The name Anaarkali in the present context has many meanings - Anaar symbolises the anarchism of the Bhils and kali which means flower bud in Hindi stands for their traditional environmentalism. Anaar in Hindi can also mean the fruit pomegranate which is said to be a panacea for many ills as in the Hindi idiom - "Ek anar sou bimar - One pomegranate for a hundred ill people"! - which describes a situation in which there is only one remedy available for giving to a hundred ill people and so the problem is who to give it to. Thus this name indicates that anarcho-environmentalism is the only cure for the many diseases of modern development! Similarly kali can also imply a budding anarcho-environmentalist movement. Finally according to a legend that is considered to be apocryphal by historians Anarkali was the lover of Prince Salim who was later to become the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Emperor Akbar did not approve of this romance of his son and ordered Anarkali to be bricked in alive into a wall in Lahore in Pakistan but she escaped. Allegorically this means that anarcho-environmentalists can succeed in bringing about the escape of humankind from the self-destructive love of modern development that it is enamoured of at the moment and they will do this by simultaneously supporting women's struggles for their rights.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Similarly the World Bank too had played this spurious poverty game with gusto. It decided on 1$ a day per person as the extreme poverty line and 2$ a day as the poverty line in the 1980s when it first began to act in a big way in the first post oil price hike era to try and bring down poverty. However, unlike the Indian government the World Bank has suddenly had some kind of a change of heart and now it has come up with new estimates which show that 456 million people in India or 42% of the population live below the extreme poverty line while 828 million or 75.6% of the total population lives below the poverty line. This estimate is on the basis of converting the dollar using the purchasing power parity method rather than the official exchange rate method. Since the equivalent of a dollar in India fetches much more in terms of goods and services than it does in the USA that is why the poverty line expressed in dollars actually has a higher rupee value than that obtained by the official exchange rate.
One is left wondering as to why the World Bank has suddenly become so frank and forthright when it has consistently said earlier that world poverty has been declining due to its efforts and India especially has been reducing its poverty level by an annual 2% over the last two decades or so.