Saturday, June 18, 2011

Gandhi In Heaven Cries Aloud

While my adopted country is going down the tube, my country of birth is resurging as a mighty economic power house. In a few decades India is slated to overcome China and the USA, relegating the great current superpower to a distinct third position. Yet, it does not give me any pleasure to call myself of Indian origin. Why?

India is already suffering the ills that I keep on writing against in the USA. The country is showing the same rank greed, selfishness, lack of sensitivity, and total disdain for its people with disadvantages. Read this excerpt from the celebrated author John Pilgers’ column.

In India, a similar re-branding is under way for next month's Commonwealth Games. In the country that has most of the world's malnourished children, the capital Delhi has been re-branded a "world class city" at a cost of $2.5 billion. A school for 180 slum children has been bulldozed so that a vast estate of luxury apartments can be built for visiting athletes. "They told us we were a security threat so we had to go," said the headteacher. "All my children were crying." It is one of many demolitions; over 100,000 families have been evicted to make way for 'security zones' around the Games and facilities that will mostly benefit India's small but powerful managerial and technocratic class who, besotted with all things corporate, prefer not to be reminded that 77 per cent of their compatriots are dirt poor.

Who cares for 180 crying children? Who cares for a poor headteacher? Who cares for 100,000 families? India is becoming a world class economy, therefore, it must have a world class city!

The great Indian writer Rabindranath Tagore wrote, “The darkest shadow is right under the lamp.” The most expensive home in the world is now in Mumbai, called Antilla, where the fourth richest man in the world, Mukesh Ambani recently moved in with his wife and three children. The news clip says, “From the top floors of the 173m(eter) high property are spectacular views of Mumbai and of the Arabian Sea.”

If you look from the other side of the top floor of Ambani’s house however, you would see those rickety half-naked slam children who were given world audience by the award winning 2008 blockbuster movie Slumdog Millionaire.

If there is a heaven, Gandhi is there, and he cries out loud to God, this is not the India for which I gave my life! And he would ask God, “If this would have to be the future of India, why did You send me there?"

First published on Technorati.