Changing India- Insights From the Margin (An Old and Rare Book)
|B.R. PUBLISHING CORPORATION
My family comes from Hyderabad Sind in northern India, a region that is now part of Pakistan. After Partition my family had to move to East Africa, where I was born in 1950. Our family never forgot India and spoke of it constantly. I was brought up with such a familiarity with my mother country that I could probably have directed you round Indian towns I had never visited.
In the late 1960s when Kenya gained Independence we became refugees for a second time. In 1967 I arrived with my family in London.
By 1988 I was an executive working for an international corporation: my work gave me the opportunity to visit my mother country. I took with me my own notion of India, gained from other people's memories, but could hardly recognize it in the India to which I came. The old palaces had mostly become hotels, the influence of Western culture was evident on every hand, and many old traditions had given way to a modernized way of doing things. Most striking of all, the gap between India's rich and India's poor had widened. The experience of being shown around the slums of Mumbai, said to be the worst in Asia, changed my life.
Throughout the twentieth century, every one of India's leaders followed Marx's advice (misquoted above). From Vivekananda to Vajpayee, from Mahatma Gandhi to the Nehru-Gandhi’s, they have all been in the business of trying to change India for the better.
Of course Gandhiji would not have agreed that understanding is unnecessary. How could you change India without understanding her deep traditions, her rich cultural diversity and the ancient wisdom of her people (interpreted by Gandhiji's inner voice)? To do him justice, Karl Marx also believed that understanding was important. Communism, his programme for change, was based on a profound analysis of why the world is as it is.
That analysis was one of the many influences on Jawaharlal Nehru, who wanted to change India into an egalitarian, democratic, socialist state. For Indira Gandhi it was Garibi hate ('away with poverty') and the Twenty Point Programme. For Rajiv Gandhi education, technology and computers were going to bring the transformation.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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