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Normally I don’t repeat the posts for a second or third time. But making an exemption today I am repeating a post- my story that appeared in theHINDU in 2013- in the light of the
discussions that are taking place in the social media and the INDIAN PARLIAMENT for the reading and thinking for action of our esteemed viewers. Today the indispensable ONION is Rs.200/- per Kilo!!!

We cannot live without oxygen but we sure can without onion! Prices cannot go up when onions begin to rot!

In the days of spiralling inflation, when the cost of living soars, when the prices of milk to maida, banana to brinjal, carrot to capsicum, mango to melon skyrocket day by day, the middle class people are the worst hit. Governments and the party in power say they make all-out efforts to contain the prices. Economists quote several factors for price raise. The Opposition parties protest government policies for the pathetic conditions of the people but secretly welcome the difficult times so that they can win the next elections.

Maybe, what cannot be cured must be endured! But I use to wonder whether there is anything in the world that cannot be cured. When I was in my teens six decades ago, I was living at Karaikudi, a part of Chettinad in Tamil Nadu, where the dominant community was indeed rich, orthodox, highly philanthropic and well educated. I used to go out with my mother to the weekly shandy and distinctly remember her purchasing the weekly requirements of vegetables for a family of five for less than a rupee. The womenfolk of that dominant community of Chettinad would boycott any shop in the shandy if the cost there was a little higher than in the other shops. The way they treated the shop keeper charging a higher price was unique and the result was that the town was comparatively cheap and life was smooth. All due to the ‘will to resist’ on the part of housewives.

Sixty years since then, when I find myself helpless managing my household expenses, I wonder whether bringing down the cost of things rests with the government alone or, as an individual, can I have any influence on the uncontrolled rising costs?

Do I resist purchasing onion at Rs.200  or tomato at Rs. 50 a kg? Onion is not oxygen without which I cannot breathe! Supposing people do not purchase beans at Rs. 100 a kg, how long would the shopkeeper keep the vegetable on his shelves? — right from the wholesale merchant to my street vendor? If office-goers as a class desist using their petrol/diesel vehicles and choose public conveyance, won’t petrol price come down? If we boycott the auto drivers charging an unreasonably high fare, can they continue forever by fleecing the people?

Yes, onion is not oxygen! We cannot live without oxygen but we sure can without onion! Prices cannot go up when it begins to rot!

The writer’s email: nvsubbaraman@gmail.com)

It is now for us to decide  whether we can resist the rising prices if we are genuinely worried about it.

So  this much is for this week’s Sunday story. We shall meet tomorrow morning and till then GOODBYE!

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4 thoughts on “ONION OR OXYGEN?


    Repetition is good, when we feel it may possibly come to our rescue in solving an issue!

    Boycott is a powerful weapon capable of righting a wrong inflicted on society, and if it’s total, the wrongdoer will think twice before committing it!

    Is not a trader, bent on feeding his avarice, who unscrupulously makes use of the prevailing demand for something essential, a traitor?

    If the entire society decides against buying anything at exorbitant rates, as is the case with onion, we all, for sure, will head for a win!

    Why not we show this willpower, when we are sought to be pushed to the ground?

    We must remember, sacrifice is the right price to pay, when such encounters threaten us!

    Confused and baffled , the encounters are left with no choice but to drift away from us!


  2. You are right Sir,; whatever we cannot afford it is better to stay away. There was a time when the big onion was rarely seen in the south markets. It is in the last 35 years or so that we have adopted it based on the many recipes that are so much dependent on it 😔


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