India: Developmental Terrorism

by January 9, 2007
 

Development Or Developmental Terrorism? By Prof Amit Bhaduri

It has become a cliché, even a politically correct cliché these days, to say that there are two Indias: the India that shines with its fancy apartments and houses in rich neighbourhoods, corporate houses of breath taking size, glittering shopping malls, and high-tech flyovers over which flows a procession of new model cars. These are the images from a globalized India on the verge of entering the first world. And then there is the other India. India of helpless peasants committing suicides, dalits lynched regularly in not- so- distant villages, tribals dispossessed of their forest land and livelihood, and children too small to walk properly, yet begging on the streets of shining cities. Something stalks the air.The rage of the poor from this other India is palpable; it has engulfed some 120-160 out of 607 districts of this country in the so called extremist Naxalite movements. The India of glitter and privilege, it seems is bent on turning its back, and seceding fast from the other India of despair, rage and inhuman poverty. This is not just a matter of growing relative inequality between the two Indias. A more brutal process is at work, with the connivance of governments at the Central and at the state level which is not only widening this divide between the two Indias, it is deepening consciously the absolute poverty and misery of poor India.

The unprecedented high economic growth on which privileged India prides itself is a measure of the high speed at which India of privilege is distancing itself from the India of crushing poverty. The higher the rate of economic growth along this pattern becomes, the greater would be the underdevelopment of India. We first need to understand this paradox which counter-poses growth against development, and challenge this dangerous obsession with growth. (continued here)

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