Crisis Of Identity

The Shame List

Sankara Narayanan

After the "historic" launch of satellites by the ISRO, euphoria and chest thumping reached a crescendo. But several media and a few notable personalities from the West questioned the wisdom of this showmanship while India continued to languish in terrible poverty. This was not taken kindly by many of persons in power in general and sycophants in particular (Though they mildly reacted to the native criticism). They responded to the criticism by berating and abusing the Western critics. They were virtually asked to shut up and mind their business. Several social media critics poured their heart out: "West is jealous of our scientific and technological advancement. They criticise us because they can't do such feats now. They are no more our rulers. Let them shout. We don't care."

But they do care. This section is longing for foreign education, job, dollar, appreciation and Foreign Direct Investment. If it is favouring them, they ask the native critics to shut up citing the encomium from the white skin. When a discordant view comes from the West, the same section suddenly becomes 100% swadesi, hysteric and turns to abusing. A real skin disease syndrome!

Whenever the UN or American Senate or British Parliament recognises Yoga or Gita or Veda, the elites of this country are at the top of the world. But when the UN and British government wanted to include caste discrimination as a human rights violation, they were furious to tell them to mind their business. Stock retort: "What do you know about our culture?" A clear case of selective amnesia.

Despite this type of empty rhetoric and bravado from Indian rulers and classes since ages, the rulers are not ashamed to beg their Western masters' permission even to appoint elementary school teachers and workers in primary health centres. They are not ashamed to beg them food, medical help, consultancy for building even a minor culvert in an interior village etc. They keep on begging Hl-B visas. They impose conditions that India should allow their highly subsidized agri-produce or medicines at reduced/zero import duty. They shamelessly accept their dictates in the interest of their children to go abroad, knowing full well the disastrous consequences on the Indian farm sector or the native pharma companies.

Well, they are not ashamed to keep on begging the Western masters (they beg even Somalia, Ethiopia likes) to get a permanent berth in the international feudal and Brahminical club viz UN Security Council. Some of them cite that Tatas are the top steel maker blah blah—So what? Please go and see the condition of the people who vacated their homes and lands for Tatas to mine iron ore over last two centuries in Noamundi.

They have no shame to produce doctors, engineers and business managers at the cost of poorest people on earth and send them off to America, Canada, EU and other white countries to subsidise their engineering, medical and business expenditure. They have no shame to accept the dictates of MNC pharma giants to subject their own people as Guinea pigs for unethical and dangerous clinical trials.

The air Indians breathe is turning more toxic by the day, says a new study. According to medical journal The Lancet, over a million Indians die every year due to air pollution and some of the worst polluted cities of the world are in India. The smog over northern India is extracting a heavy toll, every minute two lives are lost in India due to ambient air pollution, the study says. Further, according an estimate by the World Bank, this would amount to a whopping $38 billion loss in income towards labour in India. Just another example of India's scientific and technological advancement. No need to be ashamed of this crisis.

When solar power rates have gone down to the level of Rs 3 per kwhr, Modi last year had agreed to give Westinghouse, the crisis-ridden nuclear MNC, a rate of Rs 15 to 25 per kwhr. India has lost its economic sovereignty to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organisation (aka Yankees) and MNCs since 1991. Why did four lakh farmers commit suicide since 1995? Any idea? Indian elites dance even before they order. Latest example: Less Cash business imposed on those who have no cash.

The Shame list is endless. And these shames are well known to the entire world.

The so-called scientific and technological advances (bakwas) apart, India is the poorest nation in the world. Every minute, four kids parish due to malnutrition and one person succumbs to TB. Everyday 52 farmers are committing suicide. Here Child Mortality and Maternal Mortality figures are world famous. Nearly 50% of Indian girl children get married before attaining the age of 18. Two thirds of Indians defecate in open places. Indian Railway is notorious for converting land an open latrine. Not a day passes without some manual scavengers somewhere in the country getting trapped in gutters to lose their life. Do the great scientists and technologists have a solution to stop the death of the scavengers who handle human excreta? They have none because their kith and kin are not engaged in manual scavenging.

What is the benefit the people at large are deriving from the so-called technological feats? Please have a look at the child's swollen stomach—a sure sign of malnutrition. There is no water here. But scientists go to search water on moon. Can there be a greater shame? What is the use of a technology for technology sake? What is so big about scientific achievement if it cannot solve the sufferings of the people at large?

Please do notice an annual shame list known as Human Development Report released by Western masters. India is far below the Sub-Saharan African nations in very many basic social parameters. Indian satellites and missile bravados apart, this is the pathetic condition: A new report indicates that millions of Indians are excluded from economic progress. An estimated 215 million Indians—roughly the population of Canada and Pakistan combined—are largely excluded from economic progress. These paupers, of sorts, have "zero assets", which means they do not own a television set, a motorcycle, a mobile phone, or any of seven items recognised by the government as being of economic value, official data reveal.

Vol. 49, No.37, Mar 19 - 25, 2017