Soham has made a comment on my post "Wrong signals":
"If there are no roads, build the roads. If there is no driving discipline instil discipline. Those are just excuses of the socialists (basically Naxalites posing as NGOs and human rights activists) who are afraid of development. They are like the frogs in the village well and a millstone on Bengal's neck. They know development will mean that the poor will become rich. That's what these socialist elite fear the most. Let the Singur car factory happen. Let the SEZ at Nandigram happen. And let the lumpen, communal, anti national, violence prone elements (Naxalites + Jamaat) lose their face.”
Here’s my response.
Hullo! Thank you for your visit and comment.
I would like to join you in your thinking and endeavours to wish and work well for all the people of India, and in particular the poor.
I believe that the globalisation of the Indian economy has also brought great opportunities for the social and economic advancement of the low income and poor sections of India. I believe that the market system, based on business enterprise and profit is the only means in today’s world, for the efficient taking up of society’s economic functions. I also firmly believe in public policy, knowing that ultimately underlying the market and profit governed society is a set of normative values and choices. I have also tried, through many years, to understand the meaning, incidence, causes and solutions for poverty and disempowerment in India, in Calcutta, and West Bengal, in other specific parts of India, other parts of the world, and also internationally.
Hence, politics and civic life - today in a global society - have to be about the advancing of values one believes in. I also believe that views, opinions and ideologies are also ultimately unimportant, in the face of reality. So if one likes to remain deluded in one’s self-willed false worldview and beliefs, time and the world are only going to pass you by. On the other hand, if one really believes in some things, and feels strongly about this, then one can try to do something, something specific, in some place, with some people. That experience will also bring much learning, through which one’s former beliefs and awareness could even change drastically.
I have no objection to cars and car plants, or to industrialisation, or to roads, or to investments by profit-making capitalists, Indian and foreign. But being a student and teacher of economics, as well as a thinking citizen with a point of view, with some experience in relating to, engaging with, and working in the public domain, and now while also managing a small family enterprise, which manufactures for the global market, in which humble people from disprivileged backgrounds work and have risen in life – I have objections to the conduct of the state govt and the chief minister, and of Tata. As a citizen I think I am entitled to my views, and to expect and demand transparency, accountability, and proper conduct on the part of my govt.
In my posts on Singur, I have expressed and stated my point of view. The articles I have linked to have also cast light on various aspects of the matter, which I felt were important for people to be aware of.
As you mentioned roads – I would like to refer you to an article on this by Sunita Narain. That raises various important issues pertaining to cars and roads, and real costs, and about who pays. Read this here.
Nandigram Special Economic Zone – let it happen, and I hope the state govt will be able to win the confidence of all the farmers who will be displaced, and then do its best to minimise the hardship to be necessarily borne by some for new industrialisation. I feel I too should be subject to personal sacrifices for a public and social cause, and have no hesitation to bear the cost of building a better future for all. To the extent I am able to, I do, out of my own beliefs and will, contribute and work in various ways for the same goal.
I have no objections to your views on socialists, NGOs, lumpens, communalists, Jamaat, Naxalites etc, as I am not a member or sympathiser or apologist for any of them.
So I am sorry if somehow you have been angered by something I do not identify with; hence I have tried to make my own position clear. I would also like to join you in your efforts for realising a better future for all Indians, since that is very dear to me. But if there is a genuine difference between our points of view, because of our differing perceptions, analysis, understanding, vision, experience, normative make-up – then I suppose that is as it must be, and both of us are entitled to our views. Ultimately time will prove whether you or I or neither of us was right.
But I would also actively participate and work for shaping the future that I, and more crucially my children, are going to live with. That will bring success, or a change in one’s views and being, or resistance, or frustration, or personal injury and loss, or failure, encouragement, cheer, dejection, hope, pain; and continuation or withdrawal. And so it will go on as long as one is alive, alive in a civic sense.