The BJP leaders and ministers have virtually tired the people by harping on the slogan— Sab ka sath sab ka Vikash (development of everyone) as they find the reality diametrically opposite. While there is a boosted development of the ruling monopolists, the common toiling masses are being pushed towards the precipice of destitution, if not utter ruination. The monopolists and the super-rich are blessed with plethora of tax concessions and waivers, condoning loan defaults and opening of new and newer avenues to reap maximum profit through favourable government policies and liberal privatization of various sectors. But for the oppressed downtrodden, what is prescribed is withdrawal of whatever little rights and facilities they are still having.
Latest is the scrapping of government scholarships to the economically marginalised sections. Hitherto, the students of SC, ST, OBC and minority section (students of six minority religions) used to get a monthly stipend of Rs. 225/- (non-residentials) and Rs. 525/- (residentials) for ten months in a year along with one-time allowance of Rs. 750/- and Rs. 1000/- respectively for purchasing books. The Central Government and the State Government used to bear 75% and 25% of this financial responsibility. But the BJP-led Central Government has already stopped the scholarship for OBC students up to class VIII. Now that is extended to the students belonging to the economically marginalized SC, ST, OBC and minority sections thereby making them worst victims of commercialization of education.
The Central Government has argued that as the students from class I to class VIII receive free education, they should not get any scholarship. On the same logic, it can be said that as the monopoly tycoons are making fabulous wealth, they should no more be allowed any financial concession of any form. But this government, like a one-eyed deer, is prone to see the interest of only a tiny section of ultra-rich while the oppressed and deprived millions are left to fend for themselves. Who does not know that classroom education in government schools bereft of any infrastructure as well as sufficient number of teachers is not sufficient for a student now. So, they try to go for private tuition, if affordable.
Secondly, textbooks as well as exercise books are becoming costlier with every passing day. How would the underprivileged students buy them? Union Finance Minister has informed Parliament that banks have written off bad loans (virtually belonging to corporates) worth Rs 10.09 lakh crore in the last five financial years. The central exchequer has lost tax revenue worth nearly Rs 1.84 lakh crore in two financial years due to lower rate of corporate tax. If these losses can be borne, what little expenditure the government would save by curtailing the meagre aid of Rs. 225/- to the economically marginalized students? We know the government has no answer to this other than playing the broken record of Sab ka sath sab ka Vikash.