Saturday, June 11, 2016

the wealth of nations

It has been a difficult summer for India.
Drought and a searing heat wave have affected an astonishing 330 million people across the country.
But this summer also marks the 150th anniversary of a far more terrible and catastrophic climatic event: the Orissa famine of 1866.
Hardly anyone today knows about this famine. It elicits little mention in even the densest tomes on Indian history.
There will be few, if any, solemn commemorations. Yet the Orissa famine killed over a million people in eastern India.
So cultured, so educated, so refined, so self-anointing -- what fulcrum of wealth does not arrogate wondrous descriptions to its realms? Yet which has the steel to count the cost? The latter-day televised raiment of "Downton Abbey" is woven on a loom well hidden behind carriages and salad forks. The Brits in India are hardly an exception. Rather, I suspect, they are the rule.

To conquor is easy. To rule takes grit.

Is it possible that a nation without shame can be called a cultural beacon?

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