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Straight from the Specialists

India hiding from its own ‘crap’

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By C. Uday Bhaskar

(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

India, to put it euphemistically, is awash in its own ‘crap’ — a word derived from old Dutch to mean excrement. While accurate to an alarming degree, coming soon after the euphoria over the Agni missile tests, the discomfiture is evident.

Till recently, collective India preferred to do the ostrich act over its own excreta and waste management and stoutly refused to acknowledge that such a situation existed at all — let alone perceiving it as a major national challenge. The Indian ostrich act was to bury the collective head and public discourse into the 3C sand – the staple cricket-cinema-crime combine.

Management of waste — public, private household — was not even quantified in a scientific and systematic manner and hence the problem did not exist. The state and its municipal/civic affiliates responsible for such disposal opted to live in virtual reality and the unwritten media norm was to blank out the crap from the news. Baudrillard’s simulacrum has indeed enveloped India – crap and all.

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