[ View the story "India's Food Security Bill" on Storify] India's Food Security Bill Will the new law end hunger or is it an electoral gimmick?
The Stream· Tue, Oct 08 2013 10:21:09
India's Food Security Bill has generated significant debate since it was recently
into law. The ambitious law
to provide subsidised food grain to two-thirds of India's population. In a speech to Parliament, Sonia Gandhi, head of the ruling
Indian National Congress
party, described the welfare scheme as an "
The food bill is meant for the less fortunate sections of our society...It is a historic step to eradicate hunger. It is time to send out a big message that India can take the responsibility of ensuring food security for all its citizens.hindustantimes.com
Smt Sonia Gandhi Speech on Food Security Bill 26 August 2013indiacongress
Supporters of the bill,
the government's food distribution program as an ethical imperative:
Hunger is not an issue of charity. It is an issue of justice and right. #FoodSecurity #India #CongressAbhimanyu
The #foodbill will ensure growth in agriculture sector. Will attract investment in the agriculture sector to increase production:Kapil SibalRaju P. Nair
In May, economist Amartya Sen
that the numbers of children and women dying from hunger should galvanize lawmakers out of the deadlock. India currently
a hunger crisis and resource shortages. The graphic below illustrates the extent of the crisis.
However, the new law has also been met with
. Analysts argue that the bill does not adequately support small farmers and will not end malnutrition in children. They cited corrupt practices and poor management as major reasons for past failures of food distribution schemes.
In my talk at Patna today I said that you cannot remove #hunger by bringing in a food bill that does not link food security with agricultureDevinder Sharma
FOOD SECURITY IN STATES LIKE GOA,PUNJAB,MAHARASHTRA,KARNATAKA, may lead to transfer of benifits to Mighty not needy ones #FSBSiddharth Pai
#foodsecurity for kids with rotten food grains & jaggery with insects #kerala #DeshDrohiCongress❤beinghuman
In this cartoon, the father says, "No son, this is not for us, it's for the rats":
explained the bill to other Redditors:
ideal scenario : a bill aimed at the poorer section of the population, to provide subsidized rice and wheat at less than 10% the market cost, through public distribution systemsbalajip
balajip, however, was not optimistic:
most likely to be true : a bill aimed at the poorer politicians at the ground level to provide a subsidized commodity which can be later be sold in thriving black markets. and of course score brownie points for the upcoming elections.reddit.com
Many Twitter users said the bill was an attempt by the Congress party to gain votes before next year's elections.
govt will provide grain at cheaper price; please make chapati and vote for congress.ion_
Can Food Security Bill be challenged on legal grounds 'bribery for votes? (1/2) #fsbsujat kamal
How are they planning on funding this? Not to be that guy but this seems suspiciously like a freebie aimed at next year's elections.shyammega
The cartoon below pokes fun at the promises of Congress leaders:
about the funding procedure, with states wanting the central government to foot expenses for distributing food.
addressed the funding concerns with this image.
We asked our community if they thought the Indian government was doing enough to tackle hunger and poverty:
@AJStream V have plans & new cards.. but no follow ups from Top to see what happens to those plans that can address #Poverty issue in #IndiaSagar Dahiya
@AJStream Dreadfully. They seem to be more concerned with pr campaigns which sweep the poor under the rug.Samia Shoaib
@AJStream The very fact that they haven't gone into the causes of starvation makes it obvious that the #FSB #FoodBill is bound to fail.Giresh Nair
We also asked if benefits of the Food Security Bill outweighed the costs:
@mmbilal @AJStream It may help to end hunger, that is if the Politicians never ending hunger of money doesn't get in the way.Saif Malik
Implmentation of #FoodSecurityBill will cause inflation in food prices for non beneficiaries & buy congress party some votes @AJStream qSagar Sodah
@AJStream This is nothing more than a political stunt eyeing the upcoming elections #FSB #FoodBillGiresh Nair
While some felt that this was a positive step for India:
@AJStream It's indeed a perfect step forward considering the fact that most people in most part of the country are poor.Marwan Abubakar M.