Sunday, March 18, 2012

Everybody loves a good drought

Everybody loves a good drought
By P Sainath.

Finally, i have finished the book. What an excruciating journey. The story goes like this - I first came to now about this book while doing the Human rights course at NLSIU. There were couple of chapters from this book in one course. Very very tragic but very informative as well. Inspired i got the book in US and then started reading but after about 40-50 pages i gave up as it was getting too depressing for me. And then this week, as part of the Bangalore Politically inspired book club meetup, i had to finish this book in three days. Reading this time, (a) there was a sense of urgency to finish it, but also (b) there was a sense of being stoic-ness in me which made me just run through the book without any emotions or feelings.

About the book -
A must read (if you can) for a middle class Indian. We (middle class Indians) feel that we are impacted negatively by everything that is bad in India....we often forget that the rise of India has helped mostly us only. And there are people in villages who still suffer from the issues and are yet to see the changes that we have witnessed. This books talk about lives of those people. Sainath covers the poorest of Indian villages and the tales are shocking, depressing and sometimes just makes you hit your head against the wall. Inspite of the satirical titles, almost every tail talks about some kind of frustration. But there are also couple of success stories hidden in that book.

The writing is quite simple and direct. Sainath also is quite critical about his profession and other media agencies. The fact that these stories were not covered before is a failure of media to him.

 The meetup event was ok. It was the first Bangalore Politically inspired meetup and only one person other than me showed up even though five had RSVPed. I am not at all disappointed because (a) generally, i do not expect a big gathering, (b) meetup is not so popular in India and (c) it is going to take time. But i had a good time with the one person who showed up.

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