India presentation at Oxford UK - Tackling poverty, shame and social

Identity of being in poverty (caste & gender)
Social practices (struggle for recognition)
Absolute standard for measuring poverty
(using calorie requirement): 27%
$1 dollar a day: 24%; $1.25 dollar a day: 42%
Regional variation
Over time
HDI of Indian States
Kerala: 135.17
Punjab: 113.7
Tamil Nadu: 111.1
Haryana: 107.8
Karnataka: 101.2
Gujarat: 101.48
All India: 100
Rajasthan: 89.8
Andhra Pradesh: 88.14
Orissa: 85.5
Madhyapradesh: 83.4
Uttar Pradesh: 82.2
Bihar: 77.75
Teacher (from lower caste community): What is
your view on supreme court judgment? (against
positive discrimination)
Head Teacher: I always respect the institutions of
Teacher: My people have been historically denied
justice, and they are in shame. My people will
remain without equal treatment forever.
Head Teacher: When did you start using this
language? As a teacher you should not use the
language of ‘us’ and ‘them’. You should
transcend this and teacher belongs to all.
(Aarakshan, 2011: Hindi).
Number of male children per 100
female (source decennial census)
Daughter to her father about paying dowry: “I will be
humiliated if you pay the money. Your girl has a certain
dignity. Ami ki kebol ekta takar thali, jatakhan taka ache
tatakhan amar dam (Am I only a bag of money, having
value as long as it is full?). No, you should not humiliate
me by paying this money” (Dena-Paona, SaratChandra
Chattopadhyaya, 1928, Bengali)
Failure leads to disgrace to the family – social
 Harassment
from the money
lenders is a public shame (suicide).
Joseph: Please don’t shame me
Money lender: so, do you have shame?
(Kasthooriman, 2003: Malayalam)
“I’m a barber, who runs the New Kerala Barber Shop, in
Melukavu Junction. An old-fashioned chair, an overused
scissor, and an old knife are my possessions in the shop.
Because of this, nobody comes to my shop. I need a
revolving chair and new modern instruments for my survival
as a barber. I’ve approached many places for loan, but most
of them requires bribe to sanction loan. Personally, I cannot
agree with the idea of bribery. How about you? If you also
require bribe, I may not be required filling the application
form” (Katha Parayumbol, 2007: Malayalam)
Kochu Thresia divided her entire assets among her
children. Later since she knew that her children loved
only her wealth, she was so ashamed to live in the
house (especially in front of the domestic help)
and left the house. (Manassinakkare, 2003: Malayalam).
Collectivistic culture brings social obligation as
avenue to redeem self.
Hierarchical society categorises people to negate
mobility and thus to manage competition.

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