by Sumer Kaul
Even as the government gloats over the 9 per cent growth rate and the lapdog media merrily echoes the feel-great mood (and celebrates such glorious happenings as the addition of one or two Indians to the global gallery of billionaires!) comes a report that people of an eastern UP village are following field rats to their burrows to scrape out grain, and at times collecting and consuming undigested leftovers from cowdung in a bid to delay their souls departing their bodies.
Even if one, just one Indian has to do this to survive, it is a horrendously damning comment on our development policies and priorities. In fact this heart-rending deprivation is true of hundreds of thousands of Indians. What does the much tom-tommed growth rate mean to them or, indeed, to the untold millions of our countrymen who go to bed hungry every night?