Mukti

Do you trust this man to ensure your food security?

Posted in economics, politics by mehomaan on April 9, 2008

   

রেডিওতে খবর দিসে, দেশে কোন অভাব নাই

লাইল্লার ঘরে কাইল্লার ঘরে আনন্দের আর সীমা নাই

ঘইশার মা কয় খইশার মারে, আমরা কিসু বুঝি না,

ও না না আমরা কিসু বুঝি না

          দলছুট

This man has announced: “There is no crisis of food in the country. Only the price has gone up”.

Now we hear a lot about this NSC from lots of quarters. Every now and then some “expert” with no conception of deshi reality or the NSC comes on television. “Expert” then proceeds to talk about how much good this NSC will bring and mouths such catchy phrases as “total security”, “economic security”, “disaster management” and “food security”. Let us see what the above statement reflects about our CAS’s knowledge of “food security”.

As someone with even rudimentary understanding of the term “food security” knows, it depends on four things: (1) availability of (2) nutritous food and (3) people’s access to such food at (4) the appropriate time. Let us ignore (2) and (4) for now, though both are vital aspects of food security. Let us deal with (1) and (3).

(1)Availability of food depends on the supply of food at the right places at the right time. This man was shown on televison beside three bags full of rice. No shortage of supply there. For arguments sake I will grant him that supply is all well and good at every point.

(3) Access to food – another component of food security – depends on purchasing power, ie. people’s incomes and prices. So while there is “no crisis” of supply of food, there might still be problem of access to food if the price has gone up. This rise in price has an impact on food security. This should be immediately obvious even to a Harvard graduate. But it seemed sadly beyond his understanding if his public statements are seen at face-value.

Given that access and availability are both important aspects of food security I would like to ask two simple question to these “experts” always saying good stuff about the NSC. Ei jey eto boro boro katha boley beracchen NSC niye, apnader NSC te ei loke ba enar poder onyo kauke boshay amader laabh ki hobey jodi tader khadyo nirapatta niye ei prakarer nabalok chintabhaabna thekey thaakey? NSC je shatti “security”r jonney, ei baktabya ta ekhon thekey baad diye ashol uddeshyo niye kotha bolley kemon hoy? Jottoshob duipoyshar “expert”.

Let me give this man the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps for the stability of this current regime, he wanted to be seen to be doing something. Perhaps he wanted to send a positive signal to consumers and sellers, to do something about their inflation expectations. Let me humbly point out that actions speak louder than words.

What actions can this man take? We turn to our current favorit anti-establishmant man, the editor of new age for the answer. But before that, let me tell you of another wisdom-filled statement that has issued forth from this man. Given the bumper potato harvest this year, he has advised his countrymen to eat potatos instead of rice. A noble substitution no doubt, but hard to do. Appearing on late ngiht talk show, the editor reminded viewers of this statement and offered a simple solution that I want to share with readers. He suggested that the disciplined band of Patriots this man leads should set an example for us undisciplined civilians by substituting rice with potatoes in their rations. We are not sure if editor was serious or joking.

We in turn humbly offer this solution as a concrete step that this man can take to ease the suffering of the common citizen. Firstly it will be a great example of the patriotism that these Patriots feel. Secondly it will free a lot of rice to be supplied to the BDR fair-price shops. This in turn will bring prices down. Thirdly it is doable. Because the Patriots have to listen to this man. It is their code of conduct. But just in case everyone has forgotten, let me remind them: even under emergency undisciplined civilians like jodhu, modhu, kodu or yu or me are under no obligations to follow any advice or orders this man or his successors issue. Government directives I have to obey. This mans orders … not yet.

If we see this policy implemented then we can give some credit where credit is due.

(This guest post was received last night.  Today’s newspapers are full of reports of a multiple course potato lunch that was had yesterday.  Apparently the suggestion of substituting rice with potato is being taken up – JR).

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