Why Jairam Ramesh is spot on?

There has been three major trends in the popular mass media: FDI, a challenge to pluto-democracy by civic society activist turned politician- Arvind Kejriwal and the Sanitation hooplah over Jairam Ramesh’s comments saying that India had more temples than toilets. The Hindu Right was affronted by such a sacrilegious statement, saying that the Congress is concerned with hurting the sentiments of the majority community. For anyone who has watched the years most understated bollywood film: OMG on the commercialization of organized religions, would see where the debate is heading. Jairam Ramesh is a skilled , wily technocrat who used a simple literary device of a comparative to shock and awe to force through effective change communication. Shame can indeed be a powerful, transformative emotion to drive change. Our religious places are spic and span but our streets and squatter settlements are not, is cleanliness not next to Godliness as the primary school moral science sentiment goes. Well, we are a nation which keeps over houses clean, but dump garbage and pee openly on the streets as we dont have enough public toilets and open defecation is still morally within the spectrum of acceptance. Normally i would have to enter a shopping mall or a restaurant to visit the loo, which is a significant detour if someone has a tight schedule. No wonder, we are a nation of urinary tract problems, and as we have a diabetics epidemic where would we visit the washrooms. 

Sulabh International has been doing extraordinary work over the decades to manufacture the culture of sanitation. If they can do it, our Government is following a good workable model. Sanitation is intertwined with other systemic variables like climate change as in it being associated with public health. 

Finally a politician has raised a developmental matter, can we not communalise a topic for a change?


2 thoughts on “Why Jairam Ramesh is spot on?

  1. Good writing, appreciate it. I also appreciate Mr. Jairam for creating awareness about cleanliness. I am also not against him for this statements. My answer to the last question written in this article- yes, if communalising a noble topic can bring change, we should. And expect Mr. Jairam to say ”India has equal mosques than toilets……..”.

  2. Let us forget majority and minority for a moment. However, did Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak made any such statement that “Toilets are more important than temple”? He silently worked for the years. He made the real changes in the field of sanitation. If some minister of India want to adopt that model, can not he adopt it in its pure form, that is, to take action rather than making sensational statements in front of cameras? Almost all the models and schemes started by any Government are usually intended for the welfare of the common people. But all are started with some big announcement, due credits are taken, and then everyone forgets those schemes or uses them for making money(or votes).
    Now coming to the OMG issue. Every one accepts that there are several bad practices in all communities. But, we wish to know the name of any book (such as Lajja) or film criticising any other religion and has been not been censored by the Government of India (or boards representing the Government).

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