Letter from Milton Keynes

by Sidin Vadukut in


In between P.V. Sindhu’s and Sakshi Malik’s triumphs, the Olympics helped to generate great levels of national self-indignation. And this, inevitably, led to Indians—you, me, Shobhaa De—indulging in what I think is a particularly Indian form of solutionism.

What do I mean by this? Firebrand technology writer Evgeny Morozov is a staunch critic of modern-day technological solutionism, something The Guardian defined as “the idea that given the right code, algorithms and robots, technology can solve all of mankind’s problems, effectively making life “frictionless” and “trouble-free”.

My definition of Indian solutionism is slightly more global in terms of agency but local in that I confine it to Indian problems. Indian solutionism is the idea, perhaps increasingly widespread, that all of Indian problems boil down to one or two drivers that can easily be rectified if only certain agents would modify their behaviour. We see this solutionism in play during every moment of national indignation.

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