Recently I had the opportunity to visit India and stay there for nearly three weeks and after observing the appalling living conditions of the poor people residing in the outskirts of Delhi, Bihar and Kanpur districts, just to name a few, I came to the conclusion that the authorities in India have their priorities mixed up.

While they seem to be immune to the miserable lives the poor Indian people lead, they are building railway lines and houses in the northern province of Sri Lanka as well as houses for the Indian Tamils in the Central province, but their own people are living in abject poverty without any shelter or means of living. It is hilarious indeed, to say the least. I believe India is the dirtiest country in the whole world. People defecate and urinate everywhere, even in big towns and each morning it was a common sight to see lines of people of both sexes and of all ages defecating along the roads and banks of corn fields. It was so disgusting. I saw in some places people getting off their motorcycles and bicycles and doing the thing without any care whatsoever.

It was reported recently that some Indian brides had gone back to their parents a day after their marriages because their husband’s homes did not have toilets. What a shame; never can you find this type of behavior in any part of Sri Lanka. I was advised by some to shop at Ram Nagar, a suburb of New Delhi supposed to be a shopping center, but when I went along the streets eagerly, they were so filthy and smelly that I turned back to the hotel where I was staying in sheer disgust, without shopping. There were vendors selling fruits and other eatables but they were covered with flies that one could not distinguish between the flies and the fruits. Some cook food on the pavements and people flock there to eat, oblivious of the flies and dust. I heard that over one million people live and sleep on the pavements in Calcutta alone for want of shelter and yet they are building houses for the poor in other countries. What a joke! It is hilarious indeed when one travels along their highways and other main roads one can see how people live in mud huts, not fit to house even wild animals, and while people live under pathetic conditions, the cattle is given a prominent place and they live in much better places than the humans. India is trying to solve the housing problems of the neighboring countries.
The worst scenario is adjacent to the religious sites; the moment one gets down from the vehicle, hordes of beggars with small children gather around you, pester you till you part with something either money or food. They pull your clothes and harass you no end and once or twice I had the consternation to see some boys snatch the biscuit packets I had in my hands and run away. This sort of thing happens very often it seems. It was depressing to see emaciated children in rags and adults with weather beaten faces pleading for money or some morsels of food. To the credit of India it must be mentioned that they take so much pains to keep the religious places clean and tidy and the pleasant surroundings were eye catching.

It is an undeniable fact that India interferes rather high handedly in the affairs and activities of the neighboring countries to keep their hegemony in the region. Their mission is obvious as one can observe how they poked their fingers in to the affairs of this country, when no sooner Northern Province was liberated than they rushed to Jaffna to establish a regional consular office and they did the same when the Hambantota harbor was constructed with Chinese aid. How they involved themselves in the affairs of this country could be gauged by the fact that when Barack Obama visited India recently he thanked India for their help, in toppling the previous government, thus effecting the regime change they desperately wanted. In conclusion I would like to say, India please keep your house in order instead of poking your fingers everywhere and solving the problems of other countries.
Upali Nanayakkara