Garrett (garote) wrote,

A totally unsolicited opinion

While listening to a documentary, I heard a BBC correspondent interviewing some youth in Bombay. He asked them, "Is the internet working to destabilize the Indian culture, by exposing a whole lot of lower-class people to images of things that they cannot possibly obtain? Is mass-media creating a demand that will fatally outpace supply?"

He was doing a good job of playing devil's advocate. The teenagers didn't really know how to respond to his question. I had to pause the podcast and think about it myself.

The internet is a wonderful way for isolated cultures to get ahold of information independent of geography. It can even reveal who is exploiting whom, and how much. But anyone who's used the internet for longer than a few hours will quickly realize that it is brimming with information that you do not need, or cannot verify. The usual response to this is to narrow one's focus.

I suspect that as the "have nots" in India get connected to the internet, they will rapidly narrow their focus to their most important problem: There is a chunk of the Indian population that believes society must maintain a permanent underclass, simply to function. Yet other civilizations, some large and powerful, function without any such belief.

Indian society isn't afraid of "untouchables" partying, it's afraid of "untouchables" demanding their dignity. If that's a demand that outpaces supply, then perhaps it's time for a confrontation?

Back to my podcast...
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