Saturday, September 10, 2005

Numerology

What a week it was!! The sensex surged past 8000 points. By the amount of coverage it got in the national media, it seems to be a very big number, and I felt my chest swelling by 2 more inches in pride. I was castigated for not playing any part in the new economic resurgence of our nation, and stuffinf all my meekly earned money in low interest bank deposits. But more on that, later. The forex reserves stood at a whopping 1.7 billion dollars (that is, 8 followed by 8 zeros number of hundred rupee notes). Again a very very big number. Blair visited India and emphasized on FDI and the strength of the Indian economy. In all this hulla-gulla, josh-wosh, we grossed over a significant news item, which many of our english language newspaper did not find significant enough to print on the first page. UNDP published its human development index report for this year. We performed well to hold on to our last year position in the global ranking of the nations. 127 might look a small number in contrast, but considering that there were only 177 nations for which data was calculated, it is not. The big fish eats away the small fishes. (that is "badi machhli chhoti machhli ko kha jati hai", in english) So amid those big nimber of 8000 and 8 followed by 8 zeros, we missed out on many small numbers. There are small small numbers like, life expectancy at birth of 63 years, school enrolment ratio of 60%, female earning index of 0.38, only 12% people having assess to improved sanitation, and some big small numbers like infant mortality rate of 87 per 1000, 25% undernourished population, etcetra, etcetra. With this contrasting picture, we might ignore the second set of numbers as inconsequential. But isn't it very obvious that something went wrong somewhere. Am I blaming or trying to find fault with our fast economic development in last 15 years. No, of course not. It is because of those reforms, that I am working and earning whatever I am earning. But how can I ignore my cousin who is finding it extremely hard to pursue his B.Sc. because of his parents unemployment/illness/high medical costs/no_collge_within_100km. Why did we leave behind so many people out of our economic progress?

The more sad aspect of it is the growing disinterest shown by our urban class, to these numbers.

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