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?


reddy charitra

from here:
 One Karunakar Reddy from Anantapur district filed the petition in the SHRC, demanding that the commission order film director Ram Gopal Varma to remove certain scenes from the film which allegedly project the Reddy community of Anantapur district in a poor manner.

Accepting the petition, the interim Chairman Justice K Peda Peri Reddy adjourned hearing on the petition for Monday.
reminds me of the rajput indignation over 'jodhaa akbar' that i'd talked about in this post. and of some recent reddy charitra i'd discussed in this post. would mr.reddy have been satisfied if all the reddies in the film were portrayed just as the madigas, boyas, erukulas and others in the film were? as nameless, mindless, amoral killing hordes? i don't think so.


patronage for autonomy

 from the hindu:
The potential of the project to unleash a security frenzy is the reason why privacy concerns have to be taken seriously. The government and the UIDAI have made it appear as if the purported, and unsubstantiated, benefits of “good governance” from the project eclipse the concerns regarding privacy and civil liberties. This is where the problem lies. A foundational understanding in the study of individual freedoms, pioneered by scholars like Amartya Sen, is that consequence-independent absolute rights are rather hard to defend. Hence, the demand to trade-off one freedom for another (here, the “invasive loss” of privacy for “development”) is an untenable demand.
yes, the disenfranchised should learn to trade-off their 'right to live' for your 'right to privacy'.

over an year ago, i'd written about this article on the uid, here. has the theme of the 'liberal' press opposing the uid changed since then?

is the “invasive loss” of privacy really the core concern of those who oppose uid? this strident breast-beating over privacy across the media, arising mostly from fanciful speculation: why isn't there ever as much concern over the very public problems of the great majority of dalits in india? let's return to a recent news story: the dalit woman who was harassed for sharing a roti with an 'upper caste' dog. no, i'm not questioning the injustice of imposing a fine, publicly, on her for sharing a roti, privately, with a dog. that's how hindu public reacts, routinely. but how did the public institutions of the state react? she went to the local police station first, who refused to react, and was directed to an sc/st atrocities police station, who didn't act either, where she was reprimanded for feeding the dog.

at this point, most of the smart opponents of the uid would probably ask: how would uid have helped her? that's actually a not-so-smart question. because the women helped herself. she finally went to the district collector with her complaint (which action probably led to the news story). it was probably the sc/st (prevention of atrocities) act which gave her the necessary hope and courage to keep knocking at the state, repeatedly, to impel it into action. it was probably her own need to live, exist.

sunita jatav had to make her 'private' troubles public, repeatedly, to get a hearing, finally. the state needs to acknowledge her existence more readily in the future. for her, the trade-off would not be between the “invasive loss” of privacy for “development”. she'd have to trade-off patronage for autonomy.


1/3rd truth

This Court is of the view that place of birth that is Ram Janm Bhumi is a juristic person. The deity also attained the divinity like Agni, Vayu, Kedarnath. Asthan is personified as the spirit of divine worshipped as the birth place of Ram Lala or Lord Ram as a child . 
from page 18 of the summary of the judgement.

a one-third truth is definitely worse than a half truth or a whole lie. the indian judiciary, which would only recognize the backward castes as 'classes', seems to have no problems in endorsing pure, irrational belief as a 'juristic' person. if ram lalla is a juristic person, because there are no gods in 'secular' india, that doesn't make three-fourths of indians who figure as impure non-persons in brahminical scriptures 'hindus' just because the court needs the ballast of their numbers to emphasize the strength of 'faith' and keep the hindutva project afloat. i'm beginning to see 'juristic' persons everywhere now.
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