Saturday, June 04, 2011

Shashi Tharoor of the Day

Not quite surprisingly, Jairam Ramesh does it again:

Jairam Ramesh, India's minister of environment and forests, suggested the middle-class 'English-speaking women' who usually attended conferences on biodiversity and other green causes were useless compared with tribal women who had waged successful campaigns.

Speaking ahead of an event to mark World Environment Day, Mr Ramesh said educated ladies were "not required anymore."

"Sitting inside Vigyan Bhawan [New Delhi's main conference venue] and listening to well-drafted speeches yields no results. This year we have invited about 100 tribal women from all over the country," he said.


  1. Desi Babu said...

    I think I agree with him. Prof. Abi, think about it honestly -- when was the last time you did something about the environment? You have a Ph.D. and live in a tier-1 city. Perhaps, you reused a plastic bag or used public transportation. It would be fun to quantify the environment impact of your activities. Then, we can talk about the middle class "graduate" ladies.

    Tribal women, specially those living close to the forest areas, have a tremendous impact on the environment. You will be amazed at what can be achieved if they are educated to keep grazing cows out of forested areas, or do a few other things like that.

    Do I sense something personal against Mr. Ramesh? Did he touch a raw nerve somewhere? Sometime?

    To his credit, he is a straight shooter. To your credit, you too are. It would be amazing what we could achieve if the two fine minds such as yours and his agreed on something. :-)


  2. priya said...

    Frankly I fail to see the point of the dig at "English speaking women". Why not English speaking men? Atleast if he had said "pan-chewing men and women", it might make sense.

    The essential point is to motivate a sufficient number of people to a a greener path, rather than create an urban-rural divide.

  3. Shubashree said...

    I agree with him in that working to protect your environment is not equivalent to sitting in on well-drafted lectures. Also that tribal women (e.g) In the Gandhamardhan movement have achieved a lot. But how on earth he can add up the two to make this sweeping comment against english speaking women really beats me. Whoever it is, it takes more than a cursory involvement to do anything... He would have done better to rant against the placidity and half hearted attempts of people in general rather than target "english-speaking women"..