13/01/2013

After thirty years

The educated are aware of the personality of Amartya Sen. Economics, politics, history and philosophy are his subjects. He is a Nobel laureate and lives in America. Thirty years ago, in 1982, in one of his long comments, he had analysed then India as to where this country stood with regard to performance in the various departments. Though the country had not progressed much, yet whatever it had accomplished was concrete. – Now a commentator of current affairs C Rammanohar Reddy (Editor, Economic &Political Weekly) has seen, in the light of the analysis of Prof. Sen, as to what happened thirty years after it viz. during the past thirty years, how much the country has progressed, what performance it has achieved in the various fields, and where India stands today. – The gist of Mr. Reddy’s analysis is that with regard to economic condition, education and employment; religious, lingual and regional prejudices; appalling condition of Dalit groups and Adivasis as well as morality, the country stands today at the same point where it had been thirty years ago. Though there has been great progress in the fields of electoral democracy, education, science and technology, agriculture and communication yet its benefits could not reach all the sections of society. (The Hindu, 29 December)

What happened in various departments
Then Mr. Reddy has dwelt upon the condition in some detail, taking every department in particular. For example, there is much talk about development in the field of economics but this development is limited to certain sections. A very large chunk of population in the country is passing a life of poverty and penury even today. The network of education has widened but this department has become totally professional and is far from the reach of poor population. The condition of women is worse than it was earlier; discrimination against girls is more than it was earlier. The circle of media has widened many hundred times but it is completely under the control of big capitalists. Negative forces have strengthened in electoral politics and corruption in democratic institutions has touched the climax. The commentator has written in detail on communal prejudice and anti-minority riots. The analysis of Amartya Sen was up till 1982. Thereafter anti-Sikh riots in 1984, and anti-Muslim gruesome riots occurred in Bhagalpur in 1989, in Mumbai in 1993, and in Gujarat in 2002. The commentator has specifically mentioned the painful stories of some victims of Gujarat and the honest, sympathetic and bold role of the lady judge of Special Court Jyotsna Yagnik.

Let these commentators do something in practical as well
To the commentator there had been no positive development during the last thirty years. Even if it was in some departments it was mostly showy. But despite this Mr. Reddy thinks there is no need to be disappointed with the system; to him even the deprived and oppressed populations are also not disappointed with the system. In 1982 the central theme of Amartya Sen was economic development. In 2012 the subject of the analysis of C. Rammanohar Reddy is also economic condition as the main subject of both the commentators is economics. But Mr. Reddy did not say what concerted efforts have to be made for the betterment of the situation. Or, how the system which he advises us not to be disappointed with can be improved; how it can be reformed. However, with the analysis, it is clear that like Prof. Sen, he too is a knowledgeable and realistic commentator. The need is that such persons do not confine to mere expression (of ground reality), rather take some practical steps. If all those personalities of the civil society, among whom are a number of Muslims as well, who agree with Amartya Sen and Rammanohar Reddy, gather together on one single platform, it can help a lot in changing the situation.

07/01/13 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf

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