An Honest Indian Confirms RichAsianKid's Unoriginal Observation That India Is A Shithole

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Jul 23, 2007, 1:59:35 AM7/23/07


(1) India vs China

(2) A pic is worth a thousand words

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Country on Parade
Dilip D'Souza

April 15, 2005

The overwhelming impression? Poverty. Two recent 24 hour journeys in
second-class compartments on trains, and I came home stunned -- I mean
this, I was simply stunned -- at the number and variety of people who
streamed through the coach asking for coins. Or who did so from the
stations we stopped at. Or who were obviously destitute and desperate
even if they did not beg.

Eunuchs; blind men; blind couples; men on their behinds with a leg
draped around their necks, one with a bag of grapes hanging from his
toes; young kids doing some little act; young girls singing
tunelessly; boys and men and women sweeping the compartment, some with
the shirts off their backs; filthy mothers with a seemingly lifeless
kid lolling in their arms; a bearded midget who didn't say a word; men
without one or more limbs; men on crutches; a young man who picked up
discarded watermelon rinds from under the train and chewed on them; a
smiling old man who switched from Tamil to English to Tamil again,
asking for money all the while; assorted others. From early in the
morning, all through the day, well into the night. On and on.

I've travelled second-class for over 35 years now: short journeys,
long ones, in every part of the country. For the sense it gives you of
what India is about, it is indisputably the best way to travel. It
occurred to me that on none of those journeys, over all those years,
did I see so many beggars, so much poverty. All of which, like always,
gave me a sense of what my country is about, circa 2005.

Yes, this is 2005. We are a decade-and-a-half into reforms and
liberalisation and the tearing down of socialism that, we have been
told, is addressing India's gargantuan problem of poverty in the most
efficient way possible. The proponents of this great exercise will
quote arguments and figures at length to make that case, to persuade
us that poverty is on the wane. And if you look at their figures, you
will indeed be persuaded. Figures are like that.

But then I do this second-class journey, and I am left with fumbling,
groping questions: Why can't I see it, this dramatic decrease in
poverty that's supposed to be chugging along so nicely? Why, in all
the years that I've noticed and been aware of realities in my country,
have I not felt there is a perceptible drop in the number of poor
people? And on this one journey, why do I see more beggars -- many
more -- than I ever have on such a trip?

Anecdotal evidence, those proponents will say, supercilious smile
spreading on their faces because they believe they know better.
Anecdotal evidence doesn't count. You have to look at the numbers. If
you do, you will understand what we've been saying: the move to free
markets is bringing more people out of poverty faster than anything
else ever has, at any time in our history. In fact, it's a proven fact
that free markets are the only mechanism there is to truly address

So just give it some time.

Oh yes, time. After all, who would expect an end to widespread poverty
overnight? It must and will take time.

Then again, the reforms have been in place nearly 15 years. That's
over a third of the time from 1947 till liberalisation began. By any
standards, that hardly qualifies as "overnight" any more. By any
standards, after 15 years during which droves of people escaped from
being poor, I should see around me some perceptible decrease in

On this trip, I didn't.

Look at it this way: let's say I've been piling our household trash
outside my front door for a year. Let's say I've steadily ignored my
wife's pleas to clean the godawful mess that's now built up there.
Until today, when I finally tell her I'm going to clean up. It's a
huge job, but I do get started on it. Every day, I show my wife
figures of the number of truckloads of dirt I've carted off from our
door to the city dump.

Four months from now -- one-third of the year that I dumped garbage
uncaringly at our front door -- would she be entitled to expect that
the rubbish pile has visibly diminished?

And if she doesn't see this -- if she instead sees it looming just as
large, perhaps even larger -- would she be entitled to think, this
husband of mine is doing something wrong. If he's doing anything at
all. What's more, would it make sense for me to smile superciliously
at her worries and whip out my figures again? Tell her that her fears
about the non-decreasing pile amount to just so much anecdotal
evidence, and that doesn't count?

Absurd, of course. By themselves, figures mean nothing. The anecdotal
evidence gives them heft and credibility.

Again, look at it this way: If I never had seen Indians defecating on
the tracks, on the rocks at low tide, by the side of the road -- yes,
if I never had seen such sights, it would be difficult to believe the
troubling statistic that nearly seven of every 10 Indians lack access
to reasonable sanitation. But I have seen them. That's why I have a
sense that the figure is likely to be true. What's more, it's the only
way I have of judging the truth in the figure.

In much the same way, our encounters with poor Indians are the
anecdotal evidence that allows us to judge the truth about levels of
poverty; about claims that those levels have decreased. What's more,
they are the only way we have to judge those claims.

There's no doubt in my mind: reforms must happen. But 15 years after
the process began, I can't help feeling that something is wrong about
the way we are pursuing them. For I am yet to see the one effect they
must have, first and above all: a visible lessening in the level of
Indian poverty. Fewer poor Indians around us. I can't see that.

This train journey, in which Indian poverty streamed past me as if we
were t some surreal alternate Republic Day parade, showed me as much.

* * *

You can send me comments at

Jul 23, 2007, 3:00:37 AM7/23/07
Is there anything new about India that we need to know??? Yes, India
is still a 3rd world nation (like China) but has made good progress in
recent years and there's hope they will continue to make progress.
Happy now?

Now the question is when RAK can move on to new topic and show us he
can do it or he can only be a shit digger. Haha!


Jul 23, 2007, 3:51:05 AM7/23/07
this pakistan homo prostitute can only copy and paste other people's
die and go to hell, pakistan bastard troll !!!


Jul 23, 2007, 7:48:50 AM7/23/07

India doesnt shoot such people, nor do they jail them or sweep them
under the carpet

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