My country India, continues to shock me with its paradoxes. Two stories that made the news recently.

For his valiant conduct in capturing an enemy held post in freezing Sialchen glacier in 1987, Capt. Bana Singh was awarded the nation’s highest military honour for gallantry- the Param Vir Chakra. Today he gets a mere Rs. 166 per month paid by the J & K Government for his gallantry He poignantly asks: “A militant gets Rs 2,000 when he surrenders and I get Rs 166 for serving the nation. I am insulted. I am helpless. If the government does not react, I will return my award,” said Capt Singh.

On the other end of the scale, the Government of Maharashtra is planning to spend over Rs. 400 crores to build an airport in Amravati, home of the President of India, Smt. Pratibha Patil.

President of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, Kishor Tiwari told CNN-IBN that he will speak to the President regarding the matter.

“Vidarbha and Amravati has lakhs of families in deep distress. Over 3,000 families have been affected by farmer suicides. But the state government is not spending Rs 50 crore for food security but is ready to spend Rs 400 crore for a new airport. This is very unfortunate. We will talk to Pratibha tai and then take to the roads,” Tiwari said.

Just two of many such stories that abound every day. In one sense we have everything yet in another we have nothing.