Many Young Indians Are Fat; More Are Famished
While India’s health officials confront rising levels of
childhood obesity, gnawing destitution continues to plague
millions of its youngest citizens.


Gandhi was a good man and his tactical use of ‘non violent’ civil disobedience — the Indians were not violent but apparently their leaders were fully aware that their crowd tactics could goad British troops into overreaction much as civil rights activists did with Southern segregationist police.  The resulting massacres played in the British press and stimulated the liberation move.

The other criticism that can be made of Gandhi is really not fair under the conditions of India of his time.  As India was a more or less destitute nation under the British, Gandhi urged that people strive individually to better their situations (self help).  But his resistance to state aid for those in need unhappily became the heritage that he left behind.  Planning in India has all too often devastated communities (e.g. with a dam or some such project in the larger interest).  The suffering of individuals is given second place to larger community interests as perceived by governments in charge.  Presumably some of the cultural attitudes of the caste system were carried over towards the untouchables much along the lines of U.S. racism.  See Arundhati Roy on such things:

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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