D-Sector for Development Community

   Friday, March 22, 2019
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Sharp Quotes
By D-Sector Editorial Team

Interesting, profound or out of the box comments on various issues.
"In the light of what America is doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it rather seems as though Washington has had a change of heart: why fight a war on terror when you can simply do deals with the terrorists?"
- Vir Sanghvi, renowned Indian commentator

"The positive energy of yoga could enrich the Communist ideology to make Nepal more dynamic."
- Prachanda, former Prime Minister of Nepal and Maoist leader

"There is a language of communication and there is a language of culture. The language of culture is a window to your history, mythology, folklore, proverbs, idioms, to your creativity ... and itís the language in which we cry and laugh. There is no contradiction between the two."
- Pavan K Varma, famous Indian writer

"Poverty does not seem to stir our conscience."
- - Dr M S Swaminathan, renowned agriculture scientist

"Globalisation has brought together the rich and the crooked from all over the world."
- Devinder Sharma, public policy analyst and commentator

"The exploitation is visible in cases where farmers had received microfinance from NGOs, and they are exploiting the farmers."
- Dr Damodar Rout, Agriculture Minister of Orissa

"There are many allegations against the microfinancing institutions including high interest rates that ensnare the borrowers in perpetual debt."
- AMA Muhith, Bangladesh Finance Minister

"Monsanto is a bad name. I am sorry to say that. This is one of the companies that are facing maximum number of cases even in America. If we succeed, our approach will not be like Monsanto, because they want to earn money. They are not here for charity. If they are investing in research, they will try to earn money. "
- Sharad Pawar, Indian Agriculture Minister

"In Dantewada, the police wear plain clothes and the rebels wear uniforms. The jail superintendent is in jail. The prisoners are free (after being escaped from the jail). Women who have been raped are in police custody. The rapists give speeches in the bazaar. "
- Arundhati Roy, writer and activist, on Maoism affected tribal regions

"Social development has not become an instrument in triggering economic development in Kerala."
- Joseph Tharamangalam, Economist

"No country can sub-contract its development. Development comes about when you develop the capacity to manage your own resources. "
- Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, Togo's Prime Minister

"The economic growth rate has no role in the life of those who live below poverty line. "
- Swami Ramdev, Yoga Guru

"We canít afford the luxury of having teacher-student ration of 1:20. But by learning to use scarce resources effectively we can change this. "
- Sam Pitroda, Chairman, Knowledge Commission of India

"Iíd like to think that as our time has gone by and as Americans have found themselves in 2010, ignorance is being replaced by a certain amount of enlightenment and racism is going to be replaced eventually by an acceptance. Itís just taking an awfully long time."
- Tom Hanks, Hollywood Actor on Racism in USA

"Now they (Maoists) can bring many sectors of Indian economy to their knees. But they don't want to do it today. They know that if they do that now, the state will come very hard. They are not fully prepared to face the onslaught of the state machinery. So, they would rather go very slowly."
- G K Pillai, Home Secretary, Government of India

"We've gotten to the point where food products have more rights than we do as individuals. Corporations are getting too much power. Their only interest is profit. That profit is leading our society to a bad place. The similarities to what happened in the financial meltdown are all too frighteningly similar. "
- Robert Kenner on the American food industry. Kenner is the director of Oscar-nominated Food Inc.

"After all, it is the public who has to consume it, not the government. The risks and benefits should be carefully evaluated."
- Agriculture scientist and Rajya Sabha member M.S. Swaminathan on Bt Brinjal

"For those promoting GM food, science is God and scientists the priests that negotiate with God on behalf of mankind."
- Claude Alvares, renowned Development Philosophy Critic and writer

"Nearly 1000 U.S. soldiers have died (in Afghanistan). And for what? Hundreds of billions spent. And for what? To make Afghanistan safe for crooks, drug dealers and crony capitalism? "
- Dennis Kucinich, US Congressman (D-OH)

"Swapping genes between organisms can produce unknown toxic effects and allergies that are most likely to affect children."
- Vyvyan Howard, expert in infant toxico-pathology at Liverpool University Hospital, United Kingdom.

"In Bollywood, people rise only when they're in trouble. ShahRukh stood up for himself. Why didn't the body of film producers that he is part of, stand up for him too? "
- Sudhir Mishra, Indian Film Director

Corruption Watch

The bad news is that corruption has not only sustained but has grown in size and stature in the country. With scams being a regular feature, seventy per cent respondents in a survey have rightfully opined that corruption has continued to increase in India. One in every two interviewed admit having paid a bribe for availing public services during last one year. Transparency International's latest survey reveals that the political parties top the chart for the most corrupt public institutions, followed by police force and legislatures. No wonder, India continues to make new records on the global corruption arena!

The shocking revelation is that the health and education sectors haven't remained untouched by this phenomenon. With 5th and 6th positions respectively for these sectors on the public perception chart on corruption, corruption has crept insidiously into these sectors of hope for the masses. With bureaucracy being fourth in the list of corrupt institutions in the country, corruption seems to have been non-formally institutionalized with little hope if public services would ever be effective in the country. With economic growth having literally institutionalized corruption, are we now expecting corrupt to be socially responsible - a different CSR.

Poor. Who?

Not giving 'aid' to India is one thing but calling it 'rich' is quite another. If one in three of the world's malnourished children live in India, what does average daily income of $3 indicate? It perhaps means that there is a relative decline in poverty - people are 'less poor' than what they used to be in the past. But having crossed the World Bank arbitrary threshold of $2 a day does not absolve the 'developed' countries of their obligation to part with 0.7 per cent of their Gross National Income in development aid. Should this three-decade old figure not be revised?  

An interesting debate in UK's House of Commons delved on future of development assistance by the British Government. While prioritizing limited resources has been a concern, there has been no denying the fact that development aid must be guided towards tangible gains over a short period of time to start with. There are difficult choices for elected governments to make - should they invest in long-term primary education or in short-term university scholarships? Which of these will bring gains and trigger long-term transformation in the society. As politicians continue to be divided on the matter, poverty persists!!   

Lead View
People, Partition and the Pain
By Rina Mukherji
15 Aug 2013

Dr Jayanti Basu's book analyzes the complex feelings of hatred and longing for the homeland that have contributed to shaping the personalities of a generation of people who were forced to ..
Book Shelf

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