why do people go to doon school or st.stephens?

because they won't go to any other school. just the way swaminathan aiyar says the rich won't buy wheat atta mixed with soya. it's called self-targeting, as he explains, and is the best way to ensure the poor get the necessary nutrition, according to him. because:
Clearly, only non-hungry people will prefer quality over quantity.
the poor, clearly, have no taste.

and rice, quality again, should be replaced with coarse grains like jowar or bajra, because rice offers an incentive for 'massive diversion through the pds', because it is an expensive cereal and black marketers who have no respect for taste would siphon it away before it reaches the fair price shops. will jean dreze and amartya sen agree with aiyar on replacing rice with jowar, bajra?

that's the stage the debate on food security in india had reached as of september 2010 when aiyar wrote the linked article: aiyar seems ok with dreze on not targeting beneficiaries. the brahminical right agreeing with the brahminical left. the tasteless poor should rejoice, i think.

but the black marketers, as i pointed out earlier, have no respect for taste, or caste. and i am sure they won't ever get the momentousness of aiyar agreeing with dreze, and will not pause to reflect on their misdeeds or renounce their ways. subsidised rice or jowar or bajra-- there'll always be enough buyers who can't resist the temptation to grab a significant portion of the grain before it reaches the fair price shops or the ultimate consumers. the yawning gap between the price of grain at the fair price shop and the market will always ensure that.

and now, there's not much point in clamping down on the food black market or whatever the food bandits are called. after the andhra pradesh govt announced the rs.1 per kg rice scheme a few weeks ago, a lot of pds rice (or a lot more) started getting diverted to liquor distilleries, according to news reports. the liquor producers now find the subsidised rice much cheaper than maize. and subsidised jowar or bajra would be equally welcome in distilleries. and the ethanol producers would also be waiting, i'm sure, somewhere around the corner of the busy street leading to the fair price shop.

the doon school or st.stephens etc were not self-targeted at the wise: people like swaminathan aiyar went there because they had the money, or the social capital. neither translates to wisdom, or taste, automatically. so the poor, which means low caste automatically in india, need money or social capital, which means caste most times, not jowar or bajra or rice. because jowar or bajra or rice are self-targeted at money and caste here.

so what does it all boil down to, this debate on food security which seems to engage diverse, and seemingly antagonistic, political sections of savarna society? it means aiyar won't part with any part of his caste, which in turn means the vaishya-like black marketers won't stop yielding to temptations in order to make life easier for the less fortunate shudra sections of society;  and dreze will not (let the government) part with any money, which means the shudras will have to continue to remain powerless, stupid and hungry in a market driven by money. food security is the new big farce playing in town.

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