This refers to the report that our MPs held up the proceedings in the Lok Sabha because they were dissatisfied with the 300 per cent hike in their salaries, from Rs.16,000-Rs.50,000 a month. An average Indian earns less than Rs.50 a day. That our MPs are dissatisfied with their hike is a matter of shame. Among the elected representatives, the MPs undoubtedly get the maximum benefits. Despite this, a number of them do not show any interest in attending Parliament. Even if they do, a substantial time is wasted on unproductive work.
I refer to a British media report “The man who lives without money.” It is about Mark Boyle, who gave up using money since 2008 and loves his new lifestyle. I think our government should invite him to India and ask him to address our MPs, who are not satisfied with a 300 per cent salary raise.
Our MPs have every legitimate right to demand a pay hike. But they should be made more accountable for their work. They should show progress to people of their constituencies at regular intervals, rather than visit their constituencies during elections. They should attend Parliament regularly and play a constructive role in debates rather than disrupt the House frequently.
K. Vinaya Kumar,
It is shameful that people's representatives have given themselves the right to fix their emoluments, as per their fanciful assessments. Even if their monthly emoluments could be discussed at some length, how is the increase in their air travel justified? Why can't they set an example by travelling economy class? Could these savings not to be used for better allocations in the social sector, for which the government always has an alibi of not having enough resources? Do MPs not have the responsibility of ensuring social equality to the 78 per cent of people who earn less than Rs. 20 a day?
A whopping three-fold increase in the salaries of MPs when people are groaning under galloping inflation! Even more distressing is that they want more. Now that the MPs have got their raise, will the government inform Parliament how many of them have PAN cards, how many of them have filed their IT returns in the last three years and how many of them pay tax on their income?
Our MPs are the most privileged section of society. They can vote for whatever increase they want, 300 or even a 600 per cent hike. But is it proper to vote for such an increase when half the people are going without even one square meal a day? I vividly remember when the first salary revision was made from Rs. 350 to Rs. 400, Comrade A.K. Gopalan — ‘AKG' as he was affectionately called — a leader of the masses, cryptically remarked: “It is not for this we have been elected”, and refused to take the increase.
Politics ought to be a form of social service, not something for which people expect to be paid. We pray and wait for politicians of the calibre of Rajendra Prasad who drew only half his pay when he was the President.
Mazin Mehaboob Chakkarathodi,
I was amazed on seeing the cartoon (Aug. 21) on the issue. I am sure all apolitical readers agree with the message conveyed by it.
The cartoon was spot on. When I first read the headlines about the pay hike, I thought to myself what our MPs draw as salaries and perks is peanuts for them compared with the money they spend on the elections, not to mention corruption.
As a reader of The Hindu for 30 years, I compliment the newspaper on condensing a page of news in a simple cartoon. Our MPs have been unanimous in demanding an exorbitant hike in their pay and perks. What is painful is that they have made a mockery of our poor country by demanding more.
Keywords: MPs' salary hike