Wednesday, November 21, 2007


"It's true that India has progressed. It's true that in 1947, when Colonialism formally ended, India was food-deficit. In 1950 we produced 51 million tonnes of food grain. Today we produce close to 200 million tonnes.

It's true that in 1995 the state granaries were overflowing with 30 million tonnes of unsold grain. It's also true that at the same time, 40 per cent of India's population - more than 350 million people - were living below the

poverty line. That's more than the country's population in 1947.

Indians are too poor to buy the food their country produces. Indians are being forced to grow the kinds of food they can't afford to eat themselves. Look at what happened in Kalahandi District in Western Orissa, best known for its starvation deaths. In the drought of '96, people died of starvation (16 according to the Government, over a 100 according to the press). Yet that same year rice production in Kalahandi was higher than the national average! Rice was exported from Kalahandi District to the Centre.

Certainly India has progressed but most of its people haven't."

From Arundhati Roy's blog. I love her, totally. But her blog has too many ads that do not fit with what she says, detract the reader and generally cast a shadow of doubt on the whole discourse.

In any case it is essential reading. She is so passionate, and she writes so well, and she is so engaged. Many other pieces on the blog, all very beautifully written pieces of political and environmental activism.

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