Monday, November 20, 2006

THE SUMMIT OF THE POWERLESS BEGINS

The Summit of the Powerless, initiated by Tehelka, begins in New Delhi today. Powered by the mantra of Two Indias One Future, delegates from all around the country gather the three cornerstones of civil society: money, power and people, to make a difference.

A dialogue between the have and have nots in India has long been overdue. Never mind the the awakening of the colossal commercial Indian giant since the last decade, the disparity between the rich and poor has never been greater.

In the words of Tarun Tejpal

For every swank mall that will spring up in a booming Indian city, a neglected village will explode in Naxalite rage; for every child who will take wings to study in a foreign university there will be 10 who fall off the map without even the raft of a basic alphabet to keep them afloat; for every new Italian eatery that will serve up fettuccine there will be a debt-ridden farmer hanging himself and his hopes by a rope.

Let's hope that this is a start for us Indians to reach out to one another and initiate and legitimize a process through which civil society can step in where the Indian State has yet to get success.