Monday 12 April 2010

Progress or democracy?

On the day (April 7 2010) FT reported Naxals had killed more than six dozen soldiers in Jharkhand, it ran a piece titled Progress and democracy collide in India by David Pilling. It was a shoddy piece which said no more that what readers could easily find out by Googling.

The title was the worst part.

How is taking away aboriginal land for mines without consent or compensation ‘progress’? If the government is forced to rethink on such evictions, why is that a  collision between democracy and progress? Cannot progress happen with a fair deal?

Singur is repeated ad nauseam. Does anyone in the West, or even in India, bother to explain what the rabble who threw away the gift of industrialisation from the heavenly Tatas want?

I am not saying the farmers were right. I am not saying the Tatas and the state government were wrong. I am not saying the farmers would have acted as they did even if Mamata Bannerjee & Co hadn’t muddied waters. I’m saying readers don’t know what happened and commentators cannot keep on repeating Singur without telling them.  

Or must capitalism take the form of slavery in the Third World? And anything remotely different should be condemned as indulgence in the luxury of democracy, one brown and black people cannot afford.   

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