Sunday, October 09, 2011

Seen, obscene and unseen

From BYLINE- Sunday Guardian (October 9)

Wealth is far easier to recognise than poverty. Wealth is either seen or obscene; poverty remains largely unseen. Poverty of the worst kind is hidden in those parts of India — or indeed the world — where it is outside the provenance of government, and beyond the interest of individuals and institutions who fuel the engines of modern life, like business concerns or bureaucracy or media. Those of a liberal persuasion do feel the occasional moral twinge at the passing sight of near-starvation, but poverty does not appear on any balance sheet, liberal or conservative. The cure for liberal guilt is aversion. We take our eyes off the hungry. We leave the responsibility to government.

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