What the current conflict in Thailand is all about

I have been watching the situation in Thailand with some interest. Not much though. It\’s not like I follow every movement of each group minute by minute on the web. But I have been trying to make sense of it all.

What people do not seem to pay much attention to is the fact that Thailand is in a period of great transition which cannot be stopped. You might want to call it \’historical inevitability.\’ This sounds really Hegelian and idealistic, but it\’s true. Let me tell why.

First of all you have to take a wider picture. The current conflict in Thailand is not really about clashing personalities. Contrary to what is being portrayed in most mainstream media. The root cause of the conflict is not about the struggle between Thaksin and whoever that wants to bury him, but it goes much deeper. As long as this root cause is not addressed, we can\’t even hope to find an end to this conflict. It will just go on and on, and in the end the people will prevail, just as is the case in other countries who have experienced the same thing.

So what is the root cause? What the red shirted populace who came out in hundreds of thousands really want is actually not that Thaksin be back to power. Thaksin is only a front man in the struggle. He symbolizes something that the people really want, which has been denied them since the coup d\’etat in September 2006. They want to be able to govern themselves fully as mature people who are able to take care of themselves. This looks easy, but still those who traditionally are the power holders do not see this point. Either they know this deep down, but are blinded by their own self interests, or they perhaps sincerely believe that the people are children who need to be taken care of by the bureaucrats and the traditional power mechanism. Either way it does not face up to reality.

I know this is true when I look at what the red shirts are doing and are talking among themselves. It\’s like the people taking matters into their own hands. It is of course true that they are led by a handful core leaders with close ties to Thaksin and that there might be behind the door negotiations going on (I can\’t verify this because I am not in the intelligence community). But the fact that they have arisen spontaneously and are organizing in many provinces almost throughout the kingdom (even in the South, the traditional stronghold of the conservative yellow shirts) give us plenty of cause for optimism. It\’s an optimism born from the realization that democracy has now taken a firm root in Thailand, and Thai people do not want anything else, such as being told what to do and what to believe.

The traditional power mechanism has consistently said that true democracy cannot be established in Thailand because the people do not know how to distinguish \”good\” and \”bad\” politicians. But they have said this for more than seven decades, and one is at one\’s wit\’s end to find out exactly when in the future that will cease to be the case. What is emerging now with the red shirt phenomenon is that they are quite fed up with the way things are in the country. Those who are more attached to personalities naturally talk about Thaksin, but what they really want is not Thakin himself in person, but what he stands for in their eyes. And if Thaksin does not deliver that, they will vote him out of office in no time.

And this is what is beautiful about democracy. The people govern themselves; nobody is like a child who needs to be chaperoned. The way to get Thaksin, or any politician for that matter, in or out is through the voting booths. But what has happened in Thailand during these past three years has been otherwise. That contributed to the people\’s disillusionment and their coming out in hundreds of thousands to the streets of Bangkok and other provinces today.

Thai people today are much more knowledgeable and sophisticated than just a few decades ago. The policy of successive governments in mass education, and especially the spread of information and communication technologies contributed a great deal. Mobile phones and the web are used very effectively in co-ordinating and mobilizing forces, in such a way that it\’s not conceivable just a few years ago. There\’s no use for the authorities to lock away information or to feed the people sugar-coated half-true information as they perhaps did in the past, nowadays information spreads widely, thanks to the internet and the effective policy at closing the digital divide.

So what is happening right now is that the gap between those in urban areas and the countryside is closing fast. Thai people in general have become more and more middle class. So the argument that the poor peasant can\’t think for themselves will not be viable any more, only because they are no more poor peasants any longer. Those who still don\’t believe that need only to go to one of the provinces and see for themselves.

So all this is an encouraging sign. The current government has to listen to the people otherwise their days will be numbered. The demonstrations which started in late March and which has carried on until today is just one episode in the series of changes that will happen and will eventually change Thailand to the core. This will not sound so frightening to those who are used to the old ways, because information and ideas have their canny ways of going toward the insides of people, changing them from within. For those who watch Thailand, this is a fascinating time.

In the meantime, let us hope that there is no violence. They say that Thailand is being protected by a Buddhist deity. I believe this, and the deity is keeping a very watchful eye over us.


15 thoughts on “What the current conflict in Thailand is all about

  1. antipadshist June 8, 2009 / 9:00 am

    I think this is quite a realistic summary. particularly I like the “root cause” explanation.

    although there are some thinks I won’t necessarily agree with, as seemingly criterium for “thinking ability” implied is the material prosperity. also that “gap is closing” between urbans and rurals – I am not so sure about that, because there are still so many people who are dirty poor in country side.

    another thing is – “middle class” is more and more being considered as rather reactionary and conservative. traditionally of course it was usually mostly middle class which was progressive and revolutionary force. however after a while, with a propsperity comes attachment (I believe even in Buddhism this concept is one of the central – attachment / detachment) to the fruits of this prosperity : comfort, enjoyment, leisure and even luxury. naturally most of people prefer to maintain such state of affairs where they would be able to continue enjoy these fruits of prosperity. and unfortunately it greatly depends on the ensuring that the existing system continues: cheap labour, services, pleasures, food, many other things – which are provided through the … practically enslavement of the large portion of the population.

    although of course may be miserable life (if it can be called so – rather than more exactly “struggle for existence”) of many rural people nowadays might be not as sever as few decades back as described in books of Pira Sudham) – still many things remain pretty same: rotten corruption from the top to buttom, greed, disregard for human life of fellow countrymen …

    just think about it: what he has mentioned then still remains, although may be at a bit lesser degree – prices supression by middlemen, brokers, millers, cheating of farmers on every corner, luring them into all sorts of schemes to snatch their land or to sell their kids, to gamble or to borrow from loan sharks, to sell their votes… list can go on and on. add to that – continuing destroying of enviroment. and last but not the least – BRUTAL supressiion of their slightest attempts to raise their heads from yok, voice their grivences and demand their rights !

    well, there is perhaps some progress in regards of literacy – nowadays may be peasants are somewhat better educated than in 70s and 80s.
    also the “populist” policies create at least some resemblance (or pretence? ) or gov. and politicians listening to this majority.

    but all this change is mostly superficial and therefore I guess fair to say insignificant. because the essence remains the same – the whole system and state of affairs.

    today I read in both Nation and Bkk Post that BJT party has started to earn support of farmers by promising them some new system for rice buying.

    well, in my opinion the only change will come if and when all the middlemen (aka blood suckers) will be removed from the whole process: some new system must be made where farmers would be able to sell their produce (it is a better word – because it can include not only rice but any agri products) AT LEAST directly to government, or may be even better, ideally – directly to the importers (foreign buyers) or end-sonsumers within the country !

    so, tell me – do you think this will be ALLOWED (byt all those crony capitalists – middlemen, brokers, exporters) ? I doubt it very much !

    in fact, there are too many examples of the opposite: like, Thaksin’s 1mln loans to every village has instantly put middlemen and loan sharks out of biz, and therefore made them furious at him, which caused their lobbying their local politicians, who are deeply connected and involved with (or often ARE themselves) these powerful middlemen and brokers.
    another example, most recent: if you have followed the local news about “rice pledging scheme”, you might recall that recently there was a pressure on gov. (by Commerce minister – who is from BJT) to sell its stock to 17 high bidders, who are leading rice exporters. so, I remember clearly (can even quote if necessary – if you can’t find it yourself) it mentioned in the news that “exporters may sue gov. for breach of contracts”, because “ships are on stand by in the port” ready to take a load and transport rice to buyers, and failure to do so will cause a huge loss. however another interesting piece of that news was – that each of those high bidders has paid “under table” money to win those deals to …. politicians ! 😉

    so, what do you think – can the government, which is practically merely a figurehead, be able to be strong enough to stand its ground and deny such decision? despite the clearly mentioned fact that it will suffer quite a huge finansial loss – because it has to sell its rice stock at much lower price than total combined expenses !

    I mean – even from the position of the most basic common sense, what sort of business is that: pledging high enough price to middlemen (because farmers can’t sell rice directly to gov. or buyers) to keep situation under control – to keep both farmers and “blood-suckers” appeased, then pay for all the expenses involved (transportation, storage, etc.) – and then again sell it to exporters (other “blood-suckers” ) lower than even the total cost price. and yet, due to the all those “in between” mark ups (first by brokers / middlemen, then second by exporters) – in the end Thai rice price is higher than rice of competitors on international market !

    so, WHO wins in this game ?! neither people (both farmers who are majority of population, and end-consumers in cities, who are although a minority – but they are driving force of economy and politics), nor the country as a whole (because its loses to competitors). the winners are those very “blood-suckers” (middlemen and exporters) who are the power-base of politicians and power-brokers.

    so, there is NO WAY for any real significant change to happen anytime soon with such a blatant state of affairs. it seems only too natural – to REMOVE all those “in between” and make the largest portion of population (farmers and workers – who also would benefit because would be able to buy cheaper “daily rice”) better off AND a whole country more prosperous in the end, because due to price reducing (no double of triple if not quadruple mark-up !) Thailand would be able to reclaim its former position as world’s top rice exporter – since its selling price will be much more competative.

    you say – “gap is closing”. ha ! I don’t think so. this “gap” will NEVER close ever – while farmers will be kept in such a yok of NOT being able to sell their rice for better prices and accordinlgy have enough money for a better life and education.

    in reality though – as it was even in those time described by Pira Sudham, the unspoken rules and attitude of middlemen remains the same : “take it or leave it !”. merely last month I was reading on one of blogs on Nation one well educated woman writing her story of visiting friend-artist who moved to village to do farming. so, when she described his selling of the first harvest – she clearly mentioned that IN REALITY he got paid only 10’000 Baht per tonn – MUCH LESS than the price ensured by government ! and when she was outraged by that and asked him – why? – he replied that “that’s Ok”, because there are just too many complications and unexpected details when it comes too actual selling (I forgot what that was exactly – can find that blog if you want) or the whole process drags on and on forever, and therefore ultimately farmers prefer to get paid ASAP, because they have to pay back to lenders (aka loan sharks), buy seeds and fertilizaers etc.

    in the end – those “blood suckers” get even much more than obvious “mark up” ! and that leaves farmers in the never ending situation of barely being able to “meet the ends”: to pay the debts and to get the necessities. often even – just to get new loans.

    so, HOW and WHEN this will end, if ever at all ?

    and you say “gap is closing”.
    no way, man – get real !

    of course there are solutions to solve this problem. some intelligent people (I also read this merely on the blogs – what to speak if someone really does research and professional study of issue) give ideas as :

    1) farmers cooperatives – when farmers unite locally, and mutually own the mills, storages etc – whatever is necessary to ensure the imposed standards. this would enable them to sell directly to government, buyers or even export – and therefore by-pass “blood-suckers” / middlemen, get better profits and share those profits among themselves for the further development;
    2) “contract farming”, a model where farmers are allowed to strike direct deals with foreign investors, who would bear all the expenses, take care of the supply (as fertilizers and equipment etc) and accordingly be able to buy rice directly from source – this way again farmers win, and country wins as whole – because will be ensured steady export in big volume. farmers continue to own their land – merely sort of “leasing it” and at the same time acting as sort of “employees” of contractor.
    3) government plays a major role as “in between”: owns the mills, storages, shipping fleet etc. and accordingly pays for all those stages of trade and buys directly from farmers. this may be not as good as the scenario where farmers are able / allowed to sell directly to end-buyer or export, since still there will be some unnecessary “in between” mark up. however it is still much better than current system which has double mark up, or most likely even triple.

    the 3rd option may be could be considered by some as sort of too “socialist” – centralised economy, government acting as the owner of all the facilities of trade – except “means of production”. therefore I am not so sure that it would be well acceptable – although it is still better than paying double and triple, and yet losing money only to fatten all the “blood-suckers” !

    there could be other options, probably even better than those 3 above mentioned.

    so, UNLESS and UNTILL something is done about it – there is no way that the “gap” will ever close !

    and Thailand desperately needs the proper welfare system – social welfare. how many people still have no basic affordable medical care? how many people suffer AIDS / HIV, malnutrition, etc etc ? how many people suffer consequences of destroying enviroment (air polution in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, floods, droughts … )

    no, my friend – the “gap” is not closing !

    and to remedy this state of affair requires people like you – intellectuals, whom I consider the “conscience of nation” – to point out all these things and at least to create AWARENESS for starters !

    please forgive me for such a LOOOOONG comment. I truly got carried away. but I felt that I have to express my concern. and the reason I decided to write it – because I got an impression from this your post that you are reasonable and intellectually honest person (unfortunately a rare speices nowadays among the intellectuals !). that is why I have decided to share my personal opinion with you.
    you can simply delete this my comment after reading it – no need to publish it here. because I was mostly interested to share some thoughts with fellow intellectual.

    so, let me finish it with the folliwng …

    as I see you are practicing Buddhism. the central tenet of this philosophy is (or supposed to be, or used to be) – ahingsa or non-violence, right ? although there are of course other mentioned virtues too. so, the non-violence doesn’t mean only not doing phisical harm to another living entity, but also, and perhaps ESPECIALLY SO – not causing suffering or discomfort to others, even on mental or emotional level.

    and finally, what is the ultimate violence towards the living being ? it is – to deny it or obstuct from the spiritual progress, in other words – path towards the enlightment ! that’s why the physical aspect of violence is considered as so negative: not because of pain and suffering it causes, but because such physical violence will either distruct or slow down the living being on its samsara jorner thrhough the cycle of rebirth towards the achievement of the utlimate goal of enlightment. that is actually the main reason why for example monks should avoid killing even ants and insects (although ironically nowadays monks eat meat).

    in simpler and more modern terms, denying fellow human beings a KNOWLEDGE: as both basic education for poor people, proper understanding of reality for well-to-do people (like middle class) and full realization of their responsibility for rich and powerful people – all of them require the HONEST realistic and sober assessment of the situation to be able to progress towards the ultimate goal of both material existence (prosperous happy life) and spiritual elightment.

    therefore, it is an important duty of intellectuals to bear this responsibility to be truly NON-VIOLENT towards their fellow human beings – to honestly share with them the whatever realizations and knowledge one has.

    so, that’s also the reason I’ve typed all this. 🙂 and I urge you to make efforts to share the honest realistic knowledge with others – for the benefit of all the people in this country. and not only people, but all living entities – because so many animals also suffer.

    alright, I’ll shut up already. once again – please forgive me for a long comment.

    best regards !

  2. soraj June 8, 2009 / 9:06 am

    This is by far the longest comment I have got. So let me take some time to read it and get back to you.

  3. antipadshist June 8, 2009 / 9:20 am

    yeah’ I know. 😦

    well, as I said – sorry about that !

    sure – take as much time as you want, coz anyway you’re the boss here, since it is your blog. 🙂

  4. soraj June 8, 2009 / 9:40 am

    But thanks for posting anyway. By the way I have visited your blog! And I’ll post comments there too pretty soon.

  5. antipadshist June 8, 2009 / 11:14 am

    Cool, be my gues please. 🙂

  6. antipadshist June 8, 2009 / 12:43 pm

    here is newest example of what I’ve mentioned in my long comment above :

    Chachoengsao locals block highway

    Some 300 people in Chachoengsao on Monday morning used trucks to blockade the Chachoengsao-Phanom Sarakam highway in protest against the project of a private firm to build a power plant in the eastern province.

    Chachoengsao governor Veerawit Wiwatvanich, who was going to hold talks with the protesters, said he understands that people oppose the electricity production plant project because they are concerned about the pollution problem.

    He added that the private power firm is now carrying out an environment impact assessment study of the controversial project and that no construction has been made for the time being. Police were deployed to maintain peace and order.

    so, the same ol story for Isaan (as ever since events in Pira Sudham’s books) : greedy crony capitalists from Bkk (aka the “masters”) never have enough and are eager to grab more and more countryside and in the process don’t give a fart about damagin the enviroment.

    notice the word “private”.

    well, let’s see how this story will develop. although I bet that governor already has got his “tea money” or at least some advance (a teaser) and will do his best to persuade the protesters.

  7. antipadshist June 9, 2009 / 8:21 am

    Dear Soraj,

    I invite you to also read last post on my blog today : “rice money” & BJT party

    seems like Bhum Jai party finally starting some change in the country to benefit farmers. although I am no sure whether it is a real sincere endeavors or merely a populist political gimmick ?

  8. soraj June 12, 2009 / 7:30 am

    OK. Now I will try to answer. Let’s talk about buying rice first. I think it’s the government’s duty to support the farmers because they are the ones who have been taken advantage of for such a long time. The price that we pay for our food is very low compared to what the farmers actually deserve through their hard work. If we continue to pay very low price for agriculture products then I don’t think the inequality gap will lessen significantly.

    So this is the key in politics as well. When the farmers are able to support themselves as much as those in the urban areas do, then they don’t need to depend on the local politicians or strongmen who have been telling them who to vote for. This will create a tremendous shift in Thai society.

    This is all for now.

  9. soraj June 12, 2009 / 7:41 am

    Now I have read most of your comments, and the main thing is that you disagree with me about the gap. I do not have the facts, but certainly the lives of an average Thai is better materially than say a decade or two ago. You may certainly disagree with this, but people are having electricity in their villages. They are watching TV; their children are playing with computers; they are learning to use the computers and get connected to the Net. They know about the news and what is going on in Bangkok, etc. This is where I say the gap is closing.

    I do agree with you that there are a lot of things going on regarding the rice trade that reflects a lot of exploitation on the farmers. I am not an expert on this, but surely a way must be found to be fair to everybody. This is not too difficult.

  10. soraj June 12, 2009 / 11:12 am

    Your comment led me to do some research. Here is an article by Nannk Kakwani and Medhi Krongkaew on “Analyzing Poverty in Thailand” and here is their conclusion:

    “The incidence of poverty is generally found to be falling over time as a result of the rise in household income brought about by rapid economic growth. Yet the number of poor in Thailand is still quite large. In 1996, 6.84 million people in Thailand did not enjoy the minimum basic necessities of life. This should remind the government not to be complacent about what it has achieved relative to the intended effects of economic growth.

    Poverty in Thailand is still a rural phenomenon. Most of the poor are agriculturists. The Northeast is still the region with the largest incidence of poverty, followed by the North, South, Central, Bangkok vicinity and Bangkok metropolis.”

    The idea is that income has increased so the people who live in absolute poverty have decreased.

    The article is from Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, Volume 5, Issue 1 & 2 February 2000 , pages 141 – 160

  11. antipadshist June 12, 2009 / 12:15 pm

    I don’t know what was the reason why my comment was “discarded” – I tried few times to submit it, with same result.

  12. antipadshist June 12, 2009 / 12:16 pm

    may be it was some erro in HTML I tried to use (for URL link)

  13. antipadshist June 12, 2009 / 12:37 pm

    well, of course, no doubt that comparing to 10-20 years back, things has changed. my point though was that there are still a lot of people whom this change hasn’t touched much.

    for example, please read this article on khaosod.co.th

    ฆ่าแม่พิการ ลูกขอขมาแล้วเชือด
    (or here :

    this is just an example of a person desperately trying to kill himself because he sees no exit from his misarable condition. and the thing is – nobody apparently cares much about his plight. of course it is a single individual cae, which can’t be used as a generalization. however, it is sort of “slice” of society, as in anatomy dissections are done to examine the status of certain areas.

    recently on TV I remember seeing a news report that some mother was trying to sell her daughter. and more recently that someone has abandoned 3 kids aged 1, 2, 3 y.o.

    there are many more cases…

    regarding the study you’ve quoted.

    honestly speaking, I’m somewhat sceptical of such studies, pretty much as of the polls and surveys, because they tend to be more or less limited (if not entirely a “selected evidences”). another reason is, that I rather prefer to believe the info “from down up” (from grassroot people sources – “subversive knowledge”) and less the one “from top down” (aka the all sorts of “professional” or “official”).

    as I can see, it is dated 2000, which is quite outdated (although I suppose you may say that according to “progress logic”, things must have improved even further since 2000 till now).

    if you are interested about this matter – you can look on my blog from time to time (as I can see, you already added me to your twitter, as I did you). because I scan news and stories.

    of course I have no doubt that you follow the local news yourself pretty well, as well as blogs I guess (like Bangkok Pundit – as I can see).

  14. antipadshist June 12, 2009 / 2:19 pm

    talking about Philosophy …

    (since you’re a teacher of it and I am very fond of it too 🙂 )

    in sanskrit Philosophy is designated by term “darshan” which is roughly translated as “sight / vision/ observing”.

    it is particularly used to mean seeing things through, their essense, and especially in relation to non-material things, or “methaphysical” (or transcendental).

    the thing is – Philosophy is such a tool to help one understand things: like this wolrd, objects in it and their relations to each other and to the universe, as well as their position in it. although “darshan” is considered going furhther than mundance philosophy, which operates within limited material elements and logic which explains them – “darshan” is especially aimed at understanding the “self“.

    so, anyway, I am trying to make some parallel here with the general basic perception, and apply to the current situation in Thailand.

    according to “darshan” system, self-realization goes through certain stages or levels, which begin from basic level of “annamaya” or identifying oneself with material body and senses (sort of “I eat therefore I exist”), then “pranamaya” or “life-air” (I guess “I breath therefore I exist”), then “manomaya” or mental level of existence (“I think therefore I exist”), “vijnanamaya” or intellectual level, or more precisely ability of critical and analytical thinking (perhaps “I philosophize therefore I exist” ? 🙂 ), and finally – “anandamaya” or “bliss” (level of real happiness bedyond those 4 previous levels and not conditioned by any of those states).

    so, let’s just say that everyone is making efforts of the “persuit of happiness” (as in US constitution 😉 ), on either of those levels – although ultimately it supposed to be the final 5th level.

    we are here at most are on the 4th level (intellectual, above the mental already).

    and normally this intellectual level is only just a beginning of real understanding, or ability to obtain that “vision” which enables one to see things through more or less clearly. and therefore, to be able to understand the realistically the state of affairs around – as, for example, the economical and political situation in this country – one has to climb to such intellectual level.

    from other hand, people who haven’t reached it yet – they can’t possibly grasp the reality in its clear picture, because they would be conditioned by their own current level they are on.

    so, in other words, to reach to the proper intellectual level, person has to go through those previous 3 levels (food, energetic and mental). accordingly that would unfortunately depend on person’s material conditions as factors which help to achieve to such each level and to be steadily situated on that level before being able to proceed to the next level. like for example – food, living conditions, then education…

    so, my point is: most people in this country are hardly able to achieve stability on the very first basic level of getting the proper food and nutrition, not to mention further factors as comfort, education etc.

    therefore, THERE IS NO QUESTION of any considerable change in near forseen future – as long as majority of people remain on this level of practically surviving on daily basis and struggling for existence ! because they simply can’t even get to the next level – they can’t think about really comfortable life. they can’t afford it, neither the proper education.

    in fact, according to certain studies (I am sure you’ve seen those too) – the IQ level of Thai children drops to around 70% by the time they grow to the age of 18 ! and greatly it is explained by the lack of proper nutrition – and this is even for the children in more or less “well-to-do” families (what to speak those who are not “well-to-do”) !

    so, dear friend Soraj, I hope you now get my meaning? yes, may be you are even right to say that superficially the material conditions relatively improve eventually (aka “gap is closing”). yes, may be they are able to get electricity, and fansy gadgets as “rice cooker”, TV, mobile phones, some even PCs (otherwise they can go to plentiful internet cafes – especially kids and teens).

    however that is not necessarily an indicator of improvement or progress. in fact, it may even be rather a regress: as for example often in media there are news about attempts to restrict youth access to PC games or internet – because it may rather serve as a negative factor than positive.

    so, imrpovement of the external material conditions are not a correct indicators of progress at all ! because first of all, the internal state of person determines his life, not the enviroment he is in : good enviroment surely may help greatly, but at the same time, it may DAMAGE person a lot (that’s why many grown up rich and powerful people often remain on the level of kids – by Western standards; as Pira Sudham wrote – their minds are “maimed”).


    at least to enable the process of REAL CHANGE in this country – people have to be given a change to get to the very 1st basic “food” level, and get firmly established on it, to be able to proceed to next levels !

    so, what I mean is – as long as still there are A LOT of people who literally “struggle for existence” (or as I’ve read recently elsewhere – living on daily principle “find in the morning – eat in the eveining”; and now with economic crisis many of them lose even this chance – I watched a program on TV about workers who lost their jobs), or if they do not get proper nutrituion to develope their physical and mental propensities to get further education – there is NO WAY that majotiry of general population can achive the proper level of education to develope abilities for critical thinking – or intellectual level !

    and forgive me, but in reality, there are forces in this country who rather try to deny amjority of people the basic necessities as proper nutrition and education – in order to ensure that things remain as they are, the peasants and labor are the same uneducated and opressed mass prone for easy exploitation.

    so, the VERY basic step therefore is and MUST be : to create a system which will ensure that at least everybody has enough nutritious food for brain, senses and body development, more or less comfortable living conditions to be able to have enough free time for “higher level” activities as good education and some sufficient fun, and then finally, after all these things – get proper education sufficient enough to function as wholesome, respected and equel members of society, capable of critical thinking, mature decisions and participate fully in the country’s affairs and determine their own destiny.

    meanwhile though, even if we assume and accept that the “gap is closing” (which already means that it is only “on the way to” been closed completely – but not yet !) – I think you will agree that there are A LOT of folks who barely manage to exist on the very 1st level (“annamaya”) of finding “daily rice”.

    and with such state of affairs – there can’t be serious talks about proper CHANGE in the society, country and individual lives !
    (of course, not at all each and everyone will attain the 4th level of “intellectual existence” – but must be able to have an opportunity )

    so, whichever gov. proclaims being genuinely interested to bring change to this country – it MUST take steps to empower and properly feed, facilitate & educate ALL its subject.

    and that I guess would start with … letting farmers and workers to have better means to maintain themselves and get deserved results of their work.

    will we witness such change ?

    sorry for yet another long comment – but there are things which can’t be explained briefly. 🙂
    because simplification would be rather an omitting of important things or even equal to thievery.

  15. soraj June 20, 2009 / 2:16 pm

    So the main purpose of the government, or any government is to ensure economic development so that people do not live in poverty and the kind of structure where people are nourished and able to enjoy meaningful life is possible. I agree totally on this.

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