It boils down to…

… trust and fairness.  That is how these two columns characterise the end-game or final negotiations between Greece and the Troika (EU, IMF and ECB). Is it still a troika or just the duo of EU and the ECB? I do not know. It does not really matter. All that matters might be Germany or just Mr. Schäuble, the German Finance Minister. That is not important now. In any situation involving two or more sides (including in families between parents and children, between spouses), for agreement, for progress or a deal to materialise, these two ingredients are must. Without that, even a brokered deal would quickly turn sour and/or leave a bitter after-taste. The issue would never really be settled. Perhaps, Greece and the other side have reached that point. From hereon, even if there is a settlement, it is more likely than not, that at least one side feels bitter about it.

What is the state of Trust and Fairness in the Indian society? They are in dire need of resuscitation. The latest evidence comes from this article on Indian food safety. The issue is not about what food to consume in India, safely. It goes far beyond that. Just reflect on some of the practices that producers/sellers engage in. Where is fairness and trust in the society?

across India exists the widespread practice, though legally banned, of starving hens for profit. By depriving egg-laying hens of food for 14 days, poultry-owners can save expenses on feed and manipulate the egg-laying cycle. The suffering and drastic weight loss dramatically increases the risk of a hen laying salmonella-infected eggs.

The flour used to make your daily bread, roti, chapati or parantha is also bleached, contains as many as 25 different chemicals, including fumigants, apart from mud, dust, insects and fungus.

n April, 12,000 kg mangoes that had been ripened artificially with the chemical ethephon, a plant growth regulator classified as “dangerous” and “corrosive”, had to be destroyed in Goa by food safety officials. The fruit vendor, looking to make a quick buck, was quite aware of what he was doing: he had donned plastic gloves to dip the mangoes in the chemical.

It is clear that India is a few steps from collapse as a society and a long way off from becoming a civilised and prosperous society. I am reminded of and would like to remind readers of what I wrote nearly three years ago: ‘A purposeless nation’

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