Tamil Nadu farmers protest in Delhi half naked, then fully naked; shaving off half mustache, then the whole head; playing dead for the whole day, then cutting themselves with blades; yesterday they ate food served on the road (called sand-rice).
Why? no Cauvery water, no rains, farming becomes more and more unviable, and hence no farming. Modi government refuses to set up Cauvery Management Board; does not listen to pleas for loan waiver; does not offer drought relief; does not ensure remunerative prices for farm produce.
For all these the farmers protest; the whole of Tamil Nadu except BJP, RSS personalities look on with concern and worry. Farmers from other states too come in support of protesting TN farmers.
Coming to our own IT sector, the employees are on tender hooks. Clients cut costs, cancel projects; companies in quest of increased margins go for automation; force resignations, increase work load. Future is uncertain and family commitments weigh on the mind.
Or take students, uncertainty about college admissions; ever increasing fees; no guarantee of getting a job.
Take small traders and small business men; GST, digital transactions, money squeeze put their entire livelihood under severe stress.
The list goes on and on.
But there is one segment which becomes better off as the mass of people get squeezed more and more. Policies of Modi government favour them.
A slice of life belonging to this segment is published in Economic Times today (April 12, 2019).
One family bought 10 flats (totaling 50,000 sqft) for Rs 232 crore in Omkar 1973 housing project, Mumbai.
Developed by Omkar Realtors & Developers, the three tower project comprises more than 400 apartments each ranging from 3,000 sqft to 18,000 sqft area and listed at Rs 15 crore to Rs 100 crore.
70% of the project’s approved inventory is sold. Who bought them? Important personalities from finance, banking, gems&jewellery, education and telecom sectors.
Now we know where all the money from struggling farmers, salaried employees, and small traders go! To finance magnates, jewellery traders, private education mafia, and telecom moguls.
Rs 232 crore cost for the 10 super premium apartments bought by this single joint family (a large one it seems), does not include stamp duty. Add about about Rs 15 crore for stamp duty, registration fee and local body tax. Then there is the cost of customization. Out of the five apartments, five are bare shells and can be customized later.
We are looking at hundreds of crores of rupees for a home for one familly.
A mid level employee earning Rs 30 lakh per annum package will have to work for 800 years to earn Rs 232 crore. An entry level software engineer (at Rs 5 lakh per annum) will have to work for more than 4,500 years.
But, pinching 5000 rupees (say, from school fees for children or phone bill for mobile usage or interest payment on housing loan) each from 10 lakh IT employees will enrich a person in the financial elite by Rs 500 crore. Add doctor bills, high priced electronic and consumer goods, packaged water etc, a few thousand super rich are created and maintained who can afford apartments costing crores of rupees for their family.
Some prominent names who own flats in the above mentioned Omkar project include Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Bharat Forge chairman Baba Kalyani, Kinetic Engineering’s vice-chairman Sulajja Firodia, education and sports baron and D Y Patil.
The government cuts subsidies to farm inputs, lowers price of farm output, refuses to cancel farm loans. But provides subsidized land, water, electricity to big companies; let them increase price of their products and services (education, medical, water, electricity, telecom) without any limit; let them go scot free without paying their loans.
They want us to work more hours, they want to take away the jobs of some of us, they want us to pay interest, they want us to spend more and more on education and health care.
All so that they can earn more profits on their financial investments and buy more and more luxury flats.
CEOs, CTOs, CFOs, HRs and Managers of Indian and Multinational corporates work to maximize these profits. Employee welfare, service to customers, social responsibility everything is made subservient to this endless chase for higher and higher profits for the rich.
Thus the wealth keeps flowing to the top 1%, and those who serve this top 1% also get a luxury life. The bottom 80% is squeezed more and more. Natural resources are plundered and environment is damaged to serve the whims of the rich.
It is time we IT employees get together to safeguard our own interests, welfare of our farmers, small traders and small businessmen and also to save our land, water and natural resources from plunder.
Let us organize and fight for our rights.