Relieve us of our burden, Mr Pawar

He should be completely freed of his burden so that he can play cricket


BV Rao | July 10, 2010

Sharad Pawar has never been particularly known for giving up anything, least of all power and portfolios. Yet, on Monday, a few days after taking over as the head of the International Cricket Council (ICC), he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to request the latter to “reduce the burden” of his ministerial work.

“Burden”, did you say Mr Pawar? The responsibility of producing food grains for 1.2 billion people, the responsibility of looking after the interests of 1.2 billion consumers and the responsibility of delivering food to about 850 million poor people, is that what you call a burden, Mr Pawar?

For six years spanning two terms of this present government you have held on to the three most important portfolios, you would not flinch when people pointed out that the same minister cannot look after the interests of farmers and consumers at the same time, you did not let go of any one of the ministries. But within six days of taking over ICC you have realised what a great burden all these ministries are on your time?

Pray, what have you done in the six years that you can’t carry this burden anymore? In the six years of your agriculture ministership, thousands of farmers have committed suicide, you are not known to have lifted your little finger in support of consumer rights and the less said about the public distribution system the better.

In these six years we cannot remember one instance where we could say you acted in public interest or accomplished something for the larger public good, apart of course, from predicting with great precision when and by how much prices of sugar, rice and milk would ride up by.

Mr Malcom Speed, a former ICC boss, has said that a man who is responsible for feeding 1.2 billion people can only be a part-time ICC president. He is wrong, Mr Pawar. A man who is ICC president can only be a part-time minister. And in your case, an unwilling part-time minister.

No, Mr Pawar, the ministries you so zealously held to your bosom for six years have not suddenly become a burden on you. You have become a burden on them. If I were the prime minister, I wouldn’t  agree to lessen your burden. I would completely free you of all burden. Go play cricket, Mr Pawar.



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