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Old 18th April 2010, 20:05   #1
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Question The Indian Developmental Debate and our role in it

This is a car forum (primarily) but for all its members (and those thousands of silent readers) in ways more than one it’s a way of life. Posts here from about a member falling in love, helping your mom to a pilgrimage, to how to click your baby’s snaps - all of them influence us, shape us, and tell us about how fellow Indians are living their lives, bettering their lives, and helping each other’s lives at this time in history across the world – that to me is the single most attractive part about team-bhp, and that’s why I spend hours poring through posts (we, and I am over-generalizing here:-), as a people like to have opinions and to hear other people’s thinkings (and generally do not act on them, but that it is a different things altogether) – after all, all life is, but a spectacle in India or at least to Indians).

As much as I like to notice how my zen can be made to look like prepped up civic type R, every once in a while going through the numerous threads in this forum, I get these thinking pangs – are we as a generation in India getting more and more fuelled to race within our means (i.e. to the most exotic location Leh, or that PE firm job, or to the most exotic 4X4), and somewhere, are we not being aware of what role we have been unconsciously playing in our this country’s future.

My problem lies in my job, and our jobs (and could mean our businesses, if you are an entrepreneur – draw your own parallel). I am a lawyer, working a big law firm in Bombay. I work in the project finance team (we primarily prepare loan documents for huge loans (thousands of crores) to companies in the infrastructure sector i.e. power plants, ports, telecom etc.). I get paid a bomb, the bankers who work with us get paid bigger bombs, and the companies take home the atom bombs.

Each time I look back upon my education (at least of the liberal arts part of it), and try to justify my work, I fail miserably. I help companies take money, to displace people, and set up plants which will not help such displaced people. Agreed it is all legally done (at least assuming it is, and we have no business as rank third parties having no actual knowledge of ground situations to assume otherwise), should we not as stakeholder in the country’s present, have a thought about whether these things are beneficial to us or whether such process is actually the path best for our country. Even though we did not take economic policy research as our calling in life, as regular citizens, is it not our duty to engage in continuous process of defining the developmental pattern that our country is following. And here, I don’t mean defining it in public fora, I mean, defining it in our daily business of life. If it means putting stringent conditions in the loan agreements regarding resettlement and rehabilitation, may be that could be a start for me.

This is not a call to take up arms, or go hang red flags in our office cubicles. It is just a gentle reminder that once in a while, us drivers of this economy should take a look, and see – are we only driving the economy, or are we driving the country forward (and more importantly, in an inclusive way). Only such introspection from time to time will temper what we have done or what we propose to do the next day in office. And this is for each person to think for his own – for e.g. a person working in an IT company- Do you really think IT companies need that Income Tax subsidy (which could probably be channelized to fund primary education).

Two excellent articles I have been reading and would like to share – (i) www.outlookindia.com | Walking With The Comrades pardon the uber-romanticism of Arundhati Roy, she still does fill a big void in Indian public writing.

(ii) Our man Mr. Guha, of course, is one of the more mainstream, unslottable academicians.
www.outlookindia.com | Unacknowledged Victims

I do not sympathise with naxals, or at least I can’t while I enjoy sitting in Bombay, with no power cuts (hell, not even any voltage fluctuations) and complaining about a 25 min office drive or how “out of the blue” should allow smoking. But I feel the need to start developing a social conscience about the things I do: otherwise if not my children, I will never be able to face any children who have grown up in a displacement camp from an infrastructure project I have helped finance (imagine any Gujurati making a driving trip to the Narmada Valley; will you be able to sympathise with the displaced people there (this is just an example and not to stereotype, i can remove reference if offensive)).

The reason for this article is to find out, do u guys feel this way, as i do?

Last edited by manolin : 18th April 2010 at 20:15. Reason: adding the reason for this article.
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Old 18th April 2010, 21:20   #2
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Sure do Manolin!! We are all affected by the world around us. And by world, I would like to restrict myself tot he world I am in contact with in day to day life. While unlike you, i am in a job which I find very fulfilling personally, at times I am lost for reason. The problems I see around myself are so basic in what is lacking around us that I feel that education has hardly served any real purpose for a many of the educated lot! Why else is corruption rampant? Why do people display so poor civic sense? The list can go on.
Naxals are another example.Are they a manifestation of poor governance or displaced ideology?
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Old 18th April 2010, 23:34   #3
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The role our fathers and our grandfathers have played in the past 60+ years of our in.dependence is amply visible by the fact that you see violence all around you. The non existent infrastructure and the rape of our society and culture and the further plundering of national resources from what the British left behind.

Actually there isnt any point blaming them. We ought to blame ourselves, since we are all the same, we are like sheep. Dumb to the utter core of our daily existence.
India is part of the whole and viceversa. The Indian developmental debate, makes no sense. The human developmental debate does. When humans will develop, India will and so will Africa, the middle east and everywhere else where you see strife and suffering.

An individual is part of the whole society. So, instead of talking of social conscience why not talk about individual conscience. Since you get paid a bomb and fail miserably to justify your work, why dont you quit and start doing something that you can justify. When each one of us starts doing that, that is when you will see change. Real change, that comes from within and not from a debate.

Reality check; that is never going to happen. You are never going to quit your job and im never going to quit mine. We will plant 100 saplings and cut 100 trees and continue to plunder whatever is left. So a debate is just a way to keep the mind busy from SEEING the truth as we continue to fool ourselves while we think that we are fooling the world.

On another note; Development is a human concept, and humans have not developed, you and I are evidence of that. When you develop inwardly the outward will be in sync. In nature there exists only evolution and dissolution. However hard you may try to change or debate that, nature will politely remind you in due course of time that you are wrong.



Let the entertainment continue, the show must go on!!
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Old 19th April 2010, 10:48   #4
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This is something I wanted to talk about for quite some time. I heard Naxals some where
in the thread, well I am quite close to all the action, staying in a village in jharkhand.
This place is a prototype many such places of whats happening
1.Education-No good private run schools in a radius of 50 kms, only govt schools , where there is an entity called para teacher instead of teacher(a teacher in contract) who is supposed to be graduate(its another matter that he/ she bought his/her graduation degree). So such a man cannot impart education of any kind to future generation, let alone quality education.

2. Population- the only reason to use contraception here is govt pays an incentive of 600 INR for women to under go tubectomy. commonly 4-5 children, frequently 6 or more, occassionly 10 or more children.Lack of education leads to many children so is the quest of having as many boys as possible. Marrying age has improved to 18 years but still very early.

3.Health--Leading cuases of death are malaria, TB,diarrhea,and during deliver for females.The Great govt hospitals here have no doctors , the one who work in GOVT setup as burdened with paperwork rather than medicine.
No emphasis on primodial prevention i.e. improvement of lifestyle, sanitation to prevent diseases.

4.infrastructure- well well well, this computer is being run bya 2.5kva inverter which is charged by a 20 kva kirloskar. less than 8 hrs of power from govt. Roads dont exist.villages are still not electrified, those which are , their wires have been stolen by villagers themselves to be sold of in gray market.

5. poverty- 10000INR is a princely sum.all surgeries are done uNder 10000 INR in my hospital including gastrojuj, ortho surgeriesetc.Because they cant afford it.

Naxalism is breeed of all this. give them jobs ,education. Nobody will free time to blow up things and kill people. If even after this operation green hunt they dont do things to improve the general state of affairs, this will ramain a problem. for thoses who have seen charlie harts war , they didnt build schools.

What I m trying to say is There are 2 indias, one includes mumbai, gurgaon,bangalore etc etc , the other various, nameless places like these and the gap is increasing every day.

Last edited by dr.abhijeet : 19th April 2010 at 10:50.
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