The stunning fact revealed by Census 2011 that almost half of Indian households lack toilet facilities is embarrassing to every Indian. It is also difficult to digest some other facts — like the finding that two-thirds of households use firewood, crop residue or coal for cooking. Governments have no solution for continuing poverty and illiteracy. But we have tonnes of gold and crores of rupees lying idly in banks amid tight security, received as offerings by many temples, churches and mosques.
Ours is a nation which has its priorities in the reverse order. We have households with no toilets but cell phones. People do not have access to clean drinking water but have Pepsi and Coke. Millions travel in unreserved train compartments packed like sardines and the government plans to introduce bullet trains.
The census reflects the mindset of Indians. There are many BPL families which are not interested in building a toilet but want to possess a cell phone. Governments, too, find it easier to provide people with televisions and other electronic products, rather than enhance their standard of living.
T.V. Nageswara Rao,
The census is a slap in the face of those who advocate neo-liberalism, who give precedence to technology and consumerism, rather than basic facilities.
It is deplorable that as we progress more towards an age of digitisation, the lower strata of our society continues to be deprived of basic sanitation.
I have seen many houses with huge halls and bedrooms but awfully small and dingy toilets. It is surprising that the so-called culturally superior Indians cannot understand that people can live without cell phones, not toilets.
We are sure to encounter weird arguments like ‘we spend only a few minutes in the toilet whereas we can talk for hours on cell phones.' The census shows the preferences of Indians and the government's policy of making certain items available to all.