WASHINGTON DIARY: An ideological bind — Dr Manzur Ejaz
Daily times, June 10, 2009
It is interesting to note that religious extremism in the subcontinent usually leads to chaos and disarray which preys on the poor alone, further tipping over the already unstable socio-economic state of affairs of the region
The Taliban movement has earned itself unparalleled recognition due to its bloody nature and rigid ideological claims. But it has also left behind many equally terrifying social ills that may not be as melodramatic in nature. Why these issues are not as dramatised as the Taliban movement itself needs further exploration.
A few days back, I attended a conference where a presentation was made on the demographic distribution of health and junk food in the neighbourhoods of US cities. It turned out that richer localities have outlets that offer a variety of food while poorer areas have to contend with mostly junk food. I suggested that the presentation be titled “Distribution of health and junk food under the free market system”. However, most of the discussants, many of whom were highly trained professionals, were uncomfortable with this suggestion.
While a few may not have grasped my sarcasm, others chose to ignore it because their livelihoods depend on the free market. They are trained and hired to improve citizens’ health conditions staying within the parameters of the US capitalist system, which adheres more strictly to free market conditions than its European counterparts. The most radical reformers may suggest a few regulatory changes, but they are compelled not to challenge the fundamentals of the system.
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