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INDIA : Naipaul was right
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Monday, December 19, 2011 6:35 PM
Sarita Sarvate in
Every time I come to India, I cannot help but think of V.S. Naipaul. Particularly when I tour the country, as I am doing now.
I am always prepared for the traffic, the noise, the pollution, and the airborne viruses in my native country. I can even tolerate the mosquitoes, the hard beds, the lack of privacy, and the religious fanaticism. But I am never ready for the filthy toilets. I cannot fathom why one of the most fundamental human needs is so very difficult to fulfill in India. Why a country that is obsessed with food cannot deal with its end products.
Mahatma Gandhi observed that Indians thought it was unclean to clean.
When faced with any problem facing contemporary India, it is useful to remember one thing : Gandhi is almost never worth quoting. Gandhi lacked the one thing that makes people worth quoting : vision.
Writers have it easy.
They have to simply come with a label.
It is harder for the economists and social scientists.
They have to find a way to fix it for you.
Naipaul should run a regression once in a while.
"An Area of Darkness".
That took me 20 seconds.
"India : no doubts, no renown".
Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011 6:44 PM |
Monday, December 19, 2011 6:43 PM
And further on in the article :
How can we change things? Perhaps by starting a movement called “Let’s Hug the Toilets,” or something along those lines? A movement in which every day, battalions of citizens approach public toilets and perform seva, or service, until they are so clean, you can eat out of them.
This is a terrible idea. It is extremely unhealthy for people to communally clean toilets, and you are unlikely to find many volunteers for this in even volunteering-oriented America.
People do maintain their private property quite well in India, and so what
work is more of the same : appealing to people's self interests. Protect property rights better via the legal system, and cleanliness and hygiene will follow.
Some reflections on Gandhi's vision for India and its economic implications
Spinning khadi cloth?
Cleaning communal toilets?
Dude, no vision, man.
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