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Everybody Loves a Good Drought: Stories from India's Poorest Districts Paperback – September 1, 1996
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What certainly comes through in Sainath's book is the incredible arrogance of much of the Indian administration. Save a few isolated cases, the examples of the arrogant official class are myriad - the official insistence that they know better than the very natives who had lived in an area for years; the mass sterilisation of perfectly good cattle, already adapted to the environment, in order to make way for a so-called "super cattle", which turns out to be useless; or the mass uprooting of millions of people to make way for useless dams, now brought to the attention of the West through the thankless activism of Arundhati Roy (the author of the God of Small Things). A consistent theme running through Sainath's reporting is a lack of honest and sincere consultation with the very people the `reforms' are supposed to help.
There are hopeful stories too - like the story of women's collectives. Sainath tells of how groups of women have gotten together and formed organised labour, and which do a better, more efficient work than the more `sophisticated' industries and companies.Read more ›
Sainath is the most irreverent and committed journalist in India today. His stories, written for the Times of India, are full of pathos, but also of optimism--optimism born of his discovery that the poor in India are organizing to fight for their rights, have maintained a sense of dignity, and continue to live their lives against the most difficult odds.
The stories of government mismanagement of funds earmarked for rural uplift are perhaps not surprising, but for many, the stories of the venality of corporations and the tales of institutions like the Army running roughshod over the rights of hundreds of millions of India might just open eyes that were glued shut to the injustices prevalent in the Indian social matrix. The stories of India's 80 million tribal and indigenous people, Adivasis, are heart wrenching and fantastic--such stories cannot be found in mainstream publications.
Sainath has done an enormous and important task here: I recommend this book to everyone.
If this book has a weakness, it is in its repetition of account upon account of despair without offering potential solutions to alleviate the crisis. A great companion book to this excellent work would be Abraham George's "India Untouched: The Forgotten Face of Rural Poverty", which examines the crisis of poverty and offers realistic and pratical solutions that have been implemented.
The topic sounds sad. But the shenanigans that happen, as we see the route the money takes to get to the local people, are almost funny because of the way the author uses his skills with words and his use of the "understatement" to heighten the absurdity of the situation.
This book is very eye opening about the government in India. It almost reminds me of how ineffective the U.S. has been in its attempt to implement funds for natural disaster relief like with Katrina or others.
The book tells so much about the mentality of the people of India, their perseverance and strength and, in the end, their wisdom in dealing with the government.
Excellent read! Informative and, in a absurdist way, humorous.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There can never be any doubt over the credibility and exhaustive research done by the legendary journalist, P. Sainath. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Sumi
Even though it is based on the events that happened in the last decade, This is the best that I could get to understand the reality of the rural india based on the experience of... Read morePublished on November 19, 2013 by Sudhakar R
"Everybody Loves a Good Drought" is a collection of newspaper articles from the pen of a man Amartya Sen has aptly identified as India's greatest expert on famine. Read morePublished on November 17, 2012 by Arjun Rajendran
Mr. Sainath captures the plight, hopes, and loss in rural villages in India. Farmers are committing suicide at an unprecedented rate. People are trying to adjust but hope is lost. Read morePublished on October 21, 2006 by John Inman