Amongst the glitter of Commonwealth Games, a piece of news that received media attention was India's 67th rank on Global Hunger Index. In its atypical ways, the media, be it print or electronic, dedicated most of its time and energy on finding where India stands compared to its peer. "India ranks below Pak, China on hunger index" dictated Times of India. Catchy headlines are not the complete information. We got to dig deeper to unearth the truth.
The headlines that made the news point to a basic flaw in our thinking. There is a common saying, "don't compare oranges with apples." Now, this needs to be modified to say "don't compare jambul from one tree with jambul from another." Each tree bears fruit with unique taste, be it sweetness or sourness or even the tastelessness. This uniqueness of the plant cannot be compared with anything but the plant itself.
How can you compare your performance with your neighbor's? Your neighbor is not you. You should only compare your performance with your own past performance. Try not to find how tall you stand with your peer, but how tall you stand with your own past, how much you grew at last.
Yes, India has done poorly in comparison to its neighbors, peers, and competitors (sometime, they call them enemies). But the situation has improved since 1990, from a GHI of 31.7 to 24.1. These aren't bad numbers. After all apart from taking care of hunger, we have got numerous big ticket spendings too, e.g., CWG, 30 something state assemblies to run, various scams that needs gornament funding.
Hunger Ranking: Countries with extremely alarming (WHI ≥ 30) or alarming (WHI between 20,0 and 29,9) hunger situation.
|Rang||Country||Global Hunger Index|
|10||Central African Republic||27,4||28,1||30,0|