Monday, January 19, 2009

Vicious cycle of politics or poverty but if it is tourism, politicians start residing as slumdog……of life

Sudheendra Kulkarni says in Indian Express few but permanent questions about poverty in India “but what can one say about his political maturity, as displayed by his decision to invite a foreign dignitary to undertake poverty tourism in his constituency? Would a British MP take Pranab Mukherjee on a tour of the poorer quarters of London and show what developmental works he has initiated? Would an Italian MP invite Rahul to take a look at poverty in his country and make it an international media event? Have we ever seen Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao (or Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang, who are tipped to become China’s next President and Prime Minister) escorting a foreign visitor on a tour of the backward areas of their country? Let’s not forget that there is a lot of hidden poverty in Europe. There is stark poverty in China too, in spite of the fact that China was last week adjudged the third largest economy in the world. 

Who has given Britain, one wonders, the right to advise us either on Kashmir or on development and poverty alleviation? After all, our erstwhile colonial master was one of the culprits who created the Kashmir problem in the first place. As our colonial history incontrovertibly shows, Britain was also responsible for the pillage and pauperisation of India—one of the important factors that pushed the families of Karma Devis and Shiv Kumaris into poverty. Of course, we cannot blame Britain for our own failures in poverty eradication in the post-Independence era. But who is responsible for these failures, if not those who have ruled India for the longest period since 1947?

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