Economic Crisis Due to Covid- 19 —Apocalyptic Warning – Letter to the Editor

Varghese Pamplanil.

Thank you my dear friend Isaac, for your well considered views on my article “ World Economic Crisis Due to Covid- 19 —Apocalyptic Warning.”

The saying, “In the long run, we all are dead” is that of the renowned Economist John Maynard Keynes, who lived through the 1929 “Great Depression “. It simply points to the urgency to take remedial action to get over the grim and precarious economic and financial situation. It is  a plea to the policy makers to take immediate steps  to alleviate the sufferings  of the  unprotected, with no jobs, and hence no income — not to wait for eons. In a  typical bureaucratic set up, decision making is  delayed:  by the time some thing is put in operation , the affected people could be in their graves stone cold. I was just  trying to point out  the urgency for cash transfer to the jobless  people to buy food and other essentials as a stop gap measure.

I don’t see any rainbow in the sky above at the moment only the threatening dark clouds. The sun  may come, but many may not be there to warm themselves thereof. Like every body else I too live in hope, and to like to have a rose garden along with the sun shine. 

I am no fairy with a magic wand to make every distressed Cinderella a beautiful princess and her Prince Charming  waiting for her with a wedding ring. I am a realist  who doesn’t want entertain  false hopes; I have my share of  warts in my being. I am a frail old man, ineffective and powerless. I just try to do my duty as a citizen of our country.

I learned my economics from a  way-side fruit vendor, “ bhyiah “ , who told me, when I complained of increased price of “ chikkoo”;   “sahib, ye cheeze sub lok  ghathe nahim, sab lok ghayega to, apko a dham  me nahi milega “ (“ if every one eats this fruit,  you won’t get it in this price”)

According to the medical experts world over Covid – 19 will be with us  for some months to come at least. If one virus go away, another may emerge in its place.We cannot shut our eyes and pretend that all is good; but adjust ourselves suitably. The effects of the pandemic 1918 Spanish Flue are  still with the world. 

It is high time we stop to be excessively greedy. The acquisitive mindset scarifying human values and plundering of nature  should cease . The  marauding of the earth’s resources upsetting the  fine balance of nature will have to end. The denuding of the forest cover of Amazon region is a grim scenario. Our children and grandchildren will be the worst sufferers if we don’t mend our ways.

My doctor son, one of the WHO expert panel members,   warns me day in day out  to practice social distancing meticulously and tells me that the everything coming from outside including milk sachets  should be washed with soap to get rid of Coronavirus and not to touch the packets delivers by Amazon at least for three days. Since self and wife are pretty old and alone, never to venture out side. Any one with even a iota of common sense cannot believe the rantings of Trump and his bizarre views.  He fulminates against everybody and every thing  under the sun. People doubt his mental capacity. The President of Brazil is another such character.

Yogasana  is most useful for the potbellied well-to- do to let out their   “gobar gas” accumulated in their stomachs. A person who is forced by circumstances to be out in the hot sun since the crack of the dawn to make a living, does not have the equanimity to be relaxed and do pranayama. One cannot acquire  immunity by quack remedies. Never ever go to a swimming pool with others,  for some more months. Be satisfied with the bathtub at home. Meditation does not guarantee immunity. It is good for hypertension. Drinking  cow urine,  eating cow dung  may not help, but could be dangerous. Nowadays cows do not get grass to eat. Have we forgotten the Mad-cow decease? Jumping into the Ganga and swallowing its water full of human waste will be the sure way to get all sorts of  water borne deceases.

We all  have seen the gut wrenching scene  of a mother in the  “savasana” posture and in  “nirvana” on a  railway platform and her young child desperately trying to wake her up. Was the man found dead in the toilet of  a train for migrant workers left this world because he failed to practice “hatayoga”?

We are living under the encircling gloom. Some of us may survive by sheer luck and not by pluck. I don’t like to be a prophet of doom but cannot wish away realities. 

I don’t see any beam of hope at the end of a short  tunnel.

Immediately. Neither am I God Almighty to set everything alright, but a frail old man. I don’t  want to be the  bearer of ill-tides , but I don’t see any other  option; l know mine is a “cry —or is it a whimper? — amidst the howling winds of the desert wilderness.  So help everyone God, if any, if  you have eyes to see and  ears to hear?

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1 Response

  1. Isaac Gomes says:

     

    It's heartening to know that Varghese ji vividly remembers rice & fish and especially Rasogolla (also known as Rasgulla)  the mouth-watering delicacy of Bengal.
     

    Odisha and Bengal have been locked in a bitter fight over the GI registration of rosogolla since 2015.

    In this connection, it would be interesting to read an article on captioned : Rosogolla originated in West Bengal, rule GI authorities, rejecting Odisha’s claim – which appeared in the Hindustan Times of !4 November 2017.

    It was sweet victory for West Bengal after a bitter feud over one of India’s most celebrated desserts. On Tuesday, the Geographical Indications (GI) registry announced that the rosogolla (also known as rasgulla) originated in the state, and not in Odisha.

    “This has been settled under the GI Act that authenticates products to either geographical locations or to communities or societies,” said Sanjay Bhattacharya, deputy controller of patents and designs in Kolkata, declaring the end to a tussle going back two-and-a-half years and a debate raging for decades.

    “Sweet news for us all. We are very happy and proud that #Bengal has been granted GI status for rosogolla,” West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee wrote on Twitter after the news broke. Abdur Rezzak Mollah, food processing minister in Banerjee’s cabinet, told Hindustan Times that he was “happy and relieved”.

    “Earlier, we fought successfully with other states to get the GI registration for the Joynagarer Moa, a popular winter snack made of puffed rice and palm jaggery,” Mollah added.

    The battle for the rasogolla intensified in 2015 when Odisha’s science and technology minister Pradip Kumar Panigrahi said that more than one committee set up to trace the origin of the sweet had pointed to “conclusive evidence” that ‘rosagolla’ (which is how the dessert is spelt in the state) existed for about 600 years. Odisha contended that historical research proved that the ‘rasagolla’ originated in Puri. Its first avatar was ‘kheer mohana’, which later evolved into ‘pahala rasagolla’.

    In response, the West Bengal government quoted 19-century history to claim the rosogolla was invented by Nabin Chandra Das, a famous sweetmeat maker, in 1868.

    When asked about the order, the Biju Janata Dal legislator from Puri, Maheswar Mohanty, said the fight was far from over. “We will scrutinise the GI order. I shall hold a meeting with the ministers of Odisha government as well as with my party leaders to decide the future course of action. The door of the courts is always open,” Mohanty said.

    The debate over the origin of the rosogolla is not merely about Bengali and Odia sentiments. Experts say the bragging rights may translate into good business for confectioners in the two states.

    One of them, a descendent of Nabin Chandra Das, thanked the West Bengal government for its proactive role in the fight.

    “The government took all related documents and information from us to authenticate the claim that Nabin Chandra Das was indeed the inventor of rosogolla,” Dhiman Das, director of KC Das Sweets, said.

    In this context, Sandesh of Kolkata is also very famous delicacy of Kolkata.  

    “Earlier, we fought successfully with other states to get the GI registration for the Joynagarer Moa, a popular winter snack made of puffed rice and palm jaggery,” Mollah added.

    The battle for the rasogolla intensified in 2015 when Odisha’s science and technology minister Pradip Kumar Panigrahi said that more than one committee set up to trace the origin of the sweet had pointed to “conclusive evidence” that ‘rosagolla’ (which is how the dessert is spelt in the state) existed for about 600 years. Odisha contended that historical research proved that the ‘rasagolla’ originated in Puri. Its first avatar was ‘kheer mohana’, which later evolved into ‘pahala rasagolla’.

    In response, the West Bengal government quoted 19-century history to claim the rosogolla was invented by Nabin Chandra Das, a famous sweetmeat maker, in 1868.

    When asked about the order, the Biju Janata Dal legislator from Puri, Maheswar Mohanty, said the fight was far from over. “We will scrutinise the GI order. I shall hold a meeting with the ministers of Odisha government as well as with my party leaders to decide the future course of action. The door of the courts is always open,” Mohanty said.

    The debate over the origin of the rosogolla is not merely about Bengali and Odia sentiments. Experts say the bragging rights may translate into good business for confectioners in the two states.

    One of them, a descendent of Nabin Chandra Das, thanked the West Bengal government for its proactive role in the fight.

    “The government took all related documents and information from us to authenticate the claim that Nabin Chandra Das was indeed the inventor of rosogolla,” Dhiman Das, director of KC Das Sweets, said.

    Varghese Ji must have also tasted another famous Bengal delicary – Sandesh.  Girish Chandra Dey & Nakur Chandra Nandy, situated near Scottish Church College, Kolkata makes the best Sandesh in Kolkata.

    Let us sincerely pray and hope that COVID-19 passes away and we continue to enjoy the above delicacies along with our friends and well-wishers.


     

     

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