December 01, 2006

Not very savoury

Front page of the Hindustan Times today (December 1) has this bold headline above the main news of the day:

Dalit anger singes Mumbai
Four dead; Deccan Queen, buses burned; cars attacked.
Fury of urban underclass boils over

As you know, this is about the violence following the vandalization of a statue of Ambedkar in Kanpur. Some phrases from the item are:
    Violence spread across the city ... shops were shut forcibly and stones were pelted at vehicles. Protestors burnt seven bogies of the Deccan Queen. ... Two persons were killed in police firing .. Two [other] people were killed late on Wednesday night. Over 100 were injured. ... Over 150 public buses and 40 private cars were damaged. ... [P]roblems faced by Dalits across the state -- unemployment, poverty and discrimination -- contributed to the flare-up ... [S]everal Dalit leaders used the opportunity to flex their muscles to extract their pound of flesh.

***

Also on the front page of the Hindustan Times today, adjacent to the above, is a one-column item titled:

Growth at a new high

Reading this, I found these phrases:
    [H]ealthy double-digit growth in manufacturing and services [fueled] the Indian economy [which grew at] over 9 per cent ... in the first six months of the current financial year. ... "Let us savour the moment", Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Thursday. [italics mine]
So you know what, I am savouring the moment. It's not all that savoury.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Items, two. Understanding, nil :-(

regards,
Jai

Pankaj said...

The fact is that both the news items are reporting facts. The violence reported is factual. The finance minister's facts and his remarks are also, well, factual. In their respective contexts, both the news reports are based on facts.

Which is not to say that there is no irony here. We are however so adept at living with contradictions and ironies in our day to day life that it is rarely that they agitate us. It is foolish to pretend that India is shining based on a single economic statistic. But I feel it is equally foolish to ignore this fact and conclude that economic improvement on a wider scale can come about without such growth. The real challenge IMO is to make more people partners in the growth, with minimal discrimination among groups and communities, and in a manner which is ecologically sustainable.

Pankaj

Anonymous said...

There you go again. Social Justice, Criminal Justice....these are old things now...."Chhodo kal ki baatein, kal ki baat purani..." as Chacha Nehru would say.

I think we rally need to ignore and forget old ideaologies like Justice, equality, fair play. Its time we all give up our personal qualms of indebtedness, misery, epidemic, discrimination and "Get off the bandwagon and put down the handbook " as the Arctic Monkeys would say.

- Beautiful Middle Class
"Har Pal Yahan
Jee Bhar Jiyo Jo Hai Sama
Kal Ho Na Ho" - Karan Johar, our saviour of the bourgeois movement

Anonymous said...

I think what Prof. Chidambaram is trying to say has been said very aptly by Karan Johar as

"Its the time to D.I.S.C.O!!!"

- Lover of Brijoisie
p.s: this is a commie blog. down with communism.

Anonymous said...

Death is life. Unless it's yours. The leading cause of death is birth, check the correlation, it's remarkable. Except for the one single case in world history, ever. Therefore growth is shrinkage, shrinkage growth. The prey must die for the predator to be prey. Two sides of the same counterfeit coin.

Anonymous said...

Wish Chidambaram or Arjun Singh show us the social growth for this quarter as well. I'm just waiting for the revolution to come.

Alex said...

The tendency for the FM and RBI governor, is to put up a picture of a growing economy, conveniently forgetting the social issues.

This might be a maneuver to attract more foreign investors and say that the economy is booming and growing. I wonder with what!
The recent FRBM act and policy regarding SEZs supports this fact.