No the title is not a tagline of any new Hollywood or Bollywood movie but I am talking about onions as a vegetable taking revenge from the Indian market. Onion is one of the basic seasoning that is used in most Indian dishes. Excepting about 1% of the pure vegan Indians, the rest of the nation swears by onions day and night. However, last week the price of this favorite Indian condiment has hit 80 INR per Kg causing mayhem in the ordinary Indian household. In a country where the earning members of a common family get about 100 INR per day, eating onion (from now on) would be counted as a luxury from now onwards.
The wholesale onion market of India which is located at Lasalgaon, Maharashtra has witnessed the highest bid for onion per Kg last week i.e. 24 INR per Kg. This incident has sparked off protests in many parts of the nation and followed by many strange occurrences like looting of a truck that was carrying about 9000 Kgs of onions near Delhi. Such incident of plunder reminds us of the famous Kakori robbery case, where the revolutionary Indian freedom fighters were trying to plunder the British government for buying arms so that they can put up a strong fight against the foreign ruling power.
However, now a slight difference can be noticed. The common people are actually taking recourse of the traditional means of protesting to show their grievances against the exiting government of a democratic republic. The worst part is that, rumor has it that the price is going to increase further in the near future and may touch 100 INR per Kg. Though there is hardly any place left to absorb further shock, but still the general people must prepare themselves for further worsening of the situation. India is one of the largest exporters of onions. But the current scenario has forced the government to take measure to curtail onion export.
The Proposed Reason
Decline in supply of onion from the major onion producing region like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and other states of the nation has been attributed to unfavorable climatic condition and drought by the Director and other key official of NHRDF. They are of the opinion that by next season when the kharif crops will be harvested, the price of onion will be again slashed. They have also negotiated with the farmers for increasing the area of onion cultivation but still a lot depends on the weather conditions.
The Government’s Opinion
However, the central government of India has a totally different explanation for the skyrocketing price of onions. They are of the opinion that the explanations given by the wholesalers in Azad Mandi, which is Asia’s largest wholesale market, is absolutely baseless. On the contrary, the crisis in supply is created by them. They are hoarding onions so that the price shoots up and they earn a lot of profit within a short span of time. To stop such illicit activity the government has announced that it would buy onions directly from the wholesale markets of the most thriving onion producing states so that the prices can be brought back to normal.
Politicization of Issue
The general elections being round the corner, the opposing parties are leaving no opportunity to denounce the ruling party and bringing forth its incompetence to the people. The BJP and Congress are campaigning aggressively for the next general election and onion, being an indispensable part of every Indian kitchen, striking this chord has certainly helped in flaring up negative public opinion against the ruling party. The ‘aam janta of India’ whose believe in the existing ruling party is already dwindling, occurrence such as price rise of onion by nearly three times is definitely acting as a last nail in the coffin.
Even if there is no truth in such claims, there is no denying the fact that both the parties are trying their best to utilize the existing situation in their favor and win over the masses. The ruling party has opened up some special shops where onions are sold at a much lesser price, BJP leaders have also adapted the same move to make the most of the situation. Moreover, one BJP leaders have deposited onion for distribution among the common people and another leader of the aforesaid party gifted onions to women who have tied rakhi to their brothers.
This is definitely an archaic strategy adopted by the politicians to win over mass support. But if we turn back the hands of time, we can see that no matter how thoughtless this gimmick might appear, it has played an important role in determining the fate of BJP in the year 1998. However, in between such tussles the hardest hit is the ‘aam janta of India’, with whose emotion the so called ‘educated intellects’, on whom we have entrusted the duty and responsibility of running our country, play to realize their selfish motive. They minds are being continuously manipulated by the ‘Mogambos’ of the nation by hitting them in the worst possible ways and in the worst areas.
All the promises made by them will go in vain once their purpose has been solved. However, human beings cannot survive without trusting and believing in someone. It is the basic nourishment that our mind needs to remain stable and function normally. Therefore, all we can honestly hope for is a better and brighter tomorrow.