I eat, uncle Sam whines  

Posted by Nitu in

[This post is a reaction to the recent comments made by the US president, Bush and Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice on the recent inadequate supply of food items in US. Both have suggested developing countries like India, China are contributing to the shortage, because these countries are eating nutritious now. I don't have much expertise to debate the topic by picking up some points from how world economy behaves or functions, however I feel I can say a few words from my own personal experience.]

What happens when you eat from the king's plate? You are likely to get hanged.
What happens when you eat from his store house? You are likely to get imprisoned.
What if from his farm? You are likely to get whipped.
From someone's farm where he has been eying for the finest fruits? He whines..he shouts..he almost categorically blames, "you are doing wrong".
For we only have the right to eat when he is done. For we have been born to fill-up our stomachs always with the left-over and the fallen grains off his opulent plate.

Sorry, mighty king, I defy. And I have been deprived long enough to shout it loud now.

Getting reared in a village where the poor farmers sweat every nook and corner of their weak bodies through out the year, I witnessed an appalling fact. They always sell the finest crops or fruits that they produce (baring the small pie kept aside for festive days or farming related ceremonial events/rituals). Because that is the only way they can optimize their earnings and subsequently can buy a few more units of the essential items. All the time they and their children have to be content with the left-over. Even with my tender age, I could see this social injustice. I cringed to say, they deserve better.

None of the village children had the balanced nutritious diet. Mal-nutrition was widespread. What every town kid takes for granted now a day, those calorie, protein, vitamin enriched horlicks, cerelacs never went to a child's mouth unless he/she was terribly sick. The choice was evident, if you don't want to live naked, then you have to live with a few protruding ribs.

India has been the poor farmer for long long time, always exporting the finest grains to the rich countries. Introducing plenty of export rules and quality norms, the kings always have managed to get the finest breeds, the finest green tea, the Basmati rice etc. About two-third of Basmati produced in India is exported. Basmati- pleasant aroma, superfine grains and extreme grain elongation -the destination of this premium rice? Mostly UAE, UK and USA. And the takers of non-basmati rice are Bangladesh, Nepal, African countries. Not surprising, huh.

Today the poor farmer has garnered a few bucks. And with that it can afford to keep a good amount of its finest productions for itself. The kings call it act of imbalancing. Is it? Nay, it is about getting balanced. I have a stomach that can digests Basmati rice and a pocket that can afford it, why king's stomach is churning? I am claiming my daily protein intake today, why the king is fearing if in the process he is losing a little flabby fats!

Surprising yet the fact of beer and liquor. With my a few extra bucks, I am drinking like never before ( just pick up any recent liquor consumption survey in India). However, uncle Sam is not even blinking!! The reason is clear. Uncle Sam is producing and stocking them day and night in tons. When you can't miss a thing, you have to ensure the thing on your own, right? Aah, alcoholic Sam is smart in the matter of alcohol. But dear uncle, if you can't lose your those extra flabs, then produce more corn and rice.

By the way, uncle, if you have to eat daal-bhaat once in a week, that's not that bad. Rather, good for health. After all crores of India's population is living on them. Oh yes, how you will know this fact? Because aren't you a person like queen Marie Antoinette, who said, "what, they don't have bread? Then let them eat cake."

It is surprising that uncle Sam's lack of food is food for my thought today :)

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 4, 2008 at Sunday, May 04, 2008 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Once again the elected leaders in Washington have their collective heads up their collective asses. Not to be out done a good many people in America have been congratulating themselves on buying cars that run partially on ethanol which has is made from corn taking it away from human consumption. This is also driving up prices on milk and meat which the cows, of course, which are raised on corn.
Bringing more dark sick humor into this silliness years ago many in America had gardens to grow beans and vegetables to help feed the family. Now in this day and age many of the suburbs here have rules forbidding such activities since some feel it makes a neighborhood "look bad". So Americans now are not only fat living off the world in many cases they wouldn't know how to grow food if their life depended on it. All of what I have written is in general terms with exceptions in many places but is basically a overview of the situation here.

May 4, 2008 at 4:03 PM


only Bush can make such blunders.......

One of the reason for this food crises is the shift of framers from food based crop to fuel bases mainly bio-fuel........

"what, they don't have bread? Then let them eat cake."........this is cool...

May 4, 2008 at 10:27 PM

hey great post there!!
i read dat in the newspapers n was equally disgusted, but then is it not what we do to our fellowmen as well wen we dont look at inclusive growth??

May 4, 2008 at 11:06 PM

farmers have been continuously pushed to the hilt because of all the vested interests of the middlemen. and when private players like reliance come in to purchase directly from the farmers at higher prices, we raise an issue (read: communists). when will we learn?

May 5, 2008 at 11:21 PM

:-) The national dailies had carried an article comparing the food consumption. They are still eating much more than us.

May 7, 2008 at 8:05 AM

@Beach Bum

Thank you so much for giving a general overview of first-hand experience. I have read about the ethanol factor. While personally I like to see innovations happen, I don't see any rationale if it happen by directly hitting our stomach and general equilibrium. The innovation and development should always happen without creating a sense of crisis panic. N because somethings don't look good in the eyes of others, so many things we don't follow, it is so ridiculous. Is it an universal human trait?
While here in India, I am proud of what a middle-class aspiring generation can do to the country, I am equally worried about our poor section. This is a country with the largest under the poverty line population. The govt here in the name of industrialization is eating up the farming land without introducing any effective measures to increase the output of the existing farms.True, there has to be development, but it should happen in right way.

PS- Thanks for blogrolling me :)

May 9, 2008 at 6:03 AM

Yeah, many times the politicians shout some intriguing words :)
As Beach Bum has said look I have got a bio-fueled car situations is also a factor, it seems.
Thanks for dropping by.


So true..while we are so reactive to the outside world, so protective abt our country, how far we care about our own fellow men who are fighting for the basic needs? A nation includes the whole population, not just the middle-class, right?

Exactly. We need to forgo our hallow protective and reactive skins. The colonial British had left long before, but we have grown our own indigenous leeches.


You are right about food consumption. US intake is far above than ours ( I read that article too, but forgot the figures). While Bush is worried about middle-classes of India, he is least bothered that India also has more than 10 Somalia in it.

May 9, 2008 at 6:18 AM

That was very thought-provoking!

Have a nice weekend :)

May 9, 2008 at 6:21 AM

Thank you. Yup, over the weekend I am going to spare a few food grains for the king :)

May 9, 2008 at 6:38 AM

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