New Year Eve

India is approaching the dawn of the new year in a short while.

I just came back from the new year party held in our apartment complex, it is still going on. Lots of people dancing to the music. The food was just OK.

The key thing I noticed during my walk around was that the celebrations were a bit subdued, a bit understated.

Did I imagine that kind of behaviour of people ? No, I really think it is a little low key.

There are any number of reasons, the chief one being the incessant rise in consumer prices of common vegetables, the other being the threat of terror suspects who seemed to have sneaked into Mumbai. Inflation is eating into peoples’ earnings, be they rich or poor. The vegetable price manipulation has hit people hard, with the government unable to respond in any meaningful manner.

The oil price rise is another important factor. With the Reserve Bank of India tightening the oil trade with Iran under U.S. pressure, India is going to face some severe shortage as Iranian oil is some 15% of the oil imports of India. Under de-regulation, the petrol prices have already risen, and are likely to rise more in the coming weeks.

The common man is under trouble.

He will be under more trouble in the coming year.

Given this kind of situation, only the most well-heeled can claim immunity from price rises.

No wonder it is all looking a bit subdued.

However, let us welcome 2011 with an open mind and with the hope that things will sort out for the benefit of the citizens.



Vijay Srinivasan
31st December 2010


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