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Development with a Human Face

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by ojaantrik, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. ojaantrik

    ojaantrik IL Hall of Fame

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    @ vijji

    Thanks a lot friend for your fb and I am indeed very sorry for not having acknowledged it sooner. Time has turned into my worst enemey recently and I do not wish to speak too much about it. It sounds like self-advertisement. If I were a big person, people would know anyway. I wouldn't have to announce myself from the roof tops.

    I think you understood the spirit of what I tried to write quite clearly. To tell you frankly, as I grow older, I am sinking into deeper and deeper levels of cynicism. Will this country ever belong to the majority that lives here, or will it remain a fiefdom for the minority?

    I have lost faith in the government, independent of colours. The only hope lies in the previleged few sharing what they don't need with those who have been cheated for generations.

    I doubt that this will ever happen.

    oj
     
  2. ojaantrik

    ojaantrik IL Hall of Fame

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    @ feduptocore

    Where on earth did you pick up the "kaku" thing. Very cute. Sure, address me that way if you wish to.

    I couldn't agree more with you on this. How do you expect competent teachers to go to remote villages to teach little kids if they do not have the minimum comforts of life? They too have families and kids. No one, absolutely no one is interested in this country in bringing up the deprived. And so long as it remains this way, we will never develop. The 9 per cent rate of growth will remain the world's biggest and cruelest joke!!

    Growth for whom?

    I am quite sure that all our policy makers are rotten to the core.

    oj-kaku
     
  3. ojaantrik

    ojaantrik IL Hall of Fame

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    @ kamal

    You are so correct about education and population growth. Only today, I read about the age profile of our population across the states. The southern states, which are definitely more educated that the states elsewhere, have a population that is older relative to the population in the north. In other words, there have been fewer babies in southern states over the years, thereby making composition of population tilt in favour of the old.

    The same thing has happened in the developed countries like US, Japan and Europe.

    Of course, this is not necessarily a good sign, since we need lots and lots of young people too. But educated young people, not people who will be a burden on society. We need people who are assets.

    But when will all this happen? I doubt that you or I will live to see such changes.

    oj
     
  4. ojaantrik

    ojaantrik IL Hall of Fame

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    @ mindi

    Of course, you are right. When I speak about education, I don't consider it to be an isolated commodity. It's a vector, consisting of food, living condition, drinking water and a whole lot of other things. But they must come simultaneously rather than sequentially. Not one after the other, but together. Think of the way it came to our children. We must find a way of treating the vast army of underprevileged children as though they were our own kids. That is the only way out. Forget about politicians. Each one of us can teach a few kids from the slums and provide little bit of other things with it.

    Nothing will happen if we wait for politicians to turn honest.

    oj
     
  5. ojaantrik

    ojaantrik IL Hall of Fame

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    @ susri

    No, I don't think you are asking silly or irrelevant questions. It is very important to know how Kerala did it when others couldn't. My answer to the question is that Kerala has a culture that assigns a great deal of weight on education. There may be other socities which thrives on politics alone!

    I do not know how it can be achieved, but I do know that unless we achieve universal education, we have no hope in the long run. How long? The shorter the long is the better. But, if you ask me, I don't see much hope in the next 30 years at least.

    I feel sometimes that it has been a policy of governments in this country to keep people illiterate. It is easier to rule such people, cheat them and exploit them.

    It's all very sad.

    oj
     
  6. ojaantrik

    ojaantrik IL Hall of Fame

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    @ tl

    Yes, of course, every point you have made is correct in my opinion. It's not just a question of education. It's also a question of the kind of education. Also, one must build in people a sense of self-respect, quite independent of his profession, so long as he /she is able to fend for himself and keep his family happy.

    I don't know how all this will happen. But I do know that depending on the government alone will not help. There should be a growing awareness of the problem amongst the educated few. But what do they do? Build roads to make villages accessible? Can they do this? I really feel very confused about this, the more I think over the matter.

    My primary question is how could we land ourselves in this situation 60 years after independence. We started out with the so-called socialistic pattern of society. Did we really mean what we said?

    I doubt.

    oj-da
     
  7. ojaantrik

    ojaantrik IL Hall of Fame

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    @ padmini

    The data you have quoted is very relevant. But tell me, has it ever been the case that our government budgets were not a fanfare aimed at the so-called poor? What were we doing for 60 years following independence?

    We built IIT's. IIM's, IISc and so on and so forth. We flooded the US with our highly educated children.

    But, for the vast majority of people in this country, after so many years of planning and now market institutions, a healthy meal a day remains wishing for the moon! Is this why sent a machine to the moon? To bring it to our infinitely deprived population?

    I often wonder what I have done for the country that has given me so much. I taught all my life. But what did I teach? Abstract, analytical ideas which were at best a form of luxury in our society. Perhaps, for my own intellectual ambitions, this was OK. But couldn't I have spent at least a day or two each month to educate the forgotten children in a far away village? I didn't do this and that was a crime.

    oj-da
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  8. feduptocore

    feduptocore Senior IL'ite

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    Where on earth did you pick up the "kaku" thing. Very cute. Sure, address me that way if you wish to.

    Oj Kaku... I'm a parsi girl married to a bengali.. so have picked up too many customs in last 16 years....
    another secret... I learnt bengali before marriage and speak it really fluently with correct diction!!!
    K
     
  9. sowmyapbhat

    sowmyapbhat Senior IL'ite

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    Dear OJ,

    Allow me to congratulate you once again, this time for giving a human face to economics.

    Agreed, our educated youngsters are our greatest wealth. Frankly, as I see it, the government is doing everything right, at least on paper. For the poor, primary and secondary education are free, and the midday meal is thrown in as an added incentive. So why aren't we seeing more people moving out of poverty and standing on their own feet?

    My opinion is this - alongside education for children of the poorer sections, adult literacy should be made a prime concern. I don't think children would go to school if their parents saw no benefit in it. Like others have aptly mentioned, when food is scarce, who would want to waste precious man-hours in learning?

    The change is happening, but it is extremely slow. I have a couple of examples from my own neighborhood. My parents' domestic help is illiterate. But her son went to a state-syllabus school, and is now attending college. That is no small feat for the son of a maid!!

    There is a slum down the road, where there are plenty of drunkards at any time of the day. 5 years back, there were several teens included in the mix. Now there aren't as many. You know why? A lot of NRIs have moved back to the neighborhood, and you know how crazy Indian traffic can be. The NRIs would like to avoid the hassle of driving, so most of these youngsters have been hired as chauffeurs. Well, at least it's an honest job!

    A major problem in our society is that there is no upward social mobility. Even if my domestic help became rich overnight, she would not be able to mingle freely on an equal basis with her former employers. Same goes for her college-educated son. With us Indians, what you once were, is what you always will be. Not easy to change this - maybe in 2 or 3 generations, this segregation will die out.

    That said, there will always be people who find it easier to beg on the streets and rummage bins rather than toil somewhere. We can do nothing to deter them, except perhaps give them a day or two in jail for being a nuisance.

    In order to make 100% literacy a grassroots movement, the government needs to pay teachers well. Give them all the perks that come with a government job - the living quarters, the paid vacations, etc. You'll find people ready to leave corporate jobs and become teachers, if they could get a better work-life balance.

    Like you said, there are some developed nations that have a higher population density. But there is order in those cities. None of our urban centres can match up to those. Our development is lopsided, as is the migration of our population. That way, I feel setting up SEZs around the rural areas is a good move. At least it will lessen the burden on our overcrowded cities.

    Too many questions! I am hardly an economist, to offer my half-baked ideas here :) I know I have done nothing for my country, good or bad! Therein lies the problem!

    Thanks again, for giving us plenty of food for thought,

    P.S : Thanks for the fulsome praise on Tubelight's thread! I was amazed to see you spring up from nowhere, by the way!

    Cheers,

    Sowmya
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2010
  10. ShailRaghuvansh

    ShailRaghuvansh Silver IL'ite

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    Dear OJ Da,

    Kemone Aache? I first heard of you when Sriniji (Cheeniya) mentioned what he wrote to you about me. I was wondering who you are and so decided to read some of your posts. My! you are one hell of a personality. No wonder, everyone else is in awe of you.

    I am going to be a keen OJ follower from now on.

    Regards,
    Shail
     

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