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There is chaos amongst the people of the country. The prices of vegetables particularly the onions and tamatoes have gone up tremendously having crossed the Rs 60 per kilo mark in the Mandies giving enough freedom to vegetable venders selling them at Rs 80 and even more thus putting extra burden to the pockets of consumers.

Since the BJP led NDA government assumed power at the centre despite having made tall claims of bringing the inflation under control the prices of petrol, vegetables and other essental commodities including pulses have been skyrocketting compounded with multiple rise in the metro fares of the capital beyond the reach of lower middle class and those living at the lowest ebb of the society.

You go in the market to purchase anything, any commodity you’ll find everthing with a high price tag. The agencies dealing with price assesment play with the sentiments of the people by always supplying wrong figures in order to befool them as 90% of the citizens really don’t understand the manipulations of such price index parametres.

While on the one hand there have been tall claims of the economy having been tremendously strengthened but had it been able to result in downfall of the prices of essential commodities compounded with employment generation on the ground is a moot question being asked by everyone, everywhere. They are primarily the 70% of the rural people, those hailing from JJ clusters, employees of the private sector and people living at the grass roots who suffer while the rich, affluent, those above middle class hardly suffer as their purchasing power is hardly affected.

Even the government servants of the country have now to an extent joined the elite class club of the country as their salary structure has also gone up considerably and after every point rise in the inflation or price index their salary structure also gets enhanced with enhanced dearness allowance from retrospective affect.

Today majority of the newspapers of the country are carrying the front page news highlighting this heavy price hike of onions and tomatoes making the life of the people literally hell. As per the reports the retail price of onions, one of the main items’ of the household women and her kitchen has touched Rs. 63 for every kilogram in Delhi till Tuesday due to tight supplies and lower arrivals in the wholesale market.

Sounds shocking as the prices of onion in the month of August, September were as low as Rs 26/27 per kg in the retail market and Azadpur Sabzi Mandi. Not only in Delhi but in other parts of the country as well the retail prices of onion have crossed Rs 56 per Kilogram thus amounting to the three folds’ rise.

If such is the critical situation in the domestic market what’s the point of exporting onions to outside countries. While there is already a shortage of onions in the Indian markets leading to the increasing price rise, the government had exported 80,00,000 tons of onion to countries abroad in the month of August September.

Those at the helm of affairs in the government should instead of making false claims of decreasing prices rise and befooling the people with rhetorics on various fronts to extract political capital in elections, should rather concentrate on this front to bring skyrocketting price rise under control by concentrating their efforts on controlling the black marketeers on wide scale compounded with improvising the production of vegetables and other crops on massive scale.

The food and vegetable sector of the country is in doldrums with people leaving farming on mass scale. The government should also make cold storage facilities available in myriad quantity so that the onions, tomatoes etc can be stored in sufficient quantity on wider scale particularly when they are produced in massive quantity due to good weather and monsoon situations.

If cold storage facility in abundance is made available, a large quantity of vegetable and other produce like food grain usually going waste when grown in excess can be stored and sold at cheaper prices at the time of shortages to avoid inflationary pressure on the common men. Onion is considered to be a very significant ingredient of the kitchen and onion price rise had also lead to Congress losing power to BJP being the main election issue in the national election earlier. Similarly if the inflated prices of onions and tomates are not controlled forthwith would definitely put an adverse impact on the chances of BJP in Gujarat elections.

SUNIL NEGI

Lots of controversy is brewing up these days over the popular and rather unusually controvertial director, producer’s recent magnus opus,” Padmavti,”played by one time much talked about Badminton player of international fame Prakash Padukone’s daughter and a super hit actress Deepti Padukone and lot is written about it as well including stories making rounds in electronic channels of the country.

Those strictly opposing the screening of this extremely high budgeted film are the Rajputs being led by none other than an undisputed leader of Rajasthan Lokendra Singh Kalvi, founder of KARNI SENA who’ve surprisingly chosen Gujarat as their battle field to counter the director, producer of the film Padmavati, for a mass appeal and congregation of Rajput community demanding complete ban on the movie, making it a do or die issue. But what makes everybody surprised and astonished is the fact is why is it that obstinate and adament leader of the Rajput community Kalvi has chosen Gujarat as the nucleaus of his fight against Bhansali than Mumbai where the director/producer of the film lives and the Bollywood industry, exists.

Everyone is well aware that Gujarat state is on election mode these days and political implications of such events like huge conglomeration of Rajputs in the name of opposing a would be blockbustre film can’t be easily ruled out. On 11 th November more than over one lakh people of Rajput community under the aiges of KARNI SENA assembled in Gujarat and demanded outright ban on Padmavati and filing of the cases under anti national act against its director Bhansali. This is not the first time that Bhansali is facing the ire of the people and some of his previous films too he had initially earned the peoples’ wrath but his films like Baji Rao Mastani was a super duper hit later on.

Those opposing the screening of PADMAVATI accuse Bhansali of twisting the historical facts of 16th century and depicting the role of the most beautiful, brave and ethical legendary queen in extremely poor light as Allauddin Khilji’s beloved , thus denigrating the prestige and dignity of a well respected Rajput queen of a 16th century era, however, outrightly denied by Sanjay Leela as utterly non sense and baseless. According to the Karni Sena founder and the man behind the anti Padmavati agitation Lokendra Sinh Kalvi, the dance sequence that exhibits Queen Padmavati swaying merrily to the beats of the melodious song with her nemesis, marauding, mad with lust Alladdin khilji, the then Sultan of Delhi in the movie has amounted to a direct insult to the dignity of the Rajput Rani as well as the whole Rajput women. However, the director of the movie has denied that such a scene has ever been shot or shown.

The eminent writer Shobha De in one of her articles writes: The point is, commercial movies cannot be equated with documentaries. Movies are movies- vehicles of mass entertainment, not to be confused with an accurate recreation of an event or an era. History itself has countless interpretations.

Anyways, now the mega movie PADMAVATI is set for release and the controversy have added more glare to his movie. What happen’s next is anybody’s guess but one thing is for sure that in this whole game of opposition and criticism both, the director of the film Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the Karni Sena founder Lokendra Sinh Kalvi are likely to win, one by earning money and fame and another politically. Public is the ultimate victim which makes things happen, ultimately.

SUNIL NEGI