A popular leader of one of the main opposition parties embarks on an indefinite hunger strike to draw attention of the ruling party to the plight of the farmers or weavers. Right now, we are not in a position to know whether he has succeeded in helping the farmers or the weaversÂ overcome their problems but he has managed to capture the attention of the media. Elsewhere in the country, the sky rocketing price of onion is causing great concern. And, on top of this, the ruling party has to get ready to face yet another problemâ€”the inevitable hike in the prices of diesel, petrol and cooking gas.
Indians are quite used to these problems but what is so vexing is the stereo-typed reactions of the opposition parties and the ad-hoc policies of the parties in power. Every party changes its tactic depending on where it is placed at a given period.
It is easy to organize strikes or protest rallies against price rise or seasonal fluctuations in food production. Naturally, the opposition chooses the easy one which does not require them to make an earnest attempt to clear the way for some immediate relief. The party in power, too, waits till things snowballs into a crisis. We cannot expect much from the politicians, for theirs is a different ballgame. The only consolation is that we have some smart IAS officers here and there who set an example, especially when they are posted as district collectors. They have their own plans to overcome seasonal problems, as long as politicians do not interfere with their plans!