the niti and nyaya of undernourishment

in my previous post, i'd talked about prof. amartya sen's lecture in the indian parliament. 'Much of his lecture was devoted to probing the idea of social justice and drawing a distinction between 'niti' and 'nyaya'' according to the news report. undernourishment in india, according to this slightly old, but definitely enlightening article in the hindu, draws its sustenance from exactly that inherited code of niti and nyaya, from ancient laws which decide the place of each man and woman in our society:
What then explains the high levels of child malnutrition in India? Answers lie in looking beyond income levels, economic expansion, conventional poverty, and food availability. The first clue is found in the proportion of low birthweight babies. Estimates for India reveal that 20 to 30 per cent of babies weigh less than 2,500 grams at birth. This suggests the onset of malnutrition in the womb itself and reflects an inter-generational transfer of malnutrition from the mother to the child. Adversely affecting the birth of well-nourished babies is also the poor health and nutritional status of women. According to NFHS-3, close to one-third of Indian women suffer from Chronic Energy Deficiency and have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 18.5 kg/m2. (italics mine).
the article goes on to list other causes, all of which stem from gender and social inequalities. it isn't just economics, stupid.

it is mostly sociology and politics. or caste and politics. now, wasn't sen aware that our politicians, most of our media, academia and the indignant classes (especially the brahminized left variety) would draw only lessons in economics from his lecture? does sen himself perceive undernourishment as merely an economic problem?

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