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?