Prakash Kona

A Modest and “Swift” Proposal for India’s Poverty and Backwardness

Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal: For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public is one that needs to be considered by all present and future governments and policy makers in this country. In fact, there is nothing modest about the proposal. Given its realistic bent it is the only pragmatic and functional response to the rising prices of food and fuel that are killing the poor anyway.

The Nazis killed the Jews by sending them to the gas chambers and concentration camps. The British starved the Indians through deprivation caused by man-made famines. Either way a human being is murdered. I see no difference between what the Nazis did to the Jews and what the British did to poor Indians living in the villages. The genius of the Indian government takes the wisdom of both the Nazis and the British. It starves the poor when it must and kills them when it thinks they’re turning into a threat. Since we’re arriving at some kind of a dead-end I think Swift’s solution will prove a relief to both the rich and the poor alike.

The poor should start selling their babies as food for the rich – that’s in summary the proposal Swift makes in order to make it “beneficial to the public.” It’s a brilliant proposal, entirely original and state-of-the-art. Swift thought this proposal was relevant to Ireland in the 18th century. He would be surprised if he lived in 21st century globalizing India, the second most populated nation on earth, leader in Information Technology and too many other things to enumerate.

We’re convinced of a couple of things. Poverty cannot be removed and the class divide is there to stay for good. The prone-to-sulking middle-classes are reconciled to this situation. The rich couldn’t be happier because there’s a perennial supply of cheap labor that suits them only too well. It’s the poor who’re our real problem. They can be a thorn in the flesh. Swift’s proposal is a lasting solution for them.

Give your babies to the rich and the powerful, to the owners of corporations and the actors and the politicians and the sports people. Let them eat the babies of the poor. The middle classes can have the leftovers since they’ve a history in this regard. There are enough babies in this country to keep the rich fat, thriving and happy for a few generations. We don’t have to worry about population growth. The bare survival of the poor is assured because they get paid for all the babies that go into the well-lighted, warm kitchens of the rich.

On a more serious note this is the only workable solution in India. We can have a quota system here. As far as baby meat is concerned reservations are limited to the upper classes since the lower classes are bound to the role of suppliers. It would be unfair to deprive our diaspora brethren of a fair share in the baby meat that the rich are enjoying. An American passport holding Indian gets the lion’s share followed by a green card holder. A permanent resident in any other western country comes next in line. Non-resident Indians from other parts of the world will be provided a different quota of baby meat to avoid confusion. This is what the Ministry for Resource Sharing decided after a lengthy debate. We absolutely need this hierarchy to avoid a scramble for poor Indian baby meat in the local markets.

This proposal can ease the pressures of globalization on the third world. Once guaranteed of meat especially from the flesh of babies with parents who cannot make ends meet, Indians need not worry about the rising dollar or the repercussions of the nuclear deal etc. Baby meat from the poor is our new source of wealth. We don’t have to worry about rising oil prices and food prices. In fact other third world countries need to come to India to learn our success story in baby meat. All babies are not the same. There are classes and groups within the baby species and Indians can lead the world in educating what is the best way to do things. We can have a degree in Baby Meat Engineering and scholars and researchers from all over the world can partake in seminars and workshops to establish a university dedicated to eating poor babies. We can have baby meat think-tanks and watchdogs to combat dissenters at an ideological level since success of this kind is bound to create enemies.

What is oil to the Middle-East are babies of the poor to us. Both are sources of wealth. We can have a picture of a slaughtered baby on the national flag. The nations of the west will have something to envy with our astonishing success in the area of baby meat production. Although the original idea belongs to Swift we can patent it because we’re the first to implement it successfully.

A whole new menu will come into existence. The Indian baby meat curry and the Indian baby meat pizza are specialties. There are other varieties too. Babies whose parents were “accidentally” shot by the army and police. Spiced tribal baby meat from Maoist-dominated areas. Special thoroughly exploited baby meat from the famine-stricken regions of Vidarbha and Telangana. Extra spiced South Indian poor baby meat. Deep fried baby meat from murdered girl-children in the liberal, feminist, matriarchal states of Punjab, Haryana, UP and Bihar with lots of empowered women who choose their ways of life for themselves and never heard of the word ‘male-domination.’ Baby meat cooked vegetable style with lentils and greens and so on.

We’ve four hundred million people living below the poverty line. The job of the government and the politicians and the corporations is to make sure that more and more people stay below the line in order to ensure that we’ve a regular supply of baby meat. That’s what they’re doing anyway. But this is just an urgent reminder. There is no question of crime any longer because we’re finishing off crime when it’s still a baby. No need to worry about the rise of extremism or radical left and most importantly no need to worry about the third world debt problem. We can supply babies to IMF and World Bank on an annual basis. With their history of draining the third world they would be glad to accept this proposal. The rich can sleep in peace with doors and windows open now that we’ve arrived at a fair and globally accepted system of doing things.

We don’t have to see starving babies on the streets in the arms of pitifully thin mothers and suffering fathers. That terrible sight will come to an end. We don’t have to worry about the plight of landless labourers and poor farmers committing suicides. Now all they’ve to do is to give their babies to the blood-sucking money-lenders and the private banks who would love nothing better. The governments can relax and the politicians can go on a holiday. Our businessmen from the corporate world are the only people who will be busy because they’ve to keep the slaughterhouses running round-the-clock. I agree that they’re used to it but it’s no easy job given the fact that butchers are in short supply these days and mechanized slaughter apparently takes away the taste of baby meat and turns it bland. Our bureaucrats will be busy as well but these days I hear that they love the work they do.

For a change I can see a smile on the haggard and broken faces of the poor beaten by life and circumstances. I can feel their hearts dancing and souls ecstatic. The media can rejoice too. The flash of “breaking news” will not stop. Journalists are busy and reporters are occupied. This time it’s real news. India’s progress in the baby industry fuels headlines all over the world. Finally, after sixty two years of independence we’ve something to be proud of.

Prakash Kona © 2010