Bhopal gas tragedy and the Indian government
What the Prime Minister must be doing?
Come before the public,seek an open and public apology!
As the BP has done in the USA!
Say sorry, deeply sorry!
First, they are very new, just a few years old, in fact, it is almost coincidental with the rise of the IT companies, right?
Now boys and girls, out of colleges a few years ago, may be from the 1985s onwards have entered into this some 10 lakh and odd population and it is this IT employees-segment who constitute in our opinion, the rich, fast spending, cars and flats owning urban housing complex and housing scenario, to put it rather unglamorously.
Now, there are other developments as well.
Cities are booming. You can’t recognise New Delhi (unless you travel to Noida or Gurgaon you won’t even get a perspective) if you just go to the old spots only. There is intense transportation explosion, there is rush everywhere, be it public transport or the metros and there are of course the expanding slums too and so too the material facilities as well have all expanded.
Mall culture is now a real defining moment and defining pace of your urban life and living.
This is the same for other cities, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, not to speak of other capitals of the states and even booming cities like Pune, Ahmedabad and other cities.
This is one aspect, this physical expansion of cities and the large growth in the self-earning, high salaried youngsters.
There are other aspects as well.
One visiting German sociologist, Chritiane Brosius, a professor of Visual and Media Anthropology at the famed German university Heidelberg has written a new book on India. The title: India’s Middle Class: New Forms of Urban Leisure, Consumption and Prosperity.
The very title gives away the likely contents. Not, it seems. We haven’t read the book but read only a long review.
From the reviewer’s references to pages and topics, it seems the book; she cites “new identities”. What are they?
The new middle classes seem to aspire for the best of the both the worlds. In the Indian context and in the NRI context.
That is they aspire, the new Indian riche, aspire for gated communities, safe from other troubles from local people or local government officials, for water, uninterrupted power and security, they have their own private security services, they don’t depend upon the local state police, there is so much corruption and bother to deal with them etc.
Then, the author, typical perhaps of a German sociology, after all Heidelberg was the home of great sociologists, remembers of Max Weber, and so she now takes a different route to derive her own new perspectives.
She looks at the media and also importantly, the religious practices that have now come along with the material changes and new prosperity.
There is now any number of materially-driven new religious movements.
She has taken up for her study, it seems, the New Delhi based rich religious establishment, Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Santha (BAPS) along with its mega-site of worship, the Akshardham Cultural Complex (ACC) in New Delhi. The author describes the BAPS success as transnational visibility “owe to its ability to meet the middle class desire for a felxible, prestigious, easy to apply spirituality”.
How is this achieved?
It seems the BAPS applies all the new technologies, its website offers electronic dharshan of deities!”
It is like a new Disney land! Yes, there is so much to do there and experience the site visit and it is also said it is very much like down South the Sathya Sai Baba’s Prasanthi Nilayam at Puttaparthi,AP.
Disneyisation of religion and that too Hinduism is now not new to one or two such disneylands.
There are now too many in too many new forms.One need not name them all.
There are any number of god men,young and old,god couplkes and even god mother as well!
They are all making news and raking in dollar funds from the West!
Then,what is new about the religious transformation?
As far as the serious sections of society there is no alternative to traditions and heritage except to pursue one’s religious aspirations as they like.
The trend now seems to be to cater to the NRIs who are seeking some new identities after they had settled and lived in al alien territory.
Fortunately or unfortunately,the Indian government seems to pander to the gullibilities of the NRIs,that too the rich and powerful from the USA and UK and the government now considers to to give the dual voting rights to the NRIs.
This is sheer folly.
This is what the book cited also seems to imply.
The new Indian middle classes,among whom are a significant number of those who had worked abroad and after some years,they have returnd and they want to have the best of the both the worlds.
They want spacious housing in India,they want everything but they wont participate and undego the turmoil of mixing with the rest of the society!
They want international standards of cleanliness and world class faciltiies.
This is again a bogus conception.
How can you create world class faciltiies when the rest of the sociwty are pulled in the burden of poverty,inequality and also growing gap between the rich and the poor?
There are hierarchies within hierarchies in India,after all India was largely a Hindu nation with its traditional caste and other hierarchies.
So,this crazy and even shallow claims to international standsars is bogus.
Even in London and New York there is visible poverty,peopel living without homes!
The crazy new religious practices in places like MAPS,with IMAX theatre, electronic boat rides are cheap gimmicks and someone says so openly.
Knowledge, power and goods.
It seems the new middle classes want to shed the image of India as a Third World country!
This is sheer foolhardiness and pure ignorance!
You dont imagine your status in terms of your degrees,jobs and salaries.Simple material goods, services and per capita income dont raise you to a First World status.
You reach this status by working hard,innovating and becoming an innovation capital of the world.
You need freedom centered universities,now you have slavish bureaucracy and a principles-less democracy.
Values are basic to any society, rich or poor and that differentiates countries. Japan is still a model for a socisty that is boud by certain traditions and values peculiar to them.
What are the Indian values and traditions.
There cant be societies without the rich and poor.
That is why religions put so much empahsis on compassion,piety and a caring society.
How is India emerging in these value parameters?
The near riche is rich okey. But it is not yet cultured,cultivated its manners and etiquette.
There is brashness in language and manners.
Our corporate leader seem to think they have arrived. They haven’t.
Indian society is evolving. That is all.
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