Wednesday, September 08, 2004

One sees what one wants to see

"I have kind of Friedman's rule of motor scooters, and that is when you go to a developing country and you see a lot of motorcycles around, that's like the best sign possible, because what it is a sign of is kind of young, lower middle class people who have left the countryside, come to the city and found jobs. And they found jobs enough to give up the bicycle and buy a motor scooter." Tom Friedman.

John Pilger sees what Friedman does not see, or does not want to see: "The conditions these people live under are barely describable: an extended family of 20 is packed into a packing case, the sewage ebbing and flowing in the monsoon; in the dry season it stays. The fat crows ride on people's skeletal umbrellas; pariah dogs chew at nothing. Yet glimpse inside this stricken Lilliput and there is new-pin neatness and clothes wrapped in plastic, and the children in vivid colours. It is both haunting and humbling, always, to see such dignity."


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