your kinsmen, your banks, your revolution

So in the social banking philosophy that India adopted when it nationalized the banking industry in the late 1960s, banks did significant amount of lending to farmers, recognizing that these are the people who place the food on your table, on the nation’s table. Once we went into the brave new world of economic reforms, the banks progressively stopped lending money to farmers, so much so that something like 3,800 to 4,000 bank branches in rural India closed during the reform years.

a revolution is a tea party. you can organize it on your own, think up sweet little fictions like the first line in the above paragraph, garnish them with half-truths, like in the second line. and like the rishis of old, go on yatras around the countryside, 300 days a year (nothing establishes one's authenticity more than such severe penances- it's an old trick in this country)....and come back chanting those two lines to a still-in-university-at-dad's-expense-and-mother-india's and never-really-left-university-or-gave-up-on-che-or-charu crowd waiting for your musa-esque arrival in the city. to clutch you to their progressive breast and hand you over to other progressive breasts across the world. that's how you do a revolution.

or you could learn from your kinsmen in the non-fiction world, those progressive workers in the nationalized banks who never lent a paisa more than ten (of each rupee) to the peasants you discovered, on how to plan an indefinite strike that would cripple the banks whose original and only purpose, perhaps, was to provide them with employment.

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