Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Whether India or Elsewhere, to Give up Is to Give In: To Give in Would Be to Let Them Win

It would be easy to say, “fuck India.” It is easy to say, “fuck India.” Fuck the whole squalid scene of humanity crawling through its own sludge.

From Theni, across the southern belt with its searing heat, with its endless advertisements for cement across to Madurai and beyond. Yes, the multi-billion-rupee cement industry hellbent on continuing the ever-expanding unfinished building site of concrete sprawl and ugliness that is becoming India. Reaching out towards the dusty roadside shacks and concrete box dwellings and huts with their roofs of vegetation.

The endless (undeserved) veneration of local political leaders plastered on hoardings. The endless veneration of Hindu gods and goddesses – who are indelibly culturally rooted in the very nature that’s being destroyed – which takes place at the countless temples and shrines splashed across the countryside. The endless plantations of bananas and coconuts and wind turbines and the hundreds of roadside chai and coffee stalls selling pesticide-ridden good old traditional India food – fried anything you like or chicken gravy with rice or samba idli thrown from a vat onto a banana leaf or veg biryani – all mixed in with a biting dose of pollution from the roaring, rusting, horn-blurting parade of bad-tempered trucks and buses that blast on by.

But if you say, “fuck India” and fuck its 1.3 billion mass of overcrowded devastation as it destroys everything in its way, you must also say “fuck Copenhagen”, where I arrived from – the world’s most liveable city – so they say – and fuck Russia, the US, the UK and everywhere else.

Because this is the condition of the species. This is the type of sludge we have created, regardless of where we live or how we hide it by exporting it to the oceans, burying it in (nuclear) landfills, transforming Argentina into disease-ridden corn-field nightmares to feed Europe or turning places in Africa into barren wastelands of nature and humanity to feed our cravings for all things coltan.

All of this written while in the South India’s ‘Queen of the hills’ – Kodaikanal. That once pristine hill station of tranquility, wild boar, forest fowl and roaming bison unhindered by humans. Yes, the now ever-sprawling ‘Kodai’, slowly evolving into hell in the hills with its throngs of weekend trippers escaping the stinking pollution and chaos of Bangalore, Chennai and Madurai only to bring the stinking pollution and chaos of Bangalore, Chennai and Madurai with them.

The incessant blast of vehicle horns, the filth and squalor of paper and plastic, the city habits brought straight into the heart of the hills. The now dethroned Queen adorned in robes of garbage, with her mercury mist and mercury lake courtesy of Unilever’s former thermometer factory, and steadily suffocating courtesy of today’s city dwellers.

Call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye, The Eagles once sang. In this case, call her Queen for the day(tripper)… and you can soon kiss your love affair with her goodbye.

As for India, though, you really can’t say fuck it. You have to get onside with the thousands of campaigners and activists who are trying to stem the tide of corruption and corrupt policies that pass for ‘development’. You must get onside with those who expose Modi’s pseudo nationalism for what it is.

Modi’s deceptions about ‘make in India’ while all the time he sells it out to Washington, the World Bank and the handful of Tatas, Ambanis and India’s multi-billionaire elite.

Because to say, “fuck it all” would let them win without even putting up a struggle.

More articles by:

Colin Todhunter is an extensively published independent writer and former social policy researcher based in the UK and India.

May 23, 2018
Nick Pemberton
Maduro’s Win: A Bright Spot in Dark Times
Ben Debney
A Faustian Bargain with the Climate Crisis
Deepak Tripathi
A Bloody Hot Summer in Gaza: Parallels With Sharpeville, Soweto and Jallianwala Bagh
Farhang Jahanpour
Pompeo’s Outrageous Speech on Iran
Josh White
Strange Recollections of Old Labour
CJ Hopkins
The Simulation of Democracy
Lawrence Davidson
In Our Age of State Crimes
Dave Lindorff
The Trump White House is a Chaotic Clown Car Filled with Bozos Who Think They’re Brilliant
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Domination of West Virginia
Ty Salandy
The British Royal Wedding, Empire and Colonialism
Laura Flanders
Life or Death to the FCC?
Gary Leupp
Dawn of an Era of Mutual Indignation?
Katalina Khoury
The Notion of Patriarchal White Supremacy Vs. Womanhood
Nicole Rosmarino
The Grassroots Environmental Activist of the Year: Christine Canaly
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
“Michael Inside:” The Prison System in Ireland 
May 22, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card
Kathy Kelly
Scourging Yemen
Andrew Levine
November’s “Revolution” Will Not Be Televised
Ted Rall
#MeToo is a Cultural Workaround to a Legal Failure
Gary Leupp
Question for Discussion: Is Russia an Adversary Nation?
Binoy Kampmark
Unsettling the Summits: John Bolton’s Libya Solution
Doug Johnson
As Andrea Horwath Surges, Undecided Voters Threaten to Upend Doug Ford’s Hopes in Canada’s Most Populated Province
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Surprising Election Results
Dana Cook
Canada’s ‘Superwoman’: Margot Kidder
Dean Baker
The Trade Deficit With China: Up Sharply, for Those Who Care
John Feffer
Playing Trump for Peace How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
Peter Gelderloos
Decades in Prison for Protesting Trump?
Thomas Knapp
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State
Andrew Stewart
What the Providence Teachers’ Union Needs for a Win
Jimmy Centeno
Mexico’s First Presidential Debate: All against One
May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
Amitai Ben-Abba
Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide
Patrick Cockburn
Israel is at the Height of Its Power, But the Palestinians are Still There
Frank Stricker
Can We Finally Stop Worrying About Unemployment?
Binoy Kampmark
Royal Wedding Madness
Roy Morrison
Middle East War Clouds Gather
Edward Curtin
Gina Haspel and Pinocchio From Rome
Juana Carrasco Martin
The United States is a Country Addicted to Violence
Dean Baker
Wealth Inequality: It’s Not Clear What It Means
Robert Dodge
At the Brink of Nuclear War, Who Will Lead?
Vern Loomis
If I’m Lying, I’m Dying
Valerie Reynoso
How LBJ initiated the Military Coup in the Dominican Republic
Weekend Edition
May 18, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi
Robert Fisk
How Long Will We Pretend Palestinians Aren’t People?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail