Showcasing its award winning journalism, the leftist propaganda website The Wire has managed to find fault with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Ujjwala scheme, which aims to provide cooking gas connections to rural households. The scheme was launched in May 2016 to safeguard rural women from health hazards, which they are exposed to due to cooking in smoke emitting chulhas.
An article published by The Wire has tried to argue that these attempts to provide LPG connections to rural households did not truly represent “rural development” or “women empowerment”. To further this argument, the article presents case of some families in a village in Tikamgarh in Madhya Pradesh, whose business of selling clay pots suffered after people in the village started using cooking gas.
Since clay pots are to be used with traditional chulhas that emit smoke and particulate matters, villagers stopped buying them after getting LPG cylinders and modern stoves under the Ujjwala scheme. This loss of business is argued in the article as a proof that the scheme doesn’t help in rural development.
Further, since many clay pot makers who lost business were women, the article went on to argue that giving cooking gas connection to rural household was not women empowerment. The article makes the following comment:
As the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana burgeons on, promising LPG connections to five crore BPL households in the country, such communities – like this one dependent on selling clay cooking utensils – are not only losing their livelihood but also being sacrificed in the name of “rural development”.
Yes, The Wire’s journalism supports the idea that Ujjwala scheme is “sacrificing” some communities “in the name of” rural development and women empowerment.
For some strange reason, The Wire article doesn’t talk about caste at all. A mention of caste of those whose business of making clay pot suffered would have made it a perfect article as Prime Minister Modi could have been accused not only of being anti-poor and anti-women, but also anti-Dalit. It was a sad day for journalism to see The Wire falter on this front, despite coming up with a brilliant article in run up to assembly elections.
Nonetheless The Wire article has opened eyes of lakhs of urban dwellers who had joined the “Give it up” campaign that was launched to help the Ujjwala scheme. Under #GiveItUp campaign, people were requested to forego subsidies on their LPG connections, so that the same money could be used to provide connections to rural households. The readers must be repenting their decisions as LPG connections to rural India has destroyed the rural economy and rendered women jobless.
Earlier, The Wire had opened eyes of many readers who thought building toilets in rural India was a good idea. The website had published a similar article that highlighted how certain people in a Chhattisgarh village wanted the freedom to defecate in open, and toilets were being “forced upon” them.
In that article, The Wire showed how Prime Minister Modi had taken away the rights of people to take a dump in open through his Swachchh Bharat Abihyan (Clean India Campaign), which was only a sign of rising fascism in the country.
Recently The Wire had also blasted union ministers and BJP leaders Rajyavardhan Rathore and Kiren Rijiju for promoting physical fitness. Both the leaders had started #HumFitTohIndiaFit campaign on social media requesting urban dwellers to take some time out to do simple workouts in offices or homes, which The Wire felt was an “elitist” idea. It goes without saying that The Wire had its share of problems with International Yoga Day too.
Sources say that The Wire will soon publish a news report on how villagers are not liking it at all to be treated in modern hospitals under Ayushman Bharat scheme. Some villagers in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh desperately want to go back to Hakeems and road side quacks, who have lost livelihood due to the elitist medical insurance scheme. Hakeems are usually Muslims and Muslims are living under fear in Modi’s India, sources at The Wire say.