Friday, August 20, 2010


In a democracy any adult franchisee has a right to cast his vote and there is no bar for an elected representative to become a minister irrespective of his qualification and credentials. This is a strange phenomenon because for any job involving use of brain or physical power there are basic eligibility parameters which do not seem to be applicable to become a minister in any government. There are many ministers who are brilliant, capable of understanding the dynamics of democracy, work hard to improve the lot of citizens and contribute substantially to national development. But there are some with low credentials who feel that they are superior, beings destined to lord over people who elect them and tend to forget their roots. Here is an example of a "common" minister in the UK who is even ignorant of the cost of a bread in the market, the staple food he eats every day!

"The Food and Farming minister of UK, who manages the 7.2 billion pound farming industry, doesn't even know the price of a loaf of bread. Britain's farming industry produces more than 22 million tons of grain each year, but Caroline Spelman, the minister behind the department is unaware about the price of a loaf of bread. Also the Environment Secretary, Spelman issued a memo to officials in her department asking them to tell her the price of an average loaf. he instruction came in a 19-page briefing to staff in the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). "The odd figure is helpful. Include examples of the price of a loaf of bread," the Telegraph quoted Caroline as writing. The price of a loaf of bread in the UK is currently between 1.30 to 1.40 pounds".

Of course with enormous perks that come with the post of a minister, probably his employees might be buying bread from the market and being a "busy" minister she might be having "heavy" official work leaving very little time to bother about the day to day chores of a normal family life. But being the food minister in the country, it is inexcusable for her to be oblivious to the problems of citizens, especially those related to food. One can only wonder about her insensitivity to the burden of increasing food inflation on the common man. India has its own examples of insensitive ministers in the States as well as at the Center and the recent reported agitation by the parliamentarians demanding sky-high hikes in their remuneration for their "services", before taking up legislative matters, can only tarnish the image of a country considered in the forefront of democracy.


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