on radical conservatives

a comment here reminded me of this line from a book i'd read a long time ago:
I submit that the proletarian movement in India today is not a movement of the immense majority; we should ask whether it is in the interests of the immense majority.
so if you have aruna roy or the mainstream communist parties or medha patkar or arundhati roy or sainath or countless others speaking for the marginalized, one needs to understand whether they're really talking about the interests of the immense majority.

you can't have change through conservation: you can't conserve a huge government and talk about the right to information at the same time. if you agree to the condition that the government shall have power over all information, how can you expect it to dole it out at your will? if you believe in large public sector presence in industry, how can you challenge large public sector presence, or large dams, in agriculture? when you talk about farmers dying because of cheap imports, how can you talk about curbing profitable exports in order to ensure food security?

no, i haven't turned into what might be called a conservative in the united states. i am only pointing out who exactly should be called the conservatives in india.

all the noise created by the radical conservatives in india drowns out any weak demands from the marginalized, truly vulnerable sections of india to be allowed to run their own lives. we'd get to test the sincerity of the radical do-gooders only when the marginalized move a step up the economic ladder- from subsistence to a minimum level of security (as provided by a universal dole). for instance, would they focus more on universal education then or continue to ignore the existence of a caste system of schools- the poor would have no excuse to keep their children from school then, what would be the do-gooders' excuse to continue to ignore the existence of private schools or state-run elitist schools? or the pampering of iits while government-run schools (and their students) suffer from lack of attention and resources?

[i hope to discuss the line i quoted, and the essay in which it appears at more length in a future post].


PM said...


I have been reading your blog for a while now and I just want to say please never stop writing.

Thank you,


kuffir said...

thanks, pm. your kind words definitely help.

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