Thursday, February 12, 1987 Central India
Somewhere between Nagpur and Bopal the terrain changes dramatically. The land is higher and rocky. We even passed through a of number tunnels. There is no more irrigated agriculture. I see lots of goats and the growing of wheat. The topography is much more familiar. It looks like scenes I’ve seen in rural Ontario. Even the trees have a familiar shape. Of course, I can still see lots of sugar cane. It looks like August in rural eastern Ontario. Just pretend the that sugar cane is corn. Further north it looks like late fall in Haliburton, very beautiful. There is one difference, however, anywhere in India, no matter how remote the location you can look out toward the horizon and see at least one person squatting and evacuating, an all pervasive obnoxious practice. If you step off the main track anywhere in India you will step on a turd.
There are few fences in India, you see herds of cattle or goats, but they are always tended by a person. People do everything. Hundreds women with little hammers sit and crack stones to make gravel! Then other women carry the gravel in bamboo baskets on their heads to where it must be. This is the way. It is a labor intensive culture. Labor is dirt cheap. This is the result of education. or the lack thereof. Take the female rock breakers and give them an education and will they still break rocks? There are very distinct classes people in India. There are millions of low class people. Ride the second class unreserved train and see their habits. Then ride A. C. two tier. Such a different type of Indian. Completely different. The huge mass of population is even less than second class unreserved. That is why the place is so filthy. You can’t have it both ways. If you want women to crack rocks then you can’t expect them not to evacuate in the streets. I am sure education would completely change this society, but then what would all of the people do?