"The government needs to look at this," Crowden said. "Budgets are being cut. If they don't do something, it's going to be a serious public-health risk." (via Coming to a bin near you: rat pack takes Britain by storm).
Where did this come in from
Growing up in various parts of India, one often heard, for every problem, two common remarks. One, "The Government should do something about this." The second, "It is not like this in foreign countries."
Whether it was overflowing drain or a pothole on the road. In the last few years, I wondered where this bit of escapist phraseology came in from! And now I know. Looking back, and seeing things now, I can see that things have changed.
The Indian State in retreat
To many, brought up on the Western schools of political understanding, the Indian Voter will vote for cash, sops, caste and allurements. This displays a profound disrespect for the Indian Voter – and greater ignorance.
The Indian State has been gradually and steadily retreating – and the Indian Voter has been at the forefront of this retreat. For all practical purposes health care in India has been privatized over the last 70 years. The vestigial State support for health care can also go, if the State cuts away its exclusive dependence on Western medical systems – and the complete collapse of Indian medical systems. The Western Voter will not let go of the subsidized health care system – while the Indian Voter has been gradually shifting the the private sector.
Similarly, the dependence on subsidized grain has been steadily decreasing. Inflation may give a false impression of increasing food subsidy bills. However, fact is that from about 75% of the population in the 1960-1970 decades, the dependence on subsidized food grains has reduced to 30%-40%.
Similarly, in other sectors too, the reduction of the role of the State is becoming apparent and welcomed – by the Indian Voter. The resistance is from the bureaucracy and the vested interests of Big Business.
Do things change
Over the years, Indians use this phrase less and less. This phrase is now close to becoming either extinct or may even become a parody. It may soon make its way into Indian films as a joke.
The interesting thing is ...
The other thing was that the people who could do something, the educated, the elite, the Westernized used this phrase, hankered for this solution more than the poor or the desi and the dehati types. In all my years, I have never heard a desi say that "the Government should do something about this."
Coming to the Brits! Till they get up, and stop asking the Government to do something, the decline will not stop!