From Pocket 17: The short history of global living conditions and why it matters that we know it

​A recent survey asked “All things considered, do you think the world is getting better or worse, or neither getting better nor worse?”. In Sweden 10% thought things are getting better, in the US they were only 6%, and in Germany only 4%. Very few people think that the world is getting better.

What is the evidence that we need to consider when answering this question? The question is about how the world has changed and so we must take a historical perspective. And the question is about the world as a whole and the answer must therefore consider everybody. The answer must consider the history of global living conditions – a history of everyone.

https://ourworldindata.org/a-history-of-global-living-conditions-in-5-charts/

India now by Markandey Katju

​India is heading for a Revolution 

 India is inevitably heading for a revolution. Why do I say so ? Let me explain 

 India is potentially a highly developed country, but actually a poor and backward country. 

 It is potentially a highly developed country because it has two of the basic requirements to be a highly developed country, viz. a huge pool of technical talent, and immense natural resources. 

 This was not the position in 1947 when India became independent. The British policy was broadly to keep India backward, feudal and largely unindustrialized, so that Indian industry may not emerge as a big rival to British industry. So we were not permitted by our British rulers to set up a heavy industrial base, but were permitted only some light industries like textiles, plantations, etc which, too, for a long time were mainly under British ownership. So till 1947 we had very few industries and very few engineers 

The position today in 2017 is very different. Today we have a heavy industrial base, and a huge pool of competent engineers, technicians, scientists, managers, etc. Our I.T. engineers are manning Silicon Valley in California, and American Universities are full of our our mathematics and science professors. 

 In addition, we have immense natural wealth. India is not a small country like England or Japan. It is almost a continent. 

 So we have all that is required to be a first rate modern, highly developed country, like North America or Europe. 

 And yet the reality is that we are an underdeveloped, poor country, with massive unemployment, malnourishment, lack of healthcare, good education, etc for our masses. 

We can consider some facts : 

 1. the level of unemployment can be gathered from two facts (a) 1 crore ( 10 million ) youth are entering the Indian job market every year, but only 1.4 lac ( 140, 000 ) jobs are being created every year in the organized sector of the Indian economy. So where do the remaining 9.86 million youth go ? They become hawkers, street vendors, bouncers, criminals, the girls often become prostitutes, and many end up as suicides. 

 (b) In 2015 the U.P. govt. advertised 358 jobs of peons ( chaprasis, i.e. class 4 employees ) for which there were 23 lac ( 2.3 million ) applications. 250 of the applicants had Ph.D. degrees, 2500 were M.Sc., M.B.A. engineers, etc all begging for a peon’s job. 

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/phd-holders-among-23-lakh-applicants-for-peon-jobs-in-up/story-OqHzHbvo16gUN2DfTkfYlI.html 

 Something similar happened when police constable’s jobs were advertised in Madhya Pradesh, and peon’s jobs in West Bengaj
2. 50% Indian children are malnourished., which is a situation far worse than in sub Saharan countries of Africa like Somalia. A UNICEF report says that one out every three malnourished child in the world is an Indian child.
3. Poor people in India have hardly any access to healthcare. There are no doubt some excellent hospitals in big cities of India, but they are exorbitantly expensive. Poor patients simply cannot afford good doctors. AiIIMS, ( All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, ) looks like a railway station, with thousands of people sitting there, and no one caring for them, unless one is rich or powerful.. So where do the poor people go when they fall sick ? They go to quacks. Quackery is rampant in India. 

 4. The govt. spends a huge amount of money on I.I.T.s and elite institutions like JNU, but hardly anything for primary schools in villages, where the foundation of knowledge is laid. 

 5. 57 individuals in India control 70% of India’s wealth 

http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/the-interviews-blog/57-billionaires-control-70-of-indias-wealth-india-is-second-most-unequal-economy-after-russia/ 

 6. Far from there being any ‘vikas’, the Indian economy is lying stagnant, with chances of genuine growth remote. Whatever ‘growth there has been has only benefited a handful of crony capitalists, but not the Indian masses. 

 7. There has been sky rocketing inflation in India, which has lowered real incomes 

The question naturally arises that when we have all that is required to be a first rate highly developed country, why is India still poor and backward ? 

The answer is that apart from the two requirements to become a highly developed country mentioned above, viz. a huge pool of technical talent, and huge natural resources, there is also a third requirement, which unfortunately we do not have, and that is a modern minded, patriotic political leadership. Let me explain this in some detail. 

India borrowed the parliamentary system of democracy from England, and incorporated it into our Constitution. Now parliamentary democracy is based on majority vote, but the truth is that the vast majority of people in India are intellectually very backward, their minds full of casteism, communalism and superstitions. So when most indians go to vote they do not see the merit of the candidate, whether he is a good man or bad, educated or not, etc, but only see the candidate’s caste or religion ( or the party representing a caste or religion ). That is why there are so many people with criminal antecedents in our legislatures. 

Our cunning politicians take advantage of this, and have learnt the skill of manipulating caste and religious vote banks. 

 The interest of the nation is to rapidly modernize, for which it is necessary to destroy feudal forces like casteism and communalism. On the other hand, the interest of our politicians is to win the next elections, and for that they have to appeal to, and therefore perpetuate, casteism and communalism, which are feudal forces. Therefore the interest of our country, and the interest of our politicians are diametrically opposite to each other. How, then, can our country progress ? 

Most of the Indian politicians are rogues, rascals, gundas, criminals, scoundrels, looters and gangsters. They have no genuine love for the country, but only seek power and pelf. They are shameless and incorrigible, and cannot be reformed. They are experts in manipulating caste and communal vote banks, and they polarize society by spreading caste and communal hatred. Don’t such people deserve to be shot, like mad dogs, or like the aristocrats in the French Revolution who were guillotined ? 

It is thus obvious that parliamentary democracy is not suited to India. Our Constitution has exhausted itself, our ‘democracy’ has been hijacked by feudal minded people, and all our state institutions have become hollow and empty shells. 

On the other hand, the socio-economic distress of our people keeps mounting. 

I submit that the solutions to the massive problems of India lie outside the system, not within it. No amount of reforms will do, what is now required is a revolution. What form this revolution will take, and how much time, cannot be predicted, but what certainly can be predicted is that it is coming. 

It is only after such a revolution, which will be led by some genuinely patriotic, modern minded persons, that a just social order will be created in India, in which our masses get decent lives, and a high standard of living.

The Beef talk -Don’t trust BJP

Every day of past week and week before that,the cry for Beef has been storming the country with very little care given to why it is important to struggle against the order issued by the government.I went through the order put out by the government and cannot stop myself from thinking about the nature of polity,economy and civillisation in general.Following are the point that I believe form the basis of my opposition to the order:

  1. Lack of political integrity  and (more importantly) trustworthiness – Its plain simple – BJP goverment in power has no political integrity or trustworthiness in their policies and attitude towards community. The rise of BJP ,albeit a planned one using their very strong IT department and Hindu vote consolidation,is the last straw to the trying-to-be modern state of India. Casteism is the greatest social evil we have ever seen and yet there is a very strong push from government to embrace it. Even in states like Kerala where there is a strong attitude against Casteism, the caste identities have risen again from the inner depths of society to the main stream. BJP has directly and indirectly promoted casteism. The planned brutal suppression of contemporary leaders like Rahul Gandhi,Aravind Kejriwal in political sphere with the help of media – print,visual and independent social – has been quite frightening as it kills the diversity in political sphere thereby making us feel insecure.
  2. Choice in a society and state – The fundamental quality (in every society) for an individual is choice and rights. When a person exercise his choice, he should take specific care to not disturb the freedom of choice of another person. Even when a society is formed, the choices of individual should be affected the least and whenever the cry for bargaining choice in exchange for order comes,we should be worried, because it is how oppression begins its reign in society.
  3. Vegeterianism and civillisation – Without doubt, every modern society should move towards vegitarianism.Such a change is purely a social decision which starts as a conscious decision to move forward and without affecting the choice of individuals. This might seem very difficult and thats why it is the ideal way to move. No political decision should enforce social advancement rather it should indirectly support non-violent social movements and mind you – non-violent. Violence in all context means the actions limiting the power of choice.
  4. Nod to authoritarianism among Middle class – This is something I am really afraid of. The middle class in India has given their silent nod to the authoritative rule of BJP. This includes newspapers, channels , political leaders , self proclaimed social reformers  (looking at you Anna Hazare).
  5. Economic exploitation – The economic exploitation of poor in India is the prime reason for all the other problems in India. The economic injustice to poor is then elevated with social and political injustice. How this affect everything else? India,just like every other capitalistic country, supports rich people in the hope that they would re-invest in our country. They don’t take proper care about the poor people of our country. India according to them is a global market and employee pool. This absolute neglet for individual identitied would lead to the next problem.
  6. The boundary of state – Utalitarianism and Majoritarianism – In every society, conflict is required for advancement of society. This conflict between groups or collective identitied should start with proper alignment and identification of collective identities. Properly speaking there are only two collective identities – Poor and rich (in terms of choice). In India, however, the collective identities has been a projection of individuals’ insecurities and with strong push from established social and political institutions, individuals has identitied them into caste-based groups. This leads to strong talk about the good of the majority with sacrifices of individual. Slowly by slowly the majority will decide to pull off rights and choices from individuals in the name of order and common good. 

The above mentioned points form my preliminary opposition and fear towards the current central government and the lack of trust towards their all policies which includes demonetisation,implementation of GST or the restriction put on cattle sale.

The memories of a polity

I can hear it -The strong echo of an impending doom – yet it was so damn irresistable because there was a shimmer of light, a hope that it would redeem me.I reached here because the villainous entity promised me that it would elevate me from the scandalous polity that I am to a lovable young polity with economic and social justice and funny fact is that I actually believed them inspite of the dark past he came from.

It all began with the grey warfare to make me sovereign from a brutal utilitarian power whose concept of Liberty was to enslave so as to award civilization.They called themselves the masters of universe with an empire when even sun is afraid to set.There was blood,and tears in volumes that could bathe me for a lifetime and ofcourse there were sacrifices,there were compromises,there were concerns,factions and ideological clashes. Yet I thought I was given freedom, oh how wrong I was. The first son of my land was murdered in the name of gods and mortals and we were in dark.

Indifferences were everywhere,state dependence was brought in to control it.Organisations that screamed and killed in the name of culture began to weep in the name of culture.Daughters,Sons,Followers and even enemies of the man with rose came and went.They shapeshifted me in different ways and a daughter with imported dye reshaped me into an oppressive successor of our brutal utalitarian enslaved.Then the fight for power began and our expired master smiled with twisted lip.

Garibi hatane ki koshish dhee.There were efforts in both right and wrong direction and I still had hope because when it wrong,there were criticisms,there were fights and when there is fight there is hope.People controlled for 13 days to 2 years and yet no-one could seduce and destroy the freedom of my people.My youngest brother-economy- was in shambles and it was not an accident and then the devils gave us an offer we cannot refuse.Control every aspect of life – threaten sex, create insecurity, seduce them with consumerism, seduce with luxury and my people fell for it.

My brother was altered beyond repair and even the world is confused now.They don’t understand my brother ,even I cannot see him as my brother nowadays.

Inspite of all this, I had that one thing-hope because there were always more voices and I knew I had hope until there’s that sound.Bloodbath continued inspite of my sovereignty;Temples became more important than life,God became useless and I said Nietzsche was right in literal sense-God is dead and in that burial ground I burned,buried millions and the new masters of my life planned, laughed and cried in vain because even after so many deaths ,there were voices. There was hope,there was unbridled optimism and it was proved that a shining wrapper is not what my people need, its the value of being a human being.

I was smiling when the shining was proved to be false because the voices were heard. Then I saw those people slowly emerging from the shadows and sons of no nation,the sons of self nourishment,the sponsors of the new masters.A man resposible for unforgivable bloodshed was elevated to be my master and still I had hope-because voices are still heard.

Now there is silence and I am at the brim of a suicide point and it’s just a matter of push and I am waiting for new masters to push the final button…

The lost people 

Everyday starts with a monologue from Facebook stating that we have history with some of our friends in our friendship list. What an electric feel of nostalgia right? We have come closer to unprecedented levels whereas we have lost connectivity with our  proximity – people, problems and circumstances – that we have started speaking about how liberal western world is or how unfair it is to be born in this part of  Earth. There are no social movements now and there are no fair circumstances where we can understand the ying/yang and not judge about being black/white. 

We love our relatives but we are sceptical whether they will always be supporting  us in near future. We love our relationships but we are constantly worried about the voidness and hollow sense of all those relationships. We are moving towards the next step of linguistic evolution where the only demand of populace is communication rather than the beauty of the conversation – a petite evolution of productive world where time is the most important and scarce resource. Our literary idols are limited,our political ideologies are near to absolute zero, our sense of coexistence is only helplessness now. 

We will evolve into a species with telepathic methods of communication which will still be selective for most of the people because of psyche is used to shielding, lying and being compliant to a ruling class – the warden of existential jail. 

In between the unforseen rapid infrastructure and economic development, there are  so many people who disappear from the face of world in a tick of a day or an hour. These people are not connected in facebook, they don’t whatsapp you sex jokes, they are people who are incapable of resistance and if they resist, there is only political will to remove them from equation just like squashing the reminder of division.At the maximum, they are formless dead bodies along the side lines or suicide cases of no importance or meaning to anyone. Most of them are not seen anymore, they are not sidelined, they are completely mummified by the system. They have no land, water, representation, they are mummified bodies who scavenge on remnants of our social consumption. 

When a public meeting disturb our life, we are in anguish over the meeting declaring the political and social  corruption and strongly criticising the meeting itself and its effect on common man’s life. We are living in a country where we value mobile phones more than human life. We don’t care for anyone’s survival but ours. We may be the majority but we are responsible to minority . Majority’s demand suppress the minority, it devalues their values of living, it diminishes their quality of life and it destroys their life itself and in the end, we simply let our consciousness justify that majority’s needs are important, vital to the development of nation. As a species, an individuals life is protected by the group itself and every group is elected to sustain by looking forward to group protection. Economics is winning in a rapid sense, humanity is failing in its whole sense and yet we say human emotions are the core to economics. What an irony? 

I begin to understand the notion of Rabindranath Tagore that the idea of nation is impossible for India due to diverse population especially due to the mix of more unitary – limited federal structure of country. Do we need to be more liberal and federal?