The BBC reports that "India has some of the highest rates of child malnutrition and mortality in under-fives in the world and Madhya Pradesh state has the highest levels in India."
In Madhya Pradesh there are about 10 million children and the Indian government's National Family Health Survey indicates that 60% are malnourished.
Dr. Vandana Agarwal, Unicef's nutrition specialist for Madhya Pradesh state, explains the crisis in the following terms:
"It's basically inadequate access to food, poor feeding practices, poor childcare practices.The situation in general on the African continent is similar, perhaps even worse in countries like Ethiopia and the Sudan.
In Madhya Pradesh the situation is compounded by two significant factors. For four years in a row the rains have failed, so food crops have failed too. And now global food prices have risen, stretching many families beyond breaking point.
In the past year food prices have increased significantly, but people's incomes haven't improved. Like wheat, earlier they used to buy it at eight rupees a kilogram, now it's 12 rupees.
Because of the increase in food prices a mother cannot buy an adequate quantity of milk, fruits and vegetables. So their staple diet has become wheat chapattis.
A child cannot survive on wheat chapattis alone. About 80% of mothers and children are anaemic because they can't get good quality food."
In South Africa the danger of violent food riots should not be ignored. The African National Congress president, Jacob Zuma, has rightly raised the spectre of food riots.
The price of food is very quickly getting away from the purse of millions of poor people in South Africa and India, and that movement is inextricably tied to the price of petrol.
The complexity of the situation, a truly global one, is simply mind boggling.
Still, what strikes me is that the Malthusian dilemma is hardly the main reason why so much of the world stands at the precipice of starvation.
The agent of this tragic historical moment is in the main an outcome of the appetite of the West and its developmental colonization of the globe.
I intend to dance on the grave of neo-liberalism and its functionary, the nation-state.