I Am A Naive Little Child

I apologize for sounding naïve amidst such great and revered minds.

“Words like reforms and policy formulation looks good in books and analytical pieces, but honestly none of us have any clue on how to deal with it in reality. It is very easy for us to ignore little children who sit all day under the traffic lights while their mothers run behind cars to get a Re.1 coin or the maid who washes our dirty utensils everyday and we do not even bother to ask her whether she had a peaceful sleep the previous night and was not beaten black and blue by her drunk jobless husband. But we are very particular of the fact that this very maid should open her torn sandals before entering our houses. At best we can show sympathy to prove that we are humans. Do you really think solving these issues needs blockbuster policy reforms or jingoistic thesis sprinkled with jargons? Well, we all know the answer. We should start bringing changes in our daily lives by doing simple things which are right there in our ancient text books on ethics and morality but who cares? I am not being pessimistic or Leftist-minded. But let’s for once sit and give a serious thought on this. Large-scale thesis and theories, which a normal person cannot understand, are meaningless. We need to instill in our everyday life simple values and virtues of truth, honesty, empathy and love.

Why cannot people like us spend our weekends by teaching a poor child or help our maids open bank accounts and get her children admitted in schools? Why cannot we offer free but quality education to the children out there right inside our colonies? Well, difficult it may sound? It is actually very simple. We need to come out of our parochial, regionalist and fanatic views. And this is true not only for India but the world. Besides lack of education and absence of good governance, poverty is also increasing due to rise in religious dogmatism and fanatic perspectives. We cannot carry the baggage of history and try a build a new society. We need to read history and learn from the mistakes made in the past. Lastly, I apologise for sounding naïve amidst such great and revered minds, but to me reducing poverty should not be treated as rocket science and may be that is exactly why poverty in this country has increased rather getting decreased. We have only been cleverly able to hide it!”

You must be wondering: Who is this child? But, it was not a child who said this. I read this in “Growth And Poverty—The Great Debate” I quickly gathered that the person who said this is my ex colleague, at the Business Standard—A grim, joyless lady who would not crack a smile. Her full name is Nayanima Basu. I quoted this because this is indicative. This, is the philosophy of a woman in its full glory. It is hard for these types to not let emotions get in the way of their reasoning process.

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