Two years back I visited my alma mater, the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, to meet up with an old classmate of mine who is…
Author: Rahul BanerjeeRahul Banerjee, an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (B.Tech in Civil Engineering) and Centre for Environmental Planning and Techonology University, Ahmedabad (Ph.D in Environmental Planning and Management) is a social activist and development researcher. He works along with the Bhil Adivasis (indigenous people) to synthesise their traditional qualities with modern skills and contribute to equitable and sustainable development as architects of their own future. Through the organisations Khedut Mazdoor Chetna Sangath, a trade union and Dhas Gramin Vikas Kendra (dhasgraminvikaskendra.com), a public trust. He blogs at http://anar-kali.blogspot.in/
The poor in this country are caught in a deadly pincers of malnutrition on the one hand which reduces the power of their immune system and makes them vulnerable to disease, an almost non-existent public health sytem, a rapacious private health system practicing irrational medicine and a lack of knowledge of basic medicine.
Our country does not lack in skilled people, it only lacks in respect for these millions of informally skilled people. Instead the crony capitalists who skim off public resources at will without providing sustainable development opportunities are the ones who command respect and that is why despite all the economic growth in recent years, poverty and hunger continue to dog most of the people.
Dr. Ambedkar took on and eventually won in two very important debates against two of the greatest economists the world has seen, a feat that cannot be equalled by any economist of India past or present. The more one reads Ambedkar the more one is left amazed at the giant nature of his intellectual prowess. Especially since he was not just an armchair intellectual but a social crusader who fought for justice for the oppressed.