[Image Credit: "JK", Flickr.com (Creative Commons)

Stop Protesting Price Rise, Look for an Alternative System

People can neither protest every time  the price of petrol increases nor can they buy  petrol at any given  price. There seems to be a gap in the system that many countries, including ours, is following. If a free market economy is in place, people cannot and should not agitate on a rise in prices because supply and demand forces will automatically bring  price to an equilibrium.

Salahuddin Ayyub

If a  country is following the command economic system, people will not need to agitate against price rise because the government would never dare go against the wishes of the masses, if it’s a democracy of course.

Seeing thousands of people on the streets every now and again, agitating against price hikes and showing their annoyance at  trivial decisions made by the government leads us to think about the problem and finding a permanent and long lasting solution to the same. Rather than coming out on the streets for each price hike on every commodity, why don’t we look for a solution that does not require our wasting precious time and effort?

[Image Credit: “JK”, Flickr.com (Creative Commons)

Why do people protest under the banner of a political party? Why should the masses worry so much if the extra money charged remains within the country and is used for the welfare of the people?

Every time a protest pertaining to price rise takes place in the country, all opposition parties come out on the streets and start raising slogans against the ruling party or the government. The protest is successful if the number of people mobilized to raise slogans is large and destruction of public property is severe. Whether their demands are met or not, is not their concern. It is considered a success if a few people are fired upon or set themselves on fire!

It is also often found that people who take part in such protests are not aware of the meanings of texts written on the placards they are asked to hold. Surprisingly, all these protests are led by political parties. Local rivalries among people are common, partly owing to the  frequency of elections and also as a result of fewer number of strong political parties in constituencies, as a result of which every constituent is known to be affiliated to a certain political party and under no circumstances whatsoever would he consider  switching allegiances to a different political party.

Technically in a democracy, when a majority-backed political grouping is in power and the government declares a hike in prices and in retaliation protests called by the opposition groups take place — where the probability of people supporting the ruling party is low —  do such protests matter? And how seriously would the government take these protests when they know that the agitators are their opposition who  are ready to agitate against them at any given time? Yes, there is no doubt that such protests could become extremely significant if the government is in a coalition and elections are nearing.

People’s anxiety against  government decisions with regard to price hikes shows the absence of their faith in government. If the added amount of money charged will not leave the country or the subsidy being removed on a particular commodity will ultimately be used for the welfare of the people and the nation, then why do people have a problem in paying the extra penny? It could be either because they believe that the money will be lost  in a  scam or they are too poor to pay the extra amount.

Doubt on the viability of the current form of democracy touches new heights when not a single party worker or neta of the ruling political party speaks out against the price hike, as  though they are going to buy the commodity at previous rates or they are rich enough to pay any price for the commodity. Whatever decision taken by the high command of the party, is religiously followed  by the masses who do not see the doors of mandirs, gurdwaras, churches or masjids until  the time of festivals, crises and disasters. It clearly explains that welfare is welfare, only when it is that of the party.

Jim Rohn says, “If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.”

Let us not waste our energies in raising slogans against ourselves. We could instead think of an alternative new system that is more feasible, transparent and in the interests of the people, and not just of the political parties.

Jai Hind!

[Views expressed herein are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Jamia Journal’s editorial policy.]

About Salahuddin Ayyub

Salahuddin Ayyub is a PhD student in the Academy of International Studies. He can be reached via email at: ayyubsubhani [at] gmail.com

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  1. Man, i appreciate your views, but there is one thing for sure this the artificial scarcity of resources that being created by the goverment and corporate nexus which is only responsible for price rise and inflation. Coal block allocation is the very live example of this deadly nexus, we have enough availibility of coal in our country, but now goverment is planning to import coal at very high price. This will be a very injustice where companies are not mining coal to earn maximum price in near future and goverment is promiting this black marketing of coal. If coal is being imported in india then large portion of the coal price paid will go to commission, which is its self a scam in making.
    Also in food item as well as government had allowed FDI in retail, it will simply lead to loss of 10 crore direct and indircet source of employement to Indian people, i return it will generate only one tenth of the Job lossed. We will soon see artificial scarcity of the necessary food stuff by the MNC so that these MNC’s can earn maximum possible income by speculation and black marketing of the essential food stuff.
    We will soon see contract farming, which leads to loss of fertility of the land over the years, we will also see more cancer cases in India, as use of pesticisides will increase due to FDI in retail farming. These MNC also see a great business oppourtunity in this, they see people of India mere tool to sell their useless medicines and pesticides. It is very interesting that some of major pestisides making company some decaded ago were a mojor maker of chemical weapons, when their business finished, they had converted their deadly business into pesticides and created this non- sense maket of pesticides for farming,
    But in India centralised system is a fail, englishman were not been able to do this in 200+ years, how could this goverment can do this in one go, it is impossible also one thing more as there will be no human touch in this. There is some business in big cities, but in small cities and villages which consitutes 85% of India, this FDI thing will certainly fail. FDI in retail will give a great pain to health of the people of Big cities, as MNC will redcuce the quality of their products to maximise their profits, as it is their normal practice. If u don’t believe me taste a apple in any MNC retail store and a apple in road side thelewala, you will find the thelewala’s apple far more tasty and better than MNC’s apple. It is their normal practice in other countries including USA to reduce the quality of the products to maximise revenue.
    At the end i want to say that these days protest is only paid thing, it is all artificial. if we really want to protest, students have to take charge and to do their best to reach the higher position to change bad things without changing themselves. Morally we have to strong and ethical to change policies on our own.

  2. Excellent, informative, & practicle too.

  3. great…….

  4. May i re-quote your last para “Let us not waste our energies in raising slogans against ourselves. We could instead think of an alternative new system that is more feasible, transparent and in the interests of the people, and not just of the political parties.”
    after reading the headline i was expecting this para in the beginning, but i believe you ended where i was expecting you to start… people keep telling others to think about alternatives, but they they never discuss what are the possible alternatives.
    I may agree with you that these days protest is only paid thing, it is all artificial, political parties exploit the masses for their own gains… the main opposition party is the one who started promoting disinvestment when it was in power, but now criticizing the current ruling party for following its footprints… so is there any alternative solution available in the near future?!!…
    But on the other hand, remember, protests will never succeed in controlling price-rise but it will succeed in controlling the frequency of the rise…
    Jim Rohn says, “If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.” but how to change it?!!… if you can answer this question… you may solve one of the biggest problems, if not the biggest, faced by the Indian democracy…

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