India has been having several parades... Most reported on the media are the forced naked parade of women, and sometimes men, in far off villages due to caste differences, internal quarrels, alleged prostitution or even for personal enmity--just to name a few. The most watched parade is however the parade on the national television on the Independence Day (August 15) and Republic Day (January 26). A friend has sent his reflections on these parades, which he contrasts with the "parade of poverty" in India. Just couple of days ago newspapers in India mentioned that Channel 4 in the UK has been charged with "porn poverty" for showing the poorest areas of Mumbai, and not its wealth!
Here follows part of his reflections:
Every third person in India lives Below Poverty Line. An average of 6000 children die every day due to malnutrition. But the way our country equips herself with arms and weapons is shocking. India is the fourth largest importer of arms in the world.
Every Republic Day speaks of the new weapons made or bought in the name of natonial security. There is no report of where and when these arms were or are being used is another question. The money of the poor man's taxes are spent enormously on warfare and not on welfare.
Gandhi said that India lives in Villages. Most of the Indians are in villages.
But our villagers live without social security; there is no electricity, no road facilities and no rural medical and educatoinal facilities.
There is no list of how many new villages got electricity. How many new villages got rural dispensaries in the last one year. How many tribal or dalit villages got rural schools or water facilities etc etc But under the name of border security and national defence, billions of rupees
that are meant for the basic rights of people are spent on arms.
India has amassed so much of the tax payers money to focus on unwanted threats.
There is no budget for settling disputes, no money for peace negotiation. We are still viewing the shamful parade of how the common people's money has been misused.... Until we, as citizens exercise our right to know and right over national spending,we may have to continue to view such ... parades in future. Vivekananda told: Arise, Awake and Sleep not.... When shall we wake up?When will we ever learn?