose migration”, in search for daily wages. About poverty, in 2012, the World Bank stated 22% of India’s population is below its official poverty limit. In 2011, based on 2005’s PPPs International Comparison Program, the World Bank estimated that 1.4 billion Indians lived on $1.25 a day.
In this era will politicians be remembered only by big statues of themselves? What is the job of that statue, that cost so much of money, when people still have to fight for bread for two meals a day?