Mind over Savanur

If India were a country of 18 crores, instead of 118 crores or so, all the excitement in the media would make more sense. A panelist on a TV debate on the Union Budget, for instance, expresses warm approval of a particular proposal, saying: 'infrastructure would help the poor more than subsidies in the long run'.

There are several presumptions impelling that little outburst: one, the poor don't want infrastructure, or don't understand its value or are shortsighted or hold all of those attitudes, opinions. Two, the poor want sops and handouts, and therefore are lazy and suffer from a weak work ethic. Three, infrastructure is meant for everyone, even if it is a games village worth 60,000 crore rupees in Delhi which starts crumbling down even as it is being built. Four, subsidies are for exclusively the poor, and most of them don't go to the non-poor.

 As caste is a state of mind, as Dr Ambedkar said, we've come to accept that kind of biased discourse as normal in savarna media: how can it be different when their minds and consciousness work in that fashion, dividing the world into normal 'us' and the errant 'others'?

 Infrastructure is important for poor, mostly Dalitbahujan, Indians too. 70% of rural homes don't have toilets, and those which do have toilets are not connected to any sewerage systems. Who would understand the need for infrastructure better than them? Yes, they understand the need for roads, the need for toilets, and the need for freedoms that infrastructure could represent more intensely than anyone else. But in India, we need to understand, there is infrastructure and there is pure infrastructure.

please read the rest of the article here, at round table india. 

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