That’s the core and urgent message of Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s brilliant op-ed in the Indian Express on the unacknowledged root of our present-day ills. It’s not lack of governance, development per se, or even corruption. Its a poverty of self knowledge.
“Indian society, with all its changes, is fast becoming a tale of misalignment: its self-understanding and its realities pulling in different directions. The social self-knowledge, the process by which society acquires an insight into its own workings and acts on it, lags behind its material capabilities,” writes Pratap Bhanu Mehta.
We are unable to speak or think about our nation, our politics or our problems in constructive, creative and imaginative ways. And nowhere is this more apparent, according to Mehta, than in the debate over the tradeoff between development and the environment.