We know that India still remains deeply divided between its elites and its have-nots; a divide so great that much of the elite does not even see it, happily believing that the nation as a whole is on its way to superpower status. There is no doubt at all that economic liberalisation has helped a section of the economy, yet there is equally no doubt that there are faultlines in economic growth and equitability. Rifts across the lines of caste and communalism intersect in complex ways with the changing economic landscape.Check it out. I expect it to be well worth your time and thought.
This blog will attempt to explore that uncertain terrain. It will focus on the “other half” that is often ignored by the mainstream media. It will attempt to present a fuller picture of India and a fuller examination of issues of concern than what we normally see around us.
To this end, we hope to ask questions and suggest answers. Some of the questions we ask include:
- Fundamentally, what are the aims of liberalization; what should they be; and what else defines India in the 21st century, apart from the growth of our economy or the successes and failures of liberalization?
- Which sections of Indian society and the economy have benefited from liberalization, and which ones have not? And which ones have been adversely affected because of liberalization?
- Is poverty decreasing? If so how much and how fast?
- What are we doing to push growth and opportunity in rural areas, where over two-thirds of Indians still live?
- What about issues of caste, class, gender? What about food, housing, water, sanitation, education? What about corruption, crime, social justice, rights and responsibilities?
Because India is changing, in many ways and dramatically. Yet in many ways India is also much the same. This blog is a fruit of the tension between those two thoughts, an attempt to examine the ground in between.
Surely it is time for us to pay attention to how the other half lives.
Monday, January 30, 2006
How the Other Half Lives - A Reality Called India is a group blog started by a few of the excellent bloggers in the Indian blogosphere - Uma, Dilip, Vikrum, Shivam and Anand. This is how they describe their blog and their efforts: