Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Impoverishing the poor to Enrich the rich - India a land of conflicting contrasts

I recently returned from India which has in recent years been touted as an Economic giant and is a part of the G-20. While it is true that because of its sheer size and recent industrialization, it has a significant sized economy in comparison to the rest of the developing world; however its recent economic miracle has come at a terrible price, and the price is the relentless further impoverishment of the already destitute majority of India's poor. As the following CNBC report proves India is paying a high price in terms of inflation for its Economic growth, and this price is borne mostly by the nearly 1 billion destitute poor and lower Middle class peoples of this ancient nation. In 1980 when I immigrated to Canada, the Rupee (India's currency) was trading at 7 Rupees to 1 US dollar; today that ratio is 53 Rupees to 1 US dollar. The cost of living has soared even as foreign goods flood the nation. In a land where one is never far away from a slum as depicted in the movie Slumdog Millionaire, the recent arrival of Park Avenue type shopping malls with Gucci, Armani, and Hugo Boss stores, and with steel and glass auto show rooms with Mercedes, BMW and Audi vehicles offered for millions of rupees, the government of India pats itself on the back for this perceived wealth of the nation. However the reality is that the poor have become destitute since India's markets were opened up to multinational companies in the 1990's under current PM Manmohan Singh (then Finance minister), and the Middle class is being decimated through inflation and being transformed into the Nouveau Poor of India even as the corrupt political and business class become the Nouveau Riche driving around in $200,000 vehicles and living in residences that sell for millions of dollars (not rupees).

The level of corruption in India which has been well documented in News reports and even in Bollywood movies is beyond compare anywhere else in the world (The Bollywood movie CORPORATE is an excellent films that tells a moving story of the corruption and greed that is modern corporate India). 

Human life has little if any value; in most parts of India it would not be difficult to find hired guns that would murder for a sum as low as 1000 rupees (about $20.) It would also be possible to easily buy children, boys, girls or just about anything for next to nothing in terms of money. The majority of Indian cities are open garbage dumps and toilets, with men urinating openly on the sides of roads, buildings, and even on the sides of $500 / night 5 star hotels. Take a morning train out of Delhi or Bombay and you will see miles of people sitting on the sides of open sewers relieving themselves. Who can blame these poor souls who are the victims of corruption; I'm sure they too would like gold plated toilets and bidets as many of India's rich flaunt but the opportunity for them to acquire even a tap with running water is remote, if not non - existent. Like the little boy in the following video, India's streets are filled with beautiful innocent children that are the visible victims of human greed, of which India is likely the best example in the world. Most of these innocent children will not live to see their 40th birthday, and many won't even make it to their 20th year. Beneath the glitter and glamor of Bollywood India lies a seedy underbelly that is rotten to the core, the stench of which permeates this nation from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. I love this nation and its poor people who are gracious and giving even when they have nothing to give. May God have mercy on the land of my birth but I fear that this ancient land has a date with destiny and it will not be a Bollywood song and dance number when the Day of Reckoning arrives!

The following video is a good compilation of the contrasts between the Nouveau Riche and the Ultra Poor of India. As India's inflation rate rises relentlessly and its currency continues to drop in value look for revolution and civil war in India - I believe such an outcome is inevitable!

Heartbeat in India

No comments:

Post a Comment