the empty politics of labels

shouldn't you consider nehru a neo-liberal for refusing to foot the bill for universal primary education? or a reactionary conservative for building iits for the brahminized classes (who'd already reached literacy levels of nearly 50-60% in some states by 1947) while he had no money for good schools for kids from the 'impure castes'? wasn't indira gandhi creating an oligarchy when she nationalized private banks which until now haven't been able to service more than 15% of all indians? in relative terms, their lending to such 'priority' sectors as agriculture and the poor hasn't expanded by more than 2-3% since 1969-70. in 40 years. was india socialist or neo-liberal in the 'socialist' era?

one grows sick of the hypocrisy of the brahminized classes who use empty labels, borrowed from other societies and other peoples' politics, to describe projects such as the uid as neo-liberal. it points to a very deep indifference on the part of indian universities, media and research institutions to take the pains to study the large, 'impure' sections of indian society firsthand.

if that's too much to ask: why don't they just check how many banks are making plans to expand their client base by millions in the near future because of the uid opening up new opportunities to do business directly with the 'impure', instead of directing them to microfinance companies and possible death? they might not be more touchable now, but they're definitely very good 'customers'. over 90% of them repay their debts promptly, and the figure could go up because the banks could charge much less interest than the microfinance companies. more credit to everyone: why don't we call it socialism?

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