The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Monday 20 August 2012



But the Indian economy had started to take a rapid fall in late 80’s and the 1991 balance of payment crisis forced the government to open the economy. It worked and ensured a period of high-digit economic growth further on with patches of gloom (like the one now). It can be safely said that the lower growth figure of the 1990-2000 decade was a result of the economic hara-kiri of 1991 and the economy needed these many years to smoothen the patches and it created the base for higher growth in the next decade.

The highest growth figure of 0.081 in the 2000-2010 decade might well vindicate this assumption. But when we try to see it in consonance with the rankings over the years, instead of writing laurels, we need to be worried. And there are thinking souls, justifiably worried, except our policymakers who at their convenience easily criticise and dismiss reports like the UNDP HDI.

The high decadal growth figure and a consistently declining HDI ranking tell us this very clearly that honest efforts are not being made to ensure the ‘holistic’ human development and the social disparity is growing. And this disparity is of different type. It is not that the rich are getting richer at the cost of poor getting poorer. It is true that there has been an increase in the income level of the Indians as a whole. But what is worrying is the pace of growth and the pace of the growing divide.

The wealthy and the neo-rich are getting richer at a much higher pace than the rate at which the poor are getting to the next higher level of living and as a result the wealth is getting highly concentrated in the hands of the economically well-to-do minority. Its direct consequence is the rising authoritarian behaviour among the ruling class (maximum are neo-rich). And one simply cannot expect from the profit-reaping business entities to don the mantle of social empowerment crusaders.

As a result, we are still witnessing the growing slum population. 52.4 million Indians were living in slums according to Census 2001. It almost doubled to around 93 million in 2011. Now that is more than population figures of many countries. A report says Indian slum population is expected to grow at 5% adding two million more every year. India in slums remains a sought-after subject for western researchers and documentary makers.

As a result, the country’s ruling class still forces the millions above the poverty line by defining the average figure of Rs. 25 a day income (so Rs. 750 a month) as the poverty benchmark. Let alone surviving, no one can expect even a peaceful death in this meager some.

As a result, we are still global laggards in terms of serious elementary education and quality higher education. We produce hundreds of thousands of professionals every year but the quality remains elusive.

As a result, tens of thousands of families are still dependent on manual scavenging for their livelihood and our government is still debating on an effective law to curb it. "We are considering a new and effective law to put an end to the repulsive practice of manual scavenging and to provide opportunities to those engaged in this practice to begin their lives afresh," said Manmohan Singh on August 15. Manual scavenging is a shame for us and reflects in the attitude of this write-up ( 

As a result, India is still home to world’s maximum number of open defecators. WHO says open defecators in India constitute 58 per cent of world’s open defecators.

As a result, the country’s health infrastructure still has a 76 per cent shortfall of doctors, Planning Commission figures say it. There are serious lacunae in availability of other healthcare professionals. The healthcare infrastructure is in shabby state.

As a result, Indians still make 25 per cent of the world’s hungry lot. India stands at 67th rank out of 80 on UN’s Global Hunger Index. Countries like North Korea and Sudan rank above us here.

As a result, over 900 million Indians, feeling pangs of hunger, could never think the way corruption is eating into their rights to a dignified lives. Earning daily bread and butter consumes their entire lifetime.

As a result, the ruling class aborts every attempt to curb corruption, thus allowing it become a way of life in a poor society. 

As a result, every social empowerment scheme, be it the Universal Elementary Education, or the National Rural Health Mission, or the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, or the Midday Meal Scheme, or the big-ticket total sanitation programmes, or many others social empowerment projects, they have failed to produce desired outcome.

Any argument like ‘it takes time to improve situations for a large country like India’ can easily be dismissed given the fact that India is now the fourth largest Economy of the world and is slated to be 3rd in coming future. It is a big global market. It’s over two decades now when we were shown the ‘real magic wand’ in 1991.

The size of Indian Economy has quadrupled since 1991 from Rs. 10.8 Lakh Crore in 1991 to Rs. 48.8 Lakh Crore in 2011. Economy parameters like household savings, per capita income, Forex reserve, FDI have grown manifold.

Yet it is shameful when our prime minister says the country need to see tougher times owing to a bad monsoon. What all they do with the king-size budget for bodies like the Planning Commission?

Instead they make silly statements like ‘I am happy with rising prices’ as the Union Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma said on August 19, 2012. Mr. Verma is in esteemed company of the titans here. We have seen and will keep on witnessing the high eloquence of the likes of Manmohan Singh, Sharad Pawar and other politicians making mockery of the everyday struggle of the ordinary Indian.

There is not even a single social indicator where we can say we, as a country, have made as impressive growth as in our Economy parameters resulting in the botched up India growth story.

When the Economy growth story can happen in two decades, why can’t the social growth story? And mind you, we are now over 39 Crore more Indians since 1991 waiting for it to happen.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -