Chomsky on India

Here. What about India baffles you the most?

I have followed India carefully, and have been there a number of times. It is an exciting country in many ways with its rich culture. But what is really striking to me about India, much more than most other countries I have been to, is the indifference of privileged sectors to the misery of others. You walk through Delhi and cannot miss it, but people just don’t seem to see it. Everyone is talking about ‘Shining India’ and yet people are starving. I had an interesting experience with this once. I was in a car in Delhi and with me was (activist) Aruna Roy, and we were driving towards a demonstration. And I noticed that she wasn’t looking outside the window of the car. I asked her why. She said, “If you live in India, you just can’t look outside the window. Because if you do, you’d rather commit suicide. It’s too horrible. So you just don’t look.” So people don’t look, they put themselves in a bubble and then don’t see it. And those words are from somebody who has devoted her life to the lives of the poor, and you can see why she said that — the misery and the oppression are so striking, much worse than in any country I have ever seen. And it is so dramatic. There is a lot of talk about how India is slated to be a major power, and I can’t believe it, with all its internal problems; China too for that matter, but less so. When my wife and I went to India a couple of years ago, my friend Iqbal Ahmed had told me that I would discover that the press in Pakistan is much more open and free than the press in India. I did not believe him first but when I looked into it, he explained, “The English language press in Pakistan is for you and your friends, and the government just lets them say whatever they want, because there are so few of them to cater to, just a couple of hundred thousand people.”

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19 thoughts on “Chomsky on India”

  1. I saw this in Ireland, albeit in a more attenuated form, some years ago. I was stationed in Germany and I decided to take a cheap flight to the Emerald Isle. This was when they were in their ‘tiger boom’ economic phase, but when I got there and looked around it seemed more like a death spiral. There were junkies, obviously stoned and weaving around, massive high-rise housing projects like what one is accustomed to seeing in American slums, blocks and blocks of squalid pubs, and “Paddy Power” gambling venues.
    They aren’t as suicidal with their immigration policy as the rest of Europe, but I saw quite a few African immigrants swarming through the streets of Dublin. I ran into a fellow American who was touring the downtown area, and he whispered to me: “If they keep it up, this’ll be Dubtroit.”

      1. Robert , why do you think American corporates and EU like to do business in India
        I understand , there are lot of resources to be mined and cheap labor for exploitation,but i strongly believe india is a geopolitical liability
        India is a dead nation, infact the people who are protesting against corruption 10 months ago are not worried about corruption,most of Anti corruption activists in India are neck deep in Scams.
        From my observation, No one in India is worried about anything than the money he makes and if his kids live in EU,UK or US,AUS or canada. If he can escape the shithole permanently and how he can possibly protect his assets..(having lived in India for 22 years, i am not worried about the country, it may go to dogs,i care less, and most of the society even cares less, atleast i am frank and they are hypocrites)
        Most indians dont deserve freedom..everything in India looks artificial, from Dress to culture to Architecture.
        -Gandhi was right when he said- Modernity is something which is forced on Indian subcontinent
        South asia will remain as a shithole atleast for another 1000 years, I am not sure about Artificial boundaries which were carved by British in 1947, I believe they will change.
        And fragmentation of india is better for all under privileged people.
        Artificial unity of both india and pakistan survives on Hatred and Religious differences
        This is the prime reason why Hindutva groups use religious card and Islamists in pakistan use Shariah to gain political power.

        1. I am a researcher,Never relied on Welfare,In fact i earn 48000 € Basic pay + € 2200 Konrad Adenauer Scholarship money in EU,Never been to US, never been unemployed in my career so far.

        2. Certainly your comments sound like worth much more than 50,000 Euros! But would you mind charging your organization a little extra or putting up a donation button for taking the extra effort to hit the space bar, and releasing the shift key after hitting the comma key? Or was it just the half the bottle of Champagne that you have already finished, huh? 😉 Anyway, I really do believe you are someone quite respected, at least like if I take your name in your neighborhood, everyone’s eyes gleam with pure respect and recognition for you; and you are just suffering from what most great writers have suffered in the beginning of their careers — the lack of proper platform. Have you ever tried to voice your opinions somewhere else than on this blog?
          BTW, I think 50,000 Euros are enough to hire a luxury yacht and go on a holiday in the Mediterranean, but I see you have devoted your life in rendering selfless service to mankind. Keep up the great work! I’m sure you’ll leave an enchanting legacy behind you.
          My sincere regards,

      2. India has bought misery,illiteracy,poverty and ignorance to millions
        Still i dont understand why CIA or Other intelligence agencies stage a Color revolution to balkanize this shithole once for all
        Instead of messing with arabs, you should have separated India into 10 parts
        India is creating next generation of underfed useless kids , their mind is evolved for only blue color jobs
        I strongly think Indian Elite Follow ArthaSastra it was a book written by kautilya and it describes political philosophy, Just like Machiavelli has written The Prince, Kautilya was written Artha Sastra where in he suggested that an Emperor must starve 80% of his population so that they are just fit enough to do menial tasks and rarely they will protest against his rule

    1. who did this video? Excellent motif, but I feel sad that is Ireland today. I had a very profound love for the Irish and what they stood for. They waited for 800 years to gain their freedom and they gave it away ( to the international bankers) in a matter of a few years!

  2. If Chomsky said it, I gotta respect it.
    The case of Aruna Roy though is obviously not that she didn’t care about the poor. Its that she cared so much that it hurt her to look. Right?

  3. “But what is really striking to me about India, much more than most other countries I have been to, is the indifference of privileged sectors to the misery of others.” This observation is striking. I would like to know how he came to this conclusion because it is exactly what you have been saying.

  4. Hinduism it the oldest, best religion in the world. You Christians will suffer at our hands someday. Already we are taking over your white countries and sleeping with the white daughters. Soon you will be our slaves and we will take revenge on Christians for spoiling great Hindu civilization.

      1. The Indian above is a fool ! And not all Indians are Hindus…some are Christians, and long before Europe. India has some good points also, as well as Nigeria & Africa. I shall let you know in due course. You dey be really mad at the Indians & Nigerians o !

    1. Fuck off ya Hindoo,
      You slumdogs dont belong here.
      Ya’ll have to carry your sorry asses back to India
      Would personally love to drop ya off at the airport
      And for fucks sake just put on a deo and wear off that curry odor.

    2. Ramesh Patel,
      This is wrong you cannot speak like this. This is not hinduism. Read history. HIndu Kings never touched defeated kings wife, This is our culture. It is christians and muslims used to do that. You cannot feel proud by sleeping with white girls. Anyhow defeating other country is not our motive. The west is moving towards hinduism. 24% Americans believe in re birth which is not a christian concept. This is the vitory of Hindu faith. We will explain historical crimes comitted by xians and change their heart

  5. You basterd Christians think Hindus are asleep. We will take over your countries and force you to kiss our bums. We are already killing Christians in India and we will soon do the same in your white countries. Jai shree ram

  6. The mentality of Muslims is also responsible for the downfall of India.They think that they are looked upon as inferior by Hindus and that the Indian government isn’t attentive to their needs which is true to a certain extent,so(according to them)the only way to exercise control over India is by outnumbering the Hindus and hence mostly every Muslim household has 3-4 children.This increases overpopulation and further strains the administration.

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