Soup kitchens of soul as soup kitchens of stomach

It’s a straightforward story. There are plenty of hungry people in “India Starving”. And there is plenty of foodgrains going waste in “India Rotting”. Give it to the needy for free instead of letting it go waste, says the Supreme Court. Can’t implement the suggestion, says agriculture minister Sharad Pawar.

It’s not a suggestion, it’s an order, reminds the SC. The court can’t formulate policy, says the prime minister of a country who talks too much of 9% GDP growth-rate and too little of eight Indian states accounting for more poor people than 26 African nations put together.

As the tu-tu-main-main continues, Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr looks to the world’s youngest religion for a way out of the logjam, in DNA:

“The Sikhs manage the langar successfully in the gurdwaras and this needs to be replicated in the public sphere. We need the people to do it because we have the means. Why is it not happening? Because there is a moral disconnect. We do not care. It is a damning state of affairs. If we have the means and we do not do anything about it, it means that our hearts are hardened.

“It is much worse than facing hard times. Those who are shouting the loudest on behalf of the poor are no better than those who have turned their faces away from it all because they refuse to act.”

And if the gurudwara example is expanded, and temples and mosques and churches and synagogues, all awash with funds, space, leadership and motivation, become the places to feed the hungry, then…?

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Read the full column: We need public soup kitchens to feed hungry

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