Two Indias in India

Amalendu Upadhyaya
Posted By -

By Justice Markandey Katju

The article ''India's state election results could spur stock markets to greater heights' published in the portal reveals that there are really two Indias in India, viz, (1) the India of the stock market, and (2) the India of the masses.
By Justice Markandey Katju

The first India looks at everything from the point of view of the stock market. If it is going upwards, all is well in India, no matter that every second child in India is malnourished, his/her body wasted or stunted, no matter that tens (if not hundreds) of millions of our youth are unemployed, no matter that proper healthcare and good education is almost non-existent for the masses, no matter the tens of million Indians who live in 'jhuggi jhopdis' (slums), and no matter that a handful of individuals in India own half its wealth.

The vast majority of India's 1400 population are struggling with their families to survive. They suffer from massive poverty, unemployment, child malnourishment, skyrocketing prices of food and fuel, lack of healthcare, etc. But all this is irrelevant for the First World. As long as stock prices are rising, all is rosy and hunky-dory for them, and they turn a Nelson's eye, and are indifferent, to the people's distress.

It is estimated that only 3% Indians bought stocks

In view of the recent sharp rise in food prices in India, even this figure must have gone down, because people have to first buy food and fuel before even thinking of buying stocks.

French Queen Marie Antoinette said that if the people do not have bread they should eat cake. The first India says if the people do not have roti-dal, they should buy stocks.

I am reminded of the first paragraph of chapter 1 of Charles Dickens' great novel 'A Tale of Two Cities' :

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way ''.

This accurately describes the situation in India. The first world is taking India to heaven. The second world is headed the other way.

(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. These are his personal views.)

Post a Comment


Post a Comment (0)