This comment comes from an Indian woman living in India. I agree with every world she says. She is right. This is why I support the Maoists in India. They seem to be the only force able to change the country for the better. Everything else has been tried and everyone else has failed. Even most of the Left, Indian social democracy, the Indian socialism of Congress, the Indian Communism of the Indian Communist Party in Bengal, neoliberalism, nothing has worked. The neoliberals say, “Just give us time! Just give us time! It will work after a while.” When is it supposed to start working? They’ve had 62 years. Time to start something new. Neoliberalism in particular has failed. It’s enriched maybe 1 What a delightfully typical Indian middle-class response. Might I ask how much your two-car household (of which one is a Volkswagen – woohoo) pays its maid and how many hours she slaves for that sum? Is she offered a cup of tea from the same crockery that you and your spoilt spawn use? Or does she have a cast-off plastic mug with a crack down the side? Get real! The reason India is a mess because of people like you who quote numbers that reflect your mundane middle class existence in some twisted self congratulatory fashion. Like building tanks? Shame they did not build more power generators and roads of some quality. Or invest in revamping an education system that makes us a nation of unthinking idiots blinded by our own smug mediocrity. This cheap healthcare you speak of? Is it accessible to the 900 million poor? Think your maid could afford cancer treatment for her children at a private hospital…? Or even a simple root canal? This uneven distribution of wealth you are talking about from your substandard ivory tower – by which I refer to whichever building you currently live in – no doubt built on the foundations of bribery, corruption, and poorly paid migrant labour, not to mention seriously compromised building standards – but I digress…This distribution of wealth begins from you and me. One less gold necklace for the wife, one less play station for the spawn, and a fairer wage to those we employ – put your money where your mousepad is. The Government is going to do nothing for the poor in our country… that 900 million who eke out a living in this our MAHAN BHARATH. But given the apathy and false sense of pride we Indians wear today like some sort of holy mantle – and no one may as a result, say anything against it – that just consigns the vast majority of this so called democratic (my arse) nation to live out this misery, passing it on to the next generation with no hope, no sense of a future and no change. This is a country where Chief ministers own TV stations and there are over a million court cases pending. This is a country (in a nation of primarily dark skinned people) were we have a best-selling cream called Fair and Lovely (for f’s sake, does no one get the implications, but me) and a movie industry which perpetuates the myth that being light skinned means being beautiful. This is a country where politicians can march into a restaurant and drag out four girls, beat the crap out of them and no one does anything…this is a country where no one wants to face the truth. We are where we are today, because of a multitude of factors, driven by international market forces, not our own so-called greatness. because we are not that great. We are unthinking, we are complacent, we are arrogant and most of us – let’s face it – are pretty damn stupid. Indian journalism…I have never seen worse journalism in my life. Diluted, watered down rubbish is what the media gives us, while it airs advertisements of how brilliant we are as a nation. Yes we are filthy – even the middle classes and above. Most of us are unaware of deodorant – though God knows most of us need it and it’s happily available. As a nation, our parenting skills are the worst on the planet. With children being kept up at silly hours, babies sleeping with parents till they are teenagers, and learning the same bad habits we acquired from our parents…and as for our social and religious hypocrisy – we could teach Saudi Arabia a thing or two. I keep using the word ‘we’ here, because you see Rahul, I come from the privileged classes, I went to some of the best and oldest public schools in the country and am a member of most of India’s most ridiculously posh colonial clubs. But luckily for me, I see through the very thin veneer of 21st century civilization we cover ourselves with. Underneath it, we have not changed for 2000 years. And no amount of car manufacturing, or tanks or UN reports or self-glorification is going to change that fact. The only thing that will change it is when people like you – my peers – wake up to how awful we really are as a nation on so many counts. You can bang on about our colonial masters and tell me how bad it was and how wonderful our dhoti-clad Mahatma was…but without a thought would deny our fellow brothers and sisters an decent wage or plain simple human rights. Frankly…I would cheerfully welcome back the British. Give me a Margaret Thatcher over an Indira Gandhi any day. Or a Tony Blair over a Manmohan Singh in a heartbeat. We are socially sick, morally destitute, spiritually bereft and politically corrupt and the only reason we deny it as much as we do, is because we know all of this is true. Want to do something for India…well stop rabbiting on about the tanks and wheat exports and car manufacture and our civilized behaviour and wake up and smell the roses. or in our case, our neighbors’ rotting garbage neatly deposited in front of our front gate. Your views above are valid and they work…for a small, small fraction of India’s population. It is however not true, not by a long shot for the vast majority. Does this not concern you, at all? Does your pride in our country not make you want the same privileges for everyone? And even if you say you do, I’m inclined not to believe you, because how else would you have a maid come and sweep and clean for you everyday for a pittance, unless she was deliberately kept poor and stupid, by a ruling class and a political and social system that thrives on oppression and control and domination. And oh you know what else…I hope the whole world wakes up and sees what a mess we are…we need to be collectively shamed into making things better. Nothing else will move us – and frankly I’m not sure even that will. We will progress – as momentum gathered over the years and our massive population will ensure the economy continues to grow. But your Playstation addicted child’s (I can’t believe you said that so proudly btw) child may see a different country and it wont be a better place. Today we have a polluted, corrupt, elitist society – and you sunshine, are part of the problem. You and everyone else like you. But if you plan on telling me how unpatriotic and overly Westernized I am…feel free. Patriotism is not blind faith. It is the recognition and subsequent correction of a problem. And we have too many. Starting with a mindless, automaton middle class steeped in it’s arrogance and self-righteousness. Let’s make a change there! I for one would like to call for a mass, cross country non-violent action – let’s not vote again for any leader, let’s not pay taxes, let’s picket peacefully outside our politicians houses and refuse to co-operate with the Government until they start doing their fucking job. Like creating sensible policies, promoting on merit, holding themselves fully accountable and fire-able for non-performance. Why are the civil services in India given housing, or cars and drivers and peons and all that malarkey? On one hand the Government bleats incessantly about our colonial past, tearing down beautiful old building,s changing names of roads and towns and cities…and yet they cling to the worst aspects of tat colonial rule…an awe and reverence of the Government Servant. In a democratic country they are there to serve us, not the Queen, but we haven’t quite worked that out have we? I would also like to add at this point that for a country that breeds like rats, and that gave the world the Kama Sutra, we are sexually repressed and ignorant – to put it very mildly. And that could be a whole other conversation. I could go on and on…but a word to Mr Lindsay… ashamed as I am to admit it…Kudos…you summed up India – the real India – perfectly. And it is my sincerest hope that someday I can say otherwise. My views make me a pariah in my own country…but I see myself as voice in the wilderness… no doubt I will be beheaded. My apologies to you for using this space to have such a rant, but in my humble and much-disliked opinion…every little helps! Indians need to hear this from another Indian. And a female Indian at that! 🙂 In my next life, I shall be born as a particularly objectionable reptile of some sort for not being a true-blue daughter of the soil.
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