It should be a matter of huge embarrassment for a country that calls itself an agricultural economy to have soaring food inflation resulting in rampant poverty compounded misery, especially among the downtrodden segments of society.
The devastating floods last year played havoc with the country, pushing millions of people into abject poverty, increasing the poverty rate to 35.7 per cent, according to the World Bank. The food cycle, from the farm to the table, stands disrupted. The country is struggling to make even food grain available to the masses, with wheat flour being either unavailable or beyond the buying power of the people.
Footages and images in mainstream media showing the poor running after and fighting over flour bags with money in their hands have left the entire nation dejected. There have also been saddening and disturbing reports on social media of people getting killed in stampedes while trying to get a hand on flour bag to feed their hungry children and family members. And yet we continue to call ourselves an agricultural country.
The leadership across the political divide, as has always been the case, is busy spewing venom against each other, adding more toxicity to the horribly murky environment. It rightly seems that apathy on the part of our politicians is at its peak, and the lust for power seems to be the only thing that matters to them.
It is really quite unfortunate that both government and opposition parties have miserably failed in providing food items on reasonable rates and other basic amenities of life to the poor segments of society. They, the politicians, continue to claim that all their actions are meant to alleviate the sufferings of the masses, but all their actions continue to add to the woes of the masses.
The elite class is hardly bothered by market manipulations and spike in food inflation that has become a matter of life and death for the underprivileged daily-wager who earns a meagre amount every day to feed his family. It is time the politicians stopped verbal spats and blame game, and focussed on doing something practical. To start with, ensuring wheat flour supply on controlled price to the people should be the priority right now.