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Monday, March 17, 2014

Right to food might not change the situation at all because the government agencies have to work for business interests. सवाल यह भी है कि क्या मां माटी मानुष की सरकार सचमुच अवैध खाद्य कारोबार पर अंकुश लगाना चाहती है।

Right to food might not change the situation at all because the government agencies have to work for business interests.



सवाल यह भी है कि क्या मां माटी मानुष की सरकार सचमुच अवैध खाद्य कारोबार पर अंकुश लगाना चाहती है।


एक्सकैलिबर स्टीवेंस विश्वास

Excalibur Stevens Biswas


बंगाल में रहने वाला हर शख्स खाद्यप्रदूषण का शिकार है।मिलावटी खाद्य ही परोसा जाता है हर थाली में।पौष्टिक आहार की कोई व्यवस्ता नहीं है।बंगाल में 1959 में आजादी के बाद जो खाद्य आंदोलन शुरु हुआ और जिसकी नींव पर खड़ी रही वाम राजनीति।साठ के दशक के खाद्य आंदोलन की वजह से प्रफुल्ल सेन के मुख्यमंत्रित्व और केंद्रीय मंत्री अतुल्य घोष की अगुवाई में कांग्रेसी सत्ता का अवसान करके बंगाल में पहला परिवर्तन करने वाले वामपंथी ही थे। लेकिन अब बंगाल के वामपंथी सत्ता से बेदखल होनेके बावजूद खाद्यसुरक्षा के मुद्दे पर खामोश है।बल्कि जनवितरण प्रणाली की आवाज बार बार उठायी जाती है,जिसका वजूद वाम जमाने ही लगभग खत्म हो गया।राशन से सड़ा हुआ अनाज का रिवाज वाम जमाने से ही शुरु हुआ।


मां माटी मानुष की सरकार ने हाल में खाद्य में मिलावट के खिलाफ अवैध खाद्य कारोबार खत्म करने के उद्देश्य से एक क्रांतिकारी अभियान छेड़ा है,जिसके बारे में रेडियो से प्रचार तो हो रहा है लेकिन आम जनता को इसकी खास जानकारी नहीं है और न खाद्य सुरक्षा आंदोलन के सक्रिय कार्यकर्ताओं को।


बंगाल सरकार का निर्देश है कि भोजन,खाद्य सामग्री  बनाने और भोजन बेचने वालो के लिए अब लाइसेंस अनिवार्य है। राज्य में खाद्य निरीक्षक अब तक क्या करते रहे हैं,इसकी किसी को कोई जानकारी है ही नहीं। राज्य में व्यापक पैमाने पर यह कारोबार बिना लाइसेंस,बिना सरकारी निगरानी में चल रहा है।


गली गली में जो मिठाइयों की दुकाने हैं और हर कूचे में जो फास्ट फुड की दुकानें हैं,उनपर निगरानी का कोई तंत्र ही नहीं है।कचरे के ढेर,गंदी नालियों के किनारे ऐसा कारोबार खूब फल फूल रहा है। खासकर फास्ट फूड के धंधे में बेरोजगार युवाओं को बड़े पैमाने पर रोजगार मिलता है।ये लोग राजनीतिक और पुलिस संरक्षण में अपना कारोबार चला रहे हैं और उनमें से ज्यादातर के पास लाइसेंस नहीं है।हाकर बिना लाइसेंस कुछ भी बेचने को आजाद हैं और यूनियन का परिचयपत्र ही उनका लाइसेंस है।यह रघुकुल रीति बा वाम जमाने से चली आ रही है।


सवाल हैकि क्या राज्य सरकार को आम जनता की सेहत की चिंता है।

सवाल यह भी है कि क्या मां माटी मानुष की सरकार सचमुच अवैध खाद्य कारोबार पर अंकुश लगाना चाहती है।


अगर निगरानी तंत्र विकसित न हुआ तो पूरी कवायद बेकार हो जायेगी क्योंके बिना लाइसंसे जो परोसा जा रहा है, लाइसेंस मिल जाने पर उसे परोसने की भी पूरी छूट हो जायेगी।


एक और खतरा यह है कि इससे एकाधिकार कारोबार के सिंहद्वार खुल जायेंगे और बड़ी कंपनियां,बड़े कारोबारी शुद्ध बोजन परोसने के नाम पर इस कारोबार से छोट और मंझोले खुदरा कारोबारियों को बाहर कर देंगे।


उम्मीद है कि सरकार इन खतरों से बेखबर न होगी और खादय कारोबार में लाइसेंस राज कायम करते हुए छोटे और मंझौले, खुदरा कारोबारियों के हितों का पूरा ख्याल रखा जायेगा।




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For few months the state govt. has launched a campaign against illegal food sellers who sell and cook without food license.  If people want to get shops from licensed shops then there is only one avenue that leads to monopolistic business of food ejecting out small and medium food sellers as well as traders.


Nobel laureate Amartya Sen's work, Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation has long informed policymakers that food scarcity is not necessarily the cause of famines. His work on the Bengal famine showed that food availability was 11 per cent higher in 1943, the year of the famine, than in 1941. The problem was distribution.


Now the recent food crisis is rooted deeply in the system which deprive the masses of food security and the right to food might not change the situation at all because the government agencies have to work for business intersts.



And if govt. is so conscious then why there is a boom in the number of illegal foot? Fast food corners?


If the popularity of Rasgulla, Sandesh and Mishti Doi is anything to go by, the Bengalis from Eastern India sure know a great deal about sweet making.But you may never know wherefrom to get the safe sweets.Unaware consumption might land you in hospital any time.


No worry,you may find sweets shops anywhere and may locate private medical care anywhere. It is the real life cycle in Bengal.


Is it another stunt or a direct publicity of shopping malls and corporate monopolistic companies?



Mind you,West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra declared in last January that the State had fetched investments worth around one hundred crore at a food park at Sankrail in Howrah district.

Thus, private companies would get the food business striking the rot out.

According to the minister, three new companies in the food processing sector have been allotted nearly 5 acres in the second phase at Sankrail food park.

"These three companies put together will invest nearly 100 crore and are expected to create 600 jobs," Mitra told reporters at the State Secretariat.

The minister also added that 10 industries have been allotted land at the food park over the past 20 days.

Fifty Years Ago: Food Movement of 1959

Mon, 2009-08-31 14:13 | Pragoti Editorial Team
food2.jpg

In post-independence and post-partition Congress-ruled West Bengal, the echoes of famine continued to be heard in the 1950s. The collusion between rice mill-owners, jotdars and food hoarders created an artificial food crisis. These proprietor segments, who controlled rice distribution, also exercised a strangle-hold over the villages and formed the rural backbone of the Bengal Congress. So the government refused to take any measure which went against their interests. As hunger assumed famine like proportions, the people organised themselves into a 'Committee to Combat Famine' under the leadership of the undivided Communist Party of India. Other left parties also endorsed this initiative. From the second half of the 1950s, between 1956 and 1958, food movements became an annual occurrence. The Food Movement of 1959 however was a turning-point in the history of class struggle in West Bengal. Food insecurity by this time had reached frightening proportions in rural and urban areas and distress was acute among the marginal and landless peasantry, the workers and lower middle-classes.

 

On 31 August, a huge mass demonstration was organised in Kolkata where hundreds and thousands arrived from the villages under the leadership of the Kisan Sabha. Though primarily a mass protest by peasants, rural women with babies walked alongside high school students; office workers merged with the columns of manual workers. The whole of Kolkata's colonial city centre turned into a sea of 300,000 people demanding an end to destitution and hunger. The centre of the rally was the Shahid Minar, the foot of the monument and the adjoining open space of the 'Maidan' having historically served as the convergence point of anti-colonial and anti-establishment protests. That afternoon rain repeatedly lashed at the demonstrators. But their determination to force the Congress government to provide immediate relief or quit remained resolute. At the end of the meeting, a procession began and started making its way towards Writers' Building. By then evening had descended. First, the demonstrators were cordoned off by the police. Then unexpectedly, without any warning, violent 'action' began. Contemporary observers have noted the way the police attacked directionless, panic-stricken people blinded by teargas.

 

80 people died in the carnage that day; they were mostly starving peasants who had survived the devastating and man-made Bengal Famine of 1943 and were no longer willing to die of hunger without any protest. Not a single bullet was fired. The police used sticks to beat people to death. 1000 people went missing and 3000 were injured. Ordinary bystanders, petty shopkeepers, cinema-hall ushers and sex-workers offered solidarity and assistance to those fleeing the police from the main thoroughfares in a bloodied state and spilling into the side streets and narrow alleys of north Kolkata. The police arrested thousands. According to one eye-witness who is now 74 years old: 'In the semi-darkness, I saw mothers, sisters, brothers lying motionless on the road.' The police later cremated many of the anonymous victims. Bodies could be seen floating in theGanges. The next day, on 1 September, the police fired on students who were protesting against the atrocities and a wave of repression followed. Entire neighbourhoods of north Kolkata became anti-police bastions of resistance and the government deployed troops in several districts. Jyoti Basu compared the events of 31 August with Jallianwallabagh in the Bengal Legislative Assembly and the combined opposition managed to corner the Congress. In 1966, a second Food Movement was launched by the left parties and its impact could be felt in the victory of the First United Front government of 1967. 1959 demonstrated that despite utmost and merciless ferocity, the Congress and the social forces it represented in West Bengal, were in a process of retreat. This retreat, however, claimed the lives of 80 people on 31 August 1959. At a time of rising hunger in the country, Pragoti remembers and salutes them.


http://www.pragoti.in/node/3575

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