There is self-righteous indignation among our netas whenever there is a suggestion that Indians are part of the problem with world oil. How can they! That sums up the reaction, which we heard from Murli Deora during one of his recent speeches.
Finance Minister Chidambaram quickly trotted out the line of a price band to Saudi Arabia and the rest of OPEC, without having much to show for insulation of the economically weak within India, when it comes to education, health and shelter.
Although our political greats, puffed up by their own vision of India’s place in the world, would like to think that Indians are not part of the oil problem, many in the rest of the world think we are. That is evident from the Environmental Capital blog on the Wall Street Journal and the several responses to the post.
It cannot be anyone’s case that Indians should not try to achieve economic and social development, but there is no argument to support the energy profligacy of one per cent of Indians, at the cost of the rest. Many more aspirants to the middle class dream would like to swell the ranks of the energy guzzlers, but it is time the Government of India took a firm stand, and reined in these tendencies when it comes to energy.
We would like to have a walking, cycling, bus and train riding middle class, having access to the best facilities for these activities. We don’t want yuppies in Hummers and other SUVs.