September 17, 2006

Teevees before toilets

It may be a booming economy, and it may rule the universe of call centres, but in India defecating in the streets is still de rigueur for most of the population.

”In Tamil Nadu, surveys show that more than 40 per cent of homes have televisions but only 14 per cent have toilets. In Punjab, the figures make Dr Singh flush with anger: 70 per cent of rural homes have a TV but not even 40 per cent have toilets.

"Such priorities would have horrified India's first prime minister after independence, Jawaharlal Nehru, who wrote: "The day everyone of us gets a toilet to use, I shall know that our country has reached the pinnacle of progress."

"But Dr Singh also wields the stick. He has said that all candidates standing for elections to village councils must be able to prove they have a toilet at home, or risk disqualification."

Alas, the article does not say whether or how Dr Singh will establish that the candidates actually use their toilets, or whether they only show them off on special occasions.

The pinnacle of progress would seem to have a way to go in India.


  1. the figures make Dr Singh flush with anger

    Someone needs to be shot for that pun.

  2. I don't know Brian, I rather thought a special award of some kind might have been in order for that line. (Tee, hee.)

  3. Another country that needs to be dragged into the 21st century. It's just appalling.