Tuesday, August 07, 2007

India - A Study In Contrasts

I had occasion to read two posts recently - posts written by two friends , one on how Indians compare to the western 'developed' world , the other on the tragic happenings in our underbelly , something all of us conveniently prefer to ignore. The two posts provide the perfect answer to why India can never be uniformly developed , why the gap is just too great - between a middle class looking to the west , criticising the poverty , the dirt , all that we *know* is wrong with our country - and the truly under privileged , whose story we just dont bother to hear.

We ( I count myself amongst the cursing middle class ) , prefer to gripe about the system , about why the buses dont run on time, how the garbage is never collected, why the politicians are so corrupt, how the whole system is wrong etc etc. And the rationale for all this criticism ? We are tax paying citizens, and have a right to determine how our hard earned money is spent. Spare a thought for our fellow citizens, who never had a decent meal , no proper health care facilities, in fact arent even educated enough to protest , like the rest of us civilized folks.

Next time you see that potholed road and open your mouth to complain, spare a thought for this gentleman. His breed proves the saying, 'Hands that serve are holier than hands that pray' (or complain!!!).


ReadnRyte said...

Identifying that we live in a world that is not truly equal for all its citizens itself is a beginning. The problem stems from the fact that as we go along 'lifes highway'...we take on commitments that take away the lil space that we have within us to take a stand and we end up trying to stay afloat...

Ahh...such a pity


Chitra Shenoy said...


As you have quoted my post here, I have to disagree to some things what you say.First thing, my post was never a middle class criticising all that is bad in India. My post was just what aspect of other cultures we dont see and why India is not becoming a developed country.May be my comparisons made you think that I was beholding western culture and not bothered about my country.

If you remember I had an earlier post in which I had made clear my apprehensions about how the other half lives in India. The post is titled ' Images of a super power'.You can also see ' India not shining'. I guess we are all talking about the same point, why the gap between rich and poor in India is so stark.Apathy from all of us, especially Gov and mainstream media might be one of the reasons.I agree it is important to have wholesome development of which everyone can enjoy the benefits and no one, especially the poorest of poor is penalised for that.

Also you are saying we are criticising Gov for not spending our tax money properly.I have no grouse if the tax money was spent on the really needy like those tribals. Instead what is happening.Its is (mis)utilised for foreign trips of our MLAs and MPs and all other crap.So I guess it is natural for anybody to think their hard earned money is going for a waste. And dont you believe that any country needs good infrastructure for its development.Writing or complaining is the least thing we can do.Or should we be like some people whose only aim to leave India and settle abroad with an extravagant lifestyle.(Being in IT , you know how many such people are there)

Anyways your comaprison of the 2 blogs seemed a little far fetched to me.Sorry for leaving comments that are longer than the actual post.:)

Anonymous said...

why no blogs nowadays?

Kirthi said...

hey there!! were r u?? no blogs?

Geordee said...

I read a book recently - Games Indians Play. It expresses the same sentiments. Mr Raghunathan takes the issues to game theory, and concludes that we end up in lose-lose quadrant, instead of a win-win bargain. He spoils the public toilet, so do I. He jumps the queue, so do I. He doesn't care, so do I. It's a worth read though I do not fully agree with his retaliation strategy.