Sunday, March 05, 2006

Syriana and silly me

Oil prices are a very delicate issue in our country. Every now and then the small rise in their prices leads to a lot of hue and cry. And the fact remains that it’s necessitated by international market prices. Being a spectator to the international prices as well as the intense pressure to reign in domestic prices puts the government in a fix. The opposition raises a lot of hue and cry in the parliament and what we end up is a marginal increase leading to the bleeding of the so-called "nav-ratna" PSU's. And the credit for it goes to the opposition sponsored parliament stalls or by the "responsible" government partners who held it to an open ransom for what is conveniently called the outside support.

But does it really matter a tad bit to the common man. I am not talking about the city bred slick urbane “sickos” but the semi-rural millions. So we end up saving the pennies of the conveniently comfortable city-bred dolts. These government cushioned prices ensure that people who would not have dreamed of spending their dough on luxuries like personal transport are happily spending on “imported-fuel”. Is it really necessary? Do we need to shield this blatantly irresponsible community anymore? Why should the government care about such people? If people have enough dough they might still be in a position to purchase what they want otherwise do hell with them. Let there be no subsidies on these imported fuels and people will definitely revert back to some cleaner and cheaper alternative. After all isn’t necessity the mother of all invention. Let’s create a necessity first.

The government can kick in and provide better means of mass transport. All the revenue previously lost to subsidies can be utilized to provide better facilities. This will also ensure that not every Tom, Nick and Harry will burn the imported fuels with government connivance. The spiraling cost will ensure that the automobile companies also come up with a definite plan to counter the fuel problem. Rather than the mad rush to sell more and more vehicles they should allocate more R & D specifically to alternative fuels. If Brazil can use ethanol blended petrol why the hell can’t we do something similar? But even that will be just a start as we have to shake off our reliance totally the sooner the better.

The above discussion is useless unless I specify my moral dilemma in the midst of all this rhetoric. I am supposed to be taking a job in the next couple of months. And all my integrity in delivering the speech above will go for a toss if I too end up falling prey to the gas-guzzling youth tendency. Purchase a bike and vroom past the ethical issues in a jiffy. They say charity begins at home. I can argue I am far away from mine. Either way I stand to lose, as a brash-urbane kid or as a fellow-citizen. What will I end up doing? My guess is as good as yours………… :(