Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Urban worlds, Consumerism, Disparity

18 July 2015 at 18:08 ·
Poverty is a tragedy. But when it is mocked by by highrises and malls and glass restaurauts that is when a tragedy metamorphises to evil. That is modern India, urban India.

Deepa Krishnan Consumerism is a recent thing, Aparna, but village life was a failed model long before consumerism invaded us. The failure of village life as a viable model has historical roots in British policies, combined with certain traits of the rural populace
It's not rocket science. Let's start with the size of our rural population. Our land is not meant to absorb so many people! We have perhaps put 4 or 5 times more people on rural land than we should have. Irrespective of size of the pocket, rural families produce big broods of children. Each child is then famished, and none can be brought up well. The land cannot provide for them. Even if there were no urban India, this simple truth is, our villages have too many children. If we try to see why, then that is also interesting. Many socio-religious-economic reasons are there. It's a big topic.
Mohammad Chappalwala Deepa Krishnan were you schooled in a reputed school. Do you think 'school education for all' as a solution for many of soci-economic-political issues
Gyan Mitra NATURE IS WELL DESIGNED. Nature does not create any life form, a human or ant without first having made provision for water, food, health and energy. Clever humans have meddled and corrupted Nature's design, so people suffer. Nature has the most amazing energy pathways. We are living in deception and self deception. This world is beautiful and can provide a safe and delightful life for its inhabitants. We have gone through great trouble to turn the ' garden of Eden ' into HELL.
Prakash Rv Deepa Krishnan won't urban cities face the same problem of more population than can be handled? And won't all of this concentrated into a few cities lead to other catastrophes?
Deepa Krishnan Mohammad Chappalwala - education system in its current form cannot solve the problems of rural India. But yes, basic education is necessary, without which fundamental things like sanitation, hygiene, reproductive health, cannot be achieved. The awareness and knowledge in our villages in pathetic. Recently a doctor running an NGO in some remote areas of Gujarat told me such ghastly stories of childbirth practices of some communities. In that district, people were going to godmen instead of getting a cholera epidemic under control. In Maharashtra you will not believe what is going on in the name of rural superstition. So such pitiful ignorance has to change. Apart from this, schooling can teach counting skills and basic literacy without which people cannot deal with life. We need vocational knowledge and ability to equip people for a livelihood, more than we need bookish learning. For bright children from poor circumstances, those who are capable of more and interested in learning, we must be able to find a way to help them achieve academic progress.
Deepa Krishnan Gyan Mitra, what you have written is a load of bunkum. Nature is not some rational thinking person who is designing a happy balanced world. The "natural order" is a very harsh way of life. Go and spend 2 days in the jungles of Africa where there is still "natural order of life" and then come and talk about nature. I have spent a week seeing it. The weak perish. Calves and young and weakest are the first to die. Water sources dry up. Animals fight tooth and nail for right to water and the strong succeed. People living in this enviroment suffer enormously. They live basic lives struggling to survive. Nature is fierce in cullling and killing. Nature creates droughts and disasters and erupting volcanoes. Nature maintains balance through death. Yes humans have meddled with nature. We have made cold countries inhabitable, we have colonised deserts and created comfortable homes in the remotest locations. We have made many advances which are good for us. We have devised clothing, we have devised agriculture, we have created beauty and craft. Have we gone too far in the way we altered the ecosystem? I would say so most definitely. We have definitely gone too far. That doesn't mean that no good has come from it. A lot of good also has come from it.
Deepa Krishnan Prakash RV, the menace of overpopulation affects both rural and urban India. The overflow from rural India has come into urban India. It continues to pour in. Now the second tier cities are all becoming mega-cities with mega-problems.
Gyan Mitra Three mistakes gifted by Western Civilisation are 1. Use of Fossil Fuel 2. Use of chemicals in agriculture 3. Use of a military 'science' called Allopathy on civilians. ' Fossil Fuel' robs oxygen from the air and returns toxic nitrates. This impacts health and also healthy human behaviour. Did you know there is a co-relation between the use of C.N.G. ( called "clean fuel" and rise of violence against women ? ) " Fossil Fuel" gives you short term gain and long term pain. The use of chemical fertilisers is simply to keep dual use factories which can create ammonium nitrate for wartime. It leads to the need for irrigation when moisture was enough and the natural antidote capabilities are stymied, food quality becomes poor. Allopathy today is simply a bunch of recipes to stop signals of distress, like resetting your computer screen when the internal program is still corrupted. I'm a student of Nature and I have learnt to be humble as it is then that Mother teaches.
Surya Mantha Cities are not a new phenomenon that sprung up like some zit recently. Urbanisation and cities have been with us for millenia. And honestly, some of the biggest advances (in science, arts, politics, economics, culture, ethics, morality and technology) have come from cities. So let us not diss them and put rural life on some theoretical idyllic pedestal. That is sheer idiocy
Gyan Mitra This planet is a water planet, and the surface can support large floating cities which can create non toxic food and energy also. So much is possible if we give up arrogance. Even the waves can be calmed.
Gyan Mitra The laws of ECOLOGY and ECONOMICS are the very same. Today's economics is about destroying resource for short term gain and creating pollution. Mother Nature creates food, fuel and fibre from pollution. Birds do not need kerosene to fly !
Deepa Krishnan Surya Mantha I agree. It is cities and trade that have kept rural India going through at least 3000 years. Specifically textile trade, but also trade in various other produce, this is what served as village surplus. Without the big trading ports - the Soparas, the Lothals, the Muzirises, the village could not become prosperous. It is a symbiotic relationship. The city needs the village, and vice versa.
Like · Reply · 18 July 2015 at 22:35 · Edited
Mohammad Chappalwala Surya Mantha all cities and complex societies have collapsed. Cities amd civilization are the cancer. They need importation of resources which are always based on violently taken away from their owners.
Deepa Krishnan Mohammad, no that is not historically correct. Urban life and complex societies have survived, becoming more and more sophisticated and interconnected.
Aparna Krishnan Mohammad Chappalwala, I wonder how some of us reached this self evident truth. And what experiences and learnings can help to see this reality. Arguments go nowhere.
Gyan Mitra Only agriculture can produce prosperity, it is the foundation. And ecological agricultural engineering can take this region a HUNDRED years ahead is a leap. Modern economics is about manipulation, and beggars people. That you can create wealth from waste, THAT is true prosperity. Trading in the past was about sharing. When modern economics commercialised it into acts of domination and subversion, misery was introduced.
Deepa Krishnan Gyan Mitra if you burden a small plot of land with 100 mouths to feed, agriculture cannot bear the burden.
Surya Mantha Making wild, unsupported, nay unsupportable, claims doesn't alter reality.
Surya Mantha Both rural and urban setups have their place and they don't have to be oppositional. As Deepa points out, they can be and are symbiotic
Mohammad Chappalwala .
If urban work is not stopped immediately food will vanish from earth.........Industrial activity has released billions of tonnes of industrial gases into the atmosphere which has heated up the land, oceans and atmosphere........It has melted arctic i...See more
Gyan Mitra Cities die when they are unable to manage their toxicity. Today urban centres draw resources from the rural areas for short term gain and give themselves and the rural areas pollution in return. Such a model is flawed and lead to collapse of civilisation. Civil becoming uncivil ! Injustice leading to suicide when people are in the low nitrate bandwidth and revolt when in a toxic bandwidth. ( There is a nature logic for everything )
Gyan Mitra Read the slide I posted and read where I wrote about Ecological agricultural engineering. When an acre of forest can be put onto 100 milligrams of eco chips, a lot of processing becomes possible. It is unfortunate that we have to wait for collapse of old models as people look for 'new' and tested solutions only when there is great crisis.
Aparna Krishnan If the process is a deep search for the answer, and if the ego, and one's own attachment to one;s premises is secondry, then discussions lead somewhere. Otherwise it moves into sophistry. In Sanskrit it is called Jalapa !
Aparna Krishnan And the sincerity of the search is sometimes only assessed by 'actions' - the boats one burnt, and the aches one took on, in the name of the search.
Mohammad Chappalwala Surya Mantha (" And honestly, some of the biggest advances (in science, arts, politics, economics, culture, ethics, morality and technology) have come from cities.") Honestly all this will be of no value if you do not have water to drink.
Aparna Krishnan Deepa,I know you probably will not, but i would request you to come and live in our village for a few months. Leaving pre-conceptions aside as far as possible. It is not easy - it took me years of closeness with a deeply civilised community to slowly drop my notions. Wre you to do so, I promise you it would be life changeing. Discussions will not help - only experience, unbiased, and with the only motive being to understand reality, leads to some real senseing. Suffice it to say that twenty years of living closer to them than most people have has given me some sense of reality - and i would dispute each point you have raised. But for a deeper engagement FB comments is not the forum.
Aparna Krishnan Urban systems has reached obscene levels - as typified that people are able to walk past poor children selling painting books, into a glass walled resaurant and eating - with those very eyes watching from the other side. Again I think the heart needs to be touched, and not the mind, and so again I rest my case 
Deepa Krishnan In urban India one is living side by side with poverty on a very, very large scale - everyone strikes a balance between their own desires and needs, and the altrusitic desire to help others. Different people draw the line at different places. Each contributes in different ways to the economy. A person running a restaurant providing employment to 50 staff may not be donating money to a village but is contributing in some other way. This is a complicated matter, about who contributes what to the world we live in. Trying to shame people for eating pizza is intolerance on your part. You cannot sit in judgement on others in this matter. They each will figure out their own save-donate equations.
Mohammad Chappalwala First it was tragedy now it has become farce. Your understanding is there about the ecological crisis. I request you to go through the material posted here.
Aparna Krishnan Mohammad, I feel more and more that details do not matter. A polar bear sitting on the disappering mass on ice, and a person rummageing in a dustbin when a car sweeps by is enough 'information'. Why the message fails to reach the heart is what we need to understand.
Aparna Krishnan Also what I see in my village, I see reflected identically in Vinoba's writings and Gandhi's writings.As also Dharampals. There is a common thread across villages - though I agree villages differ. Yes, at the same time Nahru saw it as a cesspool of the worst, and wanted all villages urbanised. Greater people than us have differred. I suppose one beleives in Gram Swaraj, or in smart cities. I think we have wasted enough time - and this has deteriorated into a 'debate' where each is trying to 'defend his position', and not search.
Deepa Krishnan It is important to debate. I say that by contributing his wealth Premji did more than any of us ever will. Everyone is free to contribute in whatever way seems right to them. Your model may or may not be the best use of your capability to make a real d...See more
Deepa Krishnan I think you should be doing bigger things - certainly you have the capacity. You define yourself as being best useful helping the women get a market for their pickles, thereby earning an immediate small sum this month. You see this as part of a bigger world view and a way of life. More power to you. All I ask is that you try to cultivate a more open mind towards other approaches and other ways of life too. All serve the land in different ways and your way is not necessarily the best way. We disagree on the method, but I respect your way. Over and out. You to pickles, me to the next rural project.
Aparna Krishnan No, i do not define myself by selling their pickles or by rural projects . My wish is far more audacious - it is to show people a different reality and possibility. And to raise the deepesr questions in their hearts about themselves if possible. I wish to serve god in his task, Anyway you will not understand - never mind.
Aparna Krishnan I do not wish to debate. If anyone is searching deeply for ways to help the 'poor', I search with them. That is all.
Jyothsna Yalla Aparna Krishnan lady, let me share something from my life...
Both my parents are from struggling farming families. Dad and Mom, educated ones, decided to move beyond the village so that their three daughters could be in a better place...after many sacrifices and struggles of every size n kind, they see us now educated, progressed on scholarships, cracked Engineering & MBA. They are glad that their girls are chasing some higher goals, enjoying better n far more comfortable n successful lives. The brilliant one is Portland, married to an American European gentleman...the one writing to you is in strategy, with global advertising agency and is dreaming to be an anthropologist someday.
And none of us have forgotten our
Humble roots. They shaped us, they defined us.
Aparna Krishnan Very glad you made it Jyotsna, and I deeply respect the struggle it must have been for your parents. I have also been pushing whichever child I can in the village. But for every child that struggles its way out of a devastated rural scenario, 50 perish. We break our hearts over Vishnu who struggles and makes it to engineering, and over 25 others who cannot scramble out and are into drifting and drink. Therefore I say villages need to be restored - for the good of all.
Jyothsna Yalla There's no escape from that. Villages carry the essence of India and Urbans will be the destination for dreamy people from rural. And mind you, well educated NRIs actually are coming back to roots and investing in farming and organic food generation
Aparna Krishnan Yes, as you say the essence is the village. And we need to work together to protect and restore it. Glad that we basically agree on the same essential point.
Aparna Krishnan In my village actually they are not eager to move to the city - given the reality of the city opportunities available to them. Were village to become stronger economically, most would stay on. Of course, schooling, with its anti-rural lesson has distorted things also.
Jyothsna Yalla fine then...most rural folks or youth anyway are not that keen to move to Urban. It's better to be self reliant than being one more face in urban crowds. But each cant thrive hating the other. Everyone deserves a better life and better things in life. Yes, one has to be smart enough to get things happen in favour of one, in this highly connected world
Aparna Krishnan hating is wrong ... but if the affluent can reduce their over consumption step by step by step - it would help them as well as the world. That is the crux imo.
Like · Reply · 2 · 18 July 2015 at 22:57

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