New Delhi, Feb 12: Pakodas (fritters, hogging the limelight, thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for promoting the cause of the snack after chai (tea)) have really become pricey.
Till recently, selling pakodas was any other usual job many Indians were forced to do under the open sky. However, these days, again thanks to PM Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s pakodanomics (insisting jobless to take up selling pakodas at roadside stalls), selling pakodas might prove to be a costly affair.
Four students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in the national capital were left with a 'bitter taste in their mouths' for selling pakodas. The students, all members of the National Students' Union of India (NSUI) who took part in a protest on February 5 against Modi's pakoda-selling comment, were fined Rs 20,000 each by the JNU authorities.
During the protest the students sold pakodas outside the varsity building. Along with protest against the PM's comment, the students also expressed their displeasure over the JNU's latest rule of compulsory attendance for students.
According to The Indian Express, along with imposing fines on the students, the JNU authorities withdrew hostel facilities of one of the students and the rest were transferred from hostel.
"There is prima facie evidence that you were involved in blocking the road near Sabarmati bus stand and at T-point near Administrative Block since February 5, due to which inconvenience was caused to students, teachers, staff, visitors and schoolchildren.
"Vehicles carrying essential commodities to hostels, etc; were affected. Further, you were involved in forceful cooking of food at the protest site in spite of repeated requests from CSO (chief security officer) not to do this act. Moreover, you also forcefully laid an electric cable for screening of a movie at protest site at night. The above are acts of indiscipline and unbecoming of a student," read an order by the Chief Proctor dated February 9.
It said that "despite the letter from the Chief Proctor's office dated February 8, which stated 'clear the blockade immediately failing which strict disciplinary action may be initiated against you', you continue to occupy the location of your protest".
"The Vice-Chancellor, in exercise of the powers vested in him... has ordered to impose on you a fine of Rs 20,000 and transfer to another hostel from the present hostel accommodation with immediate effect," read notices issued to three students -- Alimuddin, Mukesh Kumar and Manish Meena.
Another, issued to Vikas Yadav, mentions the fine as well as "withdrawal of hostel facility with immediate effect for a period of two semesters", reported The Indian Express.
Recently, several NSUI members were detained by the police after they held a pakoda-selling protest outside the venue of Modi's rally in Bengaluru.
In an interview Modi stated, "If a person selling pakodas earns Rs 200 at the end of the day, will it be considered employment or not?"
The statement angered several people, as experts and the Opposition continue to attack the Centre on the employment scenario in the country.