India Uncut

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

One tight slap under your ear

I was chatting with a gentleman who knows Lalu Prasad Yadav fairly well. He told me:
You know, Amit, there is one word that you should never mention in front of Lalu Prasad Yadav: development. If you even whisper "development" in front of him, he will give you one tight slap under your ear. He hates that word.

If someone says to him, "Laluji, let's build a road," Lalu will reply, "you build a road in your house if you want. No roads will be built in Bihar." Lalu is in power because Bihar isn't developed, and he knows it. It is in his interest to keep the people uneducated and poor.

So at villages, he will tell the people this: "So you want a road? Ok, I'll build a road. Then the big men will come from cities and build factories here, and they will take your land and they will exploit you and make you work and you will be like slaves. So tell me, do you want a road? If you want a road, I will build it."

And of course, all those people in the villages are uneducated, who know of industry only from hearsay and myth, so they say, "No roads. We don't want roads." And Lalu says, "Janta doesn't want roads. No roads."

Hopefully when the election results are out, Lalu's reign will end.

But, I ask this gentleman, will the next guy try to develop the state, or will he make the same calculations as Lalu? The gentleman sighs, gently. We stare into our respective glasses of beer, which glisten under artificial light.
amit varma, 2:07 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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