Politicians who pretend as if a perilously penurious life is no big deal must be made to live that life for an extended period of time. Three Indian politicians, all apparently very well fed, may have to eat their words.
Raj Babbar, a Hindi cinema actor turned politician who is now a spokesman for the Congress Party, and Dr. Farooq Abdullah, a near aristocrat from Kashmir who has held more powerful positions than he might remember, and Rasheed Masood, who is a Member of the Rajya Sabha or the Upper of House of Indian Parliament for the Congress Party have walked right into it.
Babbar was quoted as saying that 12 rupees can by a complete meal in Mumbai. The conversion of 12 rupees into dollars is so small that it refuses to get converted. Incidentally, at today exchange rate of 58.97 rupees to the dollar, 12 rupees is 0.20349330167. Sure there are a lot of numbers but they are all after the decimal point.
Dr. Abdullah, a multiple times chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and currently India’s minister for new and renewable energy, went one up on Babbar and was quoted as saying, “If you want, you can fill your stomach for Re 1 or Rs 100, depending on what you want to eat. We are working to change the life of the poor so they can eat well be healthy and India can progress."
One rupee is 0.01695777513 cent ( Feels cruel to use plural below zero).
Masood has been reported as having said that five rupees (0.08478887569 cent) can buy a decent meal in Delhi.
If Messrs. Babbar, Masood and Abdullah think that twelve rupees, five rupees and one rupee can buy stomach-filling meals, then I have a suggestion. Force the three to adopt diets that respectively cost the amounts they think are enough to fill the stomach. Let them be on that diet for the next five years and see how much of Messrs. Babbar, Masood and Abdullah remain.
It is not my case that for those sums you cannot buy somewhere in India something that resembles food in that it can be chewed and has some salt in it. If that is the definition of a “stomach-filling” meal, then politicians need to reconsider what food is. It is also not my case that politicians are disconnected from reality because they are so into reality that they often forget it.
Something mysterious happens to politicians at a certain stage in their careers when they start to believe that they can say anything and get away with it. It is no longer possible to say anything and get away with it now that the various forms of the media ride their butts 24/7.
As a penance for their comments perhaps they can set up a Messrs. Babbar, Masood and Abdullah Food Bank where “stomach-filling” meals are served at an average of six rupees or 0.10174665083 cent. (I reached that average by adding up the three sums and dividing it by three).