BANGALORE – Speaking at the 6th Henry Volken Memorial lecture at Indian Social Institute in Bangalore Dr.Binayak Sen said that the weak has to develop internal strength to do politics otherwise the wide spread despair can lead people to disastrous path.
He said that democracy is about governance by consent and it cannot be reduced to series of election. He further said that for this very purpose social mobilization has to be constant and running theme of democracy.
Citing the recent hunger death of tea workers in Bengal Dr.Sen said that these starvation death and tragic death like these need to be contextualized and must not be seen in isolation.
Referring to Prime Minister’s latest remark on Malnutrition as National Shame he asked that if Child Malnutrition is shame then what to say about Adult Malnutrition which is equally rampant and about which we never talk.
Dr.Sen also argued in his lecture that Famine is not about shortage of grain, citing the case of Bengal Famine of 1943 he said that there was not shortage of food grains and all those boats carrying the grains were savaged by direct orders from British Raj
He said that Body mass index is very low in this country and 37 % has BMI less than 18.5 and if 40 % of population has low BMI then it is referred as state of famine and we are near to it.
‘National grain consumption has seen a fall of 110 kg in from 880 kg to 770 kg’, he added. ‘This famine is getting worse’. ‘The incident of hunger death of those tea workers at Dhekla pal is just the tip of iceberg’ He said.
Referring to various resistance movements in the country he said that ‘resistance is only way for these community’. ‘The struggle against POSCO in Odisha is an admirable one’ he added
He criticized the public policy practices in the country and urged that this must be directed towards well being of its citizen which is possible through equity.
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