India’s continuing parlous state
Posted by robertpriddy on December 27, 2016
As 2017 approaches, the future of India seems no brighter, alas for the millions of decent hard-working and neglected millions. Believers in Hindu swamis and other gurus – even by all India’s Prime Ministers and Presidents – often think that India’s economic surge, which increases living standards for the still small but growing middle class, is due to rituals like pujas, yagnas, temple visits and related observances, but far less to selfless social service (which all their gurus preach but the fewest actually practice). Yet acceptable standards of social care, health care and other basic public services common in developed countries, are non-existent for hundreds of millions of Indians. Medicine based on hi-technological improvements are available to those Indians with money, but is otherwise mostly of a very low level.
According to international organisations, the country has somewhere in the region of 12 million child labourers. “India is sadly the home to the largest number of child labourers in the world. The census found an increase in the number of child labourers from 11.28 million in 1991 to 12.59 million in 2001. Unlike any other country, India was attributed 23 goods the majority of which is produced by child labour in the manufacturing sector.” (See here) At least 1% of children work in highly hazardous production.”
There are countless beggars, sick people and heavily handicapped persons in absolute penury to be seen living on the streets and camping out on pavements in most cities and many lepers (treated as ‘untouchables’ and isolated in primitive colonies). Corruption of all kinds – including widespread bribery – has for decades been so endemic at all levels of society that most people there have lost all belief that it can ever be stamped out and accept it as part of the culture. Added to all these well-known weaknesses is a huge educational gap, plus a media information gap due to excessive top-down control of information and employees. The Indian habit of ‘mental double-accounting’ whereby there the accepted truth is publicised but the real truth is kept secret is part of the make-up of almost all politicians and public figures. This was described in the searingly frank and extremely well-informed writings of the polymath and language genius Nirad C. Chaudhuri, who is reviled by those who hate that he gave away the inside story of India in the last century.
The former “God Incarnate” in Puttaparthi (now dead and buried!) made huge efforts to control what his devotees could learn or discover about the real world (especially about himself)… so he advised praying, rock steady faith in himself, mantric chants and repetitive religious songs, even advising to ‘stop all thought’ (the mind should die to liberate the person from delusion!). This fanciful spiritual rubbish only serve to hinder the growth of knowledge and awareness needed to combat India’s problems.