Thursday, May 19, 2011

[ZESTCaste] New Measures - from human development & unfettered rights/choices to justice


are new measures required for economic and social well being progress in 21st century? my inputs into economist.. please join this debate


Dear Madam/Sir

I am in total agreement. I think we need to develop indices using the approach of pedagogy of the oppressed

Rise in inequalities with human development is a reality globally. Strategies adopted by communities and households for dealing with inequalities vary from rise in drug trafficking in Central America, spread of dowry to communities where it did not exist (e.g. dalits and fisherfolks in India) and spread of Maoists attacks in India and rise in crimes in South Africa.

Climate change and environment degradation is also a reality. The burdens of both inequalities and climate change/environment degradation are disproportionately borne by those who are already marginalised like dalits, adivasis, blacks, landless households, migrants, marginal and small farmers, slum dwellers and women and girls amongst them (the oppressed).

It is in this context that the Human Development Index needs to be revisited from the vantage point of oppressed to what they see as human justice not only for this generation but next.

Do the oppressed believe in unfettered individual human rights or that individual human rights cannot curtail collective rights and well being? I believe the latter. They are against unfettered conversion of agriculture land, coasts, forests etc for tourism, industries, huge infrastructure development projects. However, conscious voices of oppressed (when a Paulo frierian model has been adopted) state that individual human rights cannot be violated in the name of culture (e.g. honour killing of those who marry outside their religion) or curtailment of freedom of speech in the name of national interests.

Do majority of oppressed believe in Reproductive and sexual rights or reproductive and sexual justice?
They place importance on Justice. Slum dwellers and poor rural women in Tamil Nadu were shocked when I asked them should women have a right to sex selection of males, so called sex work and surrogate motherhood. They were clear there would be more trafficking and polyandry, sexual violence and exploitation. They want underpinning causes which lie in neo liberal paradigm, patriarchy, casteism, class and unethical institutions should be addressed

A third point that the oppressed tell me is let us look at beyond capitalism and communism; beyond public and private-curtail choice in health and education. They have asked me why do your children have access to good education and we do not, why do we go to public health care and you go to private (though not all ethical), why do we live in slums and hamlets with poor water and sanitation when upper caste/whites do not?. They make a strong argument for putting back slum dwellers into main towns and dalit/black/Muslim hamlets into main villages and allocating the same water, health and education facility for all-publicly financed and publicly or privately provided (accredited institution).

As of now donors and government focus on sectoral projects when the need of the hour is changing social institutions to be accountable to needs of marginalized of present generation and future ones. The oppressed do not think of their lives sectorially but as individuals, members of families, communities, state (to some extent) etc. Some are aware of supra state organisations like World Bank, IMF and WTO, but a majority are not. But they want institutions they know to function with a justice perspective

They also want the upper middle class and elite to act in trusteeship, for if we keep on accumulating where is there anything left for them? The pie is after all limited. They want income/asset ceiling.


If human justice (present generation and future ones) are to become a reality we need to revisit development paradigms urgently, and revisit measures to capture these from the vantage point of the oppressed.


posted on 19/05/2011 01:46:55 amRecommended (0)Report abuse

Ranjani K.Murthy wrote:

Dear madam/Sir

In continuation of my previous posting let oppressed rule the family, dominant community, markets state, supra state institutions- world bank, WTO, IMF, UN et al. For what all what progress have the elite/elite countries made after 50-60 years of creation of these supra state organisations? Mother earth and the world is on a pathway to disaster.

The oppressed groups, sufis, bhakti movements, liberation theologists etc have a different connection with life force and just spirituality.

posted on 19/05/2011 02:42:39 amRecommended (0)Report abuse

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