Why are we so poor?

More I look around more frustrated I get. Nobody seems pay any attention to excellence, every product on shelf, every program on t.v., every telecom provider, each and every government institution and service around us provides us inferior quality products and services which are invariably overpriced compared to their quality.

Hire an ‘expert’ air-condition repairer and he makes the problem even worse. Rs. 30 lakh flat has plumbing that parishes within 2 years. Pizza that costs half thousand and yet fails to kill your hunger. Trains that never run on time. Platforms so overcrowded that people die due to stampede. The medicines you buy are likely to be fake, the water you drink might be contaminated. The customer service of your bank, telecom etc. fail consistently to solve your problems. You have to pay bribe to get your legitimate work done in government office that too not without losing temper and peace of mind.

While the common man struggles with these micro level problems there are tragic macro problems. High inflation, terrorism, hostile neighbors, politicians corrupt beyond redemption, colleges that resemble whorehouses , news channels that are as clueless as Alice in Wonderland, intellectuals like Humpty Dumpty for whom words mean what they want them to mean.

I dont think this is co-incidental. I dont think its our fate that we have to live in these pathetic situation. Its clearly our fault. Our government has consistently made decisions which will ensure that we will remain poor. The quality of public services is so bad that we people have stopped expecting anything from it. We just learn to live.

Maoists with a fat dictionary , like Arundhati Roy often claim that Maoists are result of state’s humiliation of poor people. Honestly, I too feel humiliated by our government. I will love to wield and Ak 47 and shoot all the responsible, but whenever I will aim it at someone my conscious will tell me that its not one person who is responsible for it.  There are simply too many adding their own but to magnify the problems we face. Punishing them all is not the option nor someone like me has that right.

Then what do we do? To bring in corrective measure we need someone really great to come forward. Thankfully our history has so many examples that every time humanity is in deep trouble someone comes up to fight it out. Krishna or Rama are just symbols that characterized this reality. But we dont live in times of myths anymore, we need some like them NOW.

Lines between politicians, mafia, thugs have blurred. To tackle them from any side is link pinching an elephant with a paper clip.

Mayavati’s rule in UP exemplifies all the rots that have caught Indian political landscape.

Mayavati has provided a dowry of Rs 10,000 each for 25,445 Muslim girls. Why exactly 25,445, how they will be chosen, and what will happen to the 25,446th girl, are mysteries I have not been able to unravel. Of Muslim schoolchildren, 91.64 lakh have got Rs 342.7671 crore in scholarships. I think Mayavati has made an arithmetical error; the total should have been Rs 343.65 crore. That would have given each student Rs 375. But then, aside from these scholarships, Mayavati has also forgone fees of Rs 14.9015 crore from 31,229 Muslim students in classes XI-XII; that comes to Rs 397.64 per student per month. I suspect the education department of UP sets especially complicated school fees to confuse Mayavati.

Uttar Pradesh has always grown inferior cane with low yields and high costs; it has thus needed the administered price mechanism for sugar. Mayavati boasts that she raised cane price by Rs 25 in one year — more than the most reckless chief minister of UP has ever done before. More pertinently, UP’s statutory minimum cane price was Rs 110 a quintal when Mayavati came to power. By last year she had raised it to Rs 165 — that is, 50 per cent in three years. Uttar Pradesh sugar mills simply could not compete after paying such an absurd price; and cane movement controls prevented them from getting cane from elsewhere. So as a last resort, they started importing raw sugar and refining it. Mayavati banned the import of raw sugar into UP in November from anywhere. Uttar Pradesh sugar mills had 1.5 million tons of raw sugar on the high seas. It landed in various ports, and was stacked up in warehouses. The sugar mills had to pay for its storage, but could not use it. No state has the power to ban imports from the rest of India under the Indian Constitution, but so what? Mayavati was never stopped by such small things like the Constitution. It is the duty of the Central government to enforce the Constitution; but in this case, the Manmohan Singh government preferred to look the other way. It gave the millers permission to sell the imported sugar in other states — if they would allow it — or to get it refined by other mills. Finally in November, UP farmers despaired of getting the fancy prices their government had ordained sugar mills to pay them for cane. They got fed up and started invading neighbouring cities, including Delhi and Lucknow, and bringing them to a halt. But Mayavati waited until all local cane had been sold or burnt for lack of buyers; she removed the ban in February. The country paid for her intransigence; sugar prices more than doubled in a year. [source]

We are being grossly mis-governed. Not matter how rosy pictures are painted by the government and media, I strongly feel that there is a disaster waiting for us in near future.

I hope when Krishna said that “whenever dharma goes in hibernation I will incarnate to protect the good people” he really meant it.

Superpower India

A billion dollar enterprise entertained us for last few weeks. Like a wholesome food, IPL was a wholesome entertainment. Though cricket is the main product on sale there, it is the accessories that make it much more interesting. Sacking of a central minister, tweets, cheerleaders, Zoo-Zoos, MRF blimp, Harbhajan catching Nita Ambani and so on. The only other Indian item to match such a wholesome entertainment was Gunda the greatest movie ever. Though movie was the main package there it was the fan following and activities inspired by Gunda that made it much more entertaining.

When we look at IPL or at the sea-link, we feel proud. Our TV Channels as well as our leaders (who are not very different from cheer leaders except that they are ugly) are busy telling us how these are the signs of our strong economy and growing power. Soon, somewhere around 2020 we will be a superpower. So we are told. I don’t remember when was the last time we met some deadline but let’s be hopeful.I am sure we will be a unique superpower with around 800million people living below Rs 100 per day income. Thats quite a lot I feel. Rs. 100 will be sufficient for that person to buy a mobile top-up and access Internet using 3G (if at all the auction is over by that time).

Here is a story of where India stands today.I have picked it from GovernanceNow magazine. I don’t think I need to elaborate on it but it tells me what kind of superpower we will be around 2020.

Rani Devi Patel, 40, has become a faceless statistical figure in the records of Kunda police station in Pratapgarh district of Uttar Pradesh. Like 62 others, she was crushed to death in the stampede at the Kripalu Maharaj trust’s ashram at Mangarh village on March 4. She had gone to collect freebies that the trust had promised to distribute on the death anniversary of the Swami wife. But her story is unlike that of the others.At the age of 16, she got married only to be rejected by her husband. She came back to her uncle Bindeshwari in Kusemar village, adjacent to Mangarh. She found another companion who, after a few years of living together, turned her out. Rani was left to fend for herself for over a decade. On March 4, she found, in the distribution of freebies by the trust, an opportunity to lay her hands on something for survival. Freebies included a thali, a gamchha (cotton towel), one laddoo and Rs 10. For a woman living the life of a rejected outcast, that meant a lot.

But she died outside the gate when thousands pressed her frail body against the iron gate of the trust and ran over her. Yet, in her death, the much-despised Rani has become the darling of her two unknown husbands, her brother and an uncle who are all running around to claim the compensation for the deceased. In her death, Rani will fetch around Rs 5.5 lakh to her rightful heir. In a queer twist of irony, now all of them swear by the woman who they spurned forcing her to live the life of a destitute. The compensation has not been disbursed because of the dispute among the various claimants.
Even more poignant is the death of Kavita Yadav, an 18-year-old girl of the same village. She was very young when her mother was killed by her father Kamlesh, who was subsequently sentenced by the court. She was brought up by her maternal uncle Rajaram. On March 4, she skipped her school to collect the freebies. However, her body was brought home by Rajaram who performed the last rites. But as compensation for the deceased was announced, her father Kamlesh resurfaced to claim his right over Rs 5.5 lakh. [Source]

Such desperate poverty can only be seen the countries where governance does not exist or the ruler is a dictator. For a country like India, which has enough natural resources and potential of all kinds, it really takes enormous efforts to keep people so desperately poor. Thankfully the Nehru Gandhi family have spent over half a century in ensuring that they make it happen. The sacrifices that this family has made to keep the nation so desperately poor is beyond any verbal description.

No point the chest beating in the family’s name. People got what they deserved. If the people themselves were not ready to subject themselves to this desperation there was not way for the family to force poverty on them. But people preferred “Atit ke Niv Par Bhavshya ki ummid” and “to keep communal forces at bay” and “victory to secularism” and so on.

Goa and Agriculture

Save Tigers, Only 1441 left say some. On similar lines several people are shouting Save Farmers only very few left. Mr. Digamber Kamat showed the similar concern in his budget speech about the critical condition of agriculture sector in Goa.

I myself come from a family that is completely dependent on agriculture and we own a significant area of land by any standards. Precisely that is why I feel compelled to bring before rest of the community why the government policies are idiotic and their concerns a farce.

Understanding the problem.

India is an agrarian society. There is nothing to be proud of it but instead we should be ashamed of it. I will explain why. 52% of India’s population in engaged in this business which produces only 16.6% of its total GDP[1].  Ideally for a sector that produces only 16.6% of total GDP it must engage only 16.6% of population if the income levels of those engaged is to be equivalent to rest of Indians. Or the other option is let these 51% people produce as much as 51% of total GDP. Which will require 300% growth.

This one statistic explains why farmers are committing suicides, this one statistic enough to see why all the farmers are poor. As long as such a huge population is going to produce so very little the owners of such an enterprise are going to remain overwhelmingly poor. If they are poor they are likely to commit suicides. Rest of the problems follow.

How can we solve this problem? First. Can we increase the production by 300% ? Last so many years India’s agriculture sector has grown only by around 4%. 4% to 300% is a huge jump. One can grow this sector using following methods

1. Bring more land under cultivation (3 times what we have right now)

2. Use magical fertilizers, special breed of seeds etc.

3. Use crops that give more money.

Now, is it really possible? Land is a limited resource. We are probably at peak of fertilizer usage and we cant use more of it. Changing crops is a tough decision because to shift from Coconuts to Cashew will require huge capital and around 5 years.

Think of it at a micro-level. How can I increase my coconut production by 300% ? Better irrigation methods, more investment in upkeep etc. It needs money, time, man-power without any guarantee of returns. The production might rise at the most by 100% even than I am earning only half then someone else working in a different sector.

Second solution is that decrease the number of farmers. Voila! and we dont have to do anything, they are already committing suicides. That is not what I mean here. Let the population move from agriculture to other ways of earning a living. Manufacturing, Services and so on. Around 34% of India’s population that is around 350 million people in such case need to change their profession. While this is happening, the total land under cultivation should not go down. It should remain the same and it should be operated by 16% of India’s population.

Is this a feasible option? It’s implications are as follows.

1. With an additional workforce of 350 million people, India will need more industries, more cities, better infrastructure and importantly training for this workforce.

2. The people who will continue with farming will have to rely on mechanized farming, should own huge land pieces and employ as few people as they can.

3. It is impossible to achieve in a year or two. It requires a very long time planning. The reason why we are facing this problem today is because our leaders did not plan for it 20 years back.

Now, that we have these two solutions we need to use both of them in an optimal fashion.

Governments Approach

As usual the government goofs up with this issue. It concentrates on farmers rather than farming. It neither tries to persuade them to change their profession neither pushes them to increase their production multiple times.

Instead government provides them with “live another day to fight” sort o schemes. Mr. Digamber Kamat allocates 145% more funds to agriculture in his budget. how exactly this additiona fund is going to affect the problem? We dont know.

Government’s assurances to poor farmers that they will see good day are completely false. The moment they decided to remain farmers they were destined to be poor. As long as they are going to remain farmers they are going to remain poor. Every farmer must make sure that his children dont become farmers.

In Goa’s case the problem is even more serious. With the highest per capita (2 lakh+) income in country, Goa is a state of relatively rich people. A good developed service sector, several people doing jobs abroad have increased the cost of life here. Compared to that farming is completely meager income business. The problem is compounded by relatively poor states nearby. Karnataka and Maharashtra have more land, cheaper workforce and relatively lower standard of living especially in the areas near to Goa. So when Goan farmer keeps a particular product as sale for a particular price, his Karnataki counterpart can afford to sell it at even lesser price.

What has Mr. Digamber Kamat achieved by making a false promise that his additional funds are going to help the poor farmers? It was just a politically convenient argument indeed a misleading one.

As more businesses come in Goa, the gap between farmer’s standard of living and standard of living of a person working as a peon is going to increase. With 4% growth a farmer will increase in income by 40% where as the 7th pay commission will increase the pay of peon by around 100% 10 years down the line not to mention regularity of income and stability in life.

Dr. Nandkumar Kamat has advocated that government must implement the land revenue act. Where every landowner will have to pay certain amount per area units every year. He cites how even during ancient times this model was so crucial form of revenue. He has ignored that during ancient times entire economy was agriculture based and agricultural land was a major asset. Today the case is exactly the opposite, levying any tax on owning such a land will be like kicking the poor man in shins. Poor men at least should have option to convert their land and sell it off.

The Problems

Government incoherent policy has resulted into several problems.

1. People believe that by continuing with farming they can live a good living some day.

2. People believe that government schemes will help them do so.

3. Being a farmer is a virtue.

4. Migrating in search of job, living their village is not necessary or is a bad thing to do.

5. He is not allowed to sell or convert his land where in he can earn lot more money.

Farmers in return face following problems.

1. Their peers who are in different business see steady increase in standard of living.

2. Their income is irregular, where it involves government schemes the farmer is made to feel helpless every time.

3. Farmer is at the mercy of weather and small time middleman who take his product to the market.

The way ahead

Problems can be solved. We should first define the problem. Government fails here unmistakably.

1. The population engaged in farming should produce equivalent percentage of total GDP.

As discussion earlier this can be done in two-way which are not exclusive but need to be applied simultaneously.

First: Increase Production

1. Encourage holding of large agriculture land and then getting it under cultivation. Promote mechanized farming discourage manual farming.

2. Encourage large corporate houses to take up agriculture. This has additional benefits. Such houses can use huge land, they can employ farmers as employees, they can automate farming as much as possible, they can add more value to products by processing them thus increasing profits to whatever extent they want.

3. When big corporate houses take up farming a good amount of population who was previously engaged in farming can now become their salaried employees. They can also earn lease money without losing their land.

Second: Decrease the number of farmers

1. Education, Education and Education. Providing high quality education that makes people employable instead of current namesake education that churns out educated fools can solve countries 90% of the problems.

2. To change profession you need to learn skills that have demand.  Government needs to set up more schools in such areas and encourage young people to give up farming and join some other industry.

Hybrid Approach

In a short-term though we need to take steps to give relief to farmers. Such steps must be

1. Allow large players to become middleman in agriculture business. Let Reliance Fresh and similar outlets be opened everywhere. Give tax concessions to them.

2. Build state of art mass transportation systems. How will this help? There will be a good population of young people who stay away from their house for their job and hence neglect their ancestral agricultural property. If distance between Cancona and Panaji can be covered in 30 minutes so many individuals in Cancona can engage in farming as a part-time activity.

3. Give tax benefits to business houses that invest in buying and maintaining agricultural property. Impose severe penalties on them to convert the land. This means small farmers can sell their land for a good price.

Overall we must understand that Goa can not sustain itself as an agriculture based society any day. It will have to remain dependent on neighboring states for its needs. At some point we will have to realize this truth.

Agriculture can be a hobby but it can’t be a profitable business for an ordinary man. If it has to be profitable than 20% of population must produce for rest 80% of people and nor vice versa.

As long as the poor men continue to believe the lies of government they are going to perish.

Poverty and Cargo Cult

When tribals on an isolated island saw some European soldiers and their equipment, they were surprised. More over when they saw Airplanes dropping items for these soldiers they started believing that the Gods send them these gifts because of the rituals these soldiers perform. These perceived rituals is nothing but wearing the uniform, marching, talking on radio equipment etc. Hence in order to gain same benefits, the tribal too prepared airbase by cutting down the trees, radio equipment out of wood and straw, they too marched with sticks etc. And they waited for the God to send them gifts from heaven. This sort of behavior is called cargo cult.

Humanity survives on hope. The known fact is that actions lead to outcomes. One just hopes that the outcomes will be favorable to him. “Smarter” people understand the link between actions and outcomes and accordingly chose their actions. “Dumber” people on other hand either just hope that their arbitrary actions will lead to positive outcomes or try to copy the “Smart” people. When we consider this Cargo cult as a metaphor for various institutions of the modern world we need not view the dumber people as half naked tribal. He can be wearing a Kurta with a red rose on it or he can also be a Phd. with a blue turban.

India has around 450 million people living under the line of poverty. Several attempts have been made to eradicate this poverty. We had multi billion rupees  schemes to solve this problem. But the poverty is still where it is. In fact, as the rest of the world is changing with a rapid pace, the intensity with which poverty acts as an “holding back” force for society has become far more critical. The longer we will take to eliminate this curse, the gap between we and the rest of the world will widen.

One reason for our failure to eradicate poverty is “the cargo cult”, that has entered into the minds of our policy makers, media and rest of the public. And Cargo Cult as a policy means it will never succeed. Admitting that it has not succeeded or admitting that it will never succeed actually is same as admitting that whatever we did until now has been an example or gross stupidity. Hence it becomes inevitable for the “Tribal Chief” to conclude that the reason we are failing is that we are not imitating those favored by God with perfection. Hence they direct their efforts in imitating with a higher order of perfection.

A good example of this happened in Goa. A delegation from Goa Government which included some ministers  (I am not sure if the chief minister himself ) went to Singapore to study how they maintain law and order there. The first decision they took after coming to Goa was that the uniform of Goa police must be changed to smart blue and white instead of khaki. They even implemented this decision. Does this act any different from those tribal people compared in the order of stupidity?

NREG is one such scheme which has come from the so called smartest economist’s so called dream team. I must admit that they are little smarter than the goan chief minister. They went in a little depth to understand relationship between actions and outcomes. They realised that majority of the poor are poor because they don’t have employment. So the simplest solution was to provide them employment. Let them dig a canal and pay them hundred bucks a day. Once the canal is dug let them bury that canal and again earn 100 bucks a day. I am sure if they still find this an no so efficient solution, they will ask the diggers to use tablespoons instead of shovels as it will provide still more employment.

But I think we should not complain. Cargo cult can be practiced only when the tribal chief is smarter then the rest of the powerful members of the tribe. It is more logical to put it this way: majority of the tribal members are dumber than the chief. At some point of time even the chief understands the stupidity of his own action. But rather than admitting he makes sure that the people under him are always dumber. Thus he continues to rule while giving an illusion that the future is full of hope.

What can be the right solution to poverty then? I am not wise enough to see the entire chain of actions that will finally ensure that there is no starved, poor human in our country. It does require a great deal of smartness, but I can make out the difference between a Cargo Cult solution and the smarter solution. The solution is that if there is any way a poor can become rich, it is only by his own will. Who wants to be poor any ways? one would ask. The answer however surprisingly is that there are many people who want to be poor. Can the government show a good number of examples where a family listed as a BPL family has managed to get above that line? Can the government show a single example where a particular community which was listed as backward 40 years back has now successfully raised itself above that backwardness? Instead we will see several communities agitating to be identified as backward and those who are already backward will agitate to prove they are still more backward.

The reason for this is simple. One fundamental principle of economics is that “people react to incentives”. Government has created incentives for poor to remain poor, to get more poor. Poor gets free rice, mindless work and loan waiver and blah blah blah. Backwards get reservation, fee waivers, free travel and so on. They do this under the otherwise harmless terms like social justice, equality and poverty elevation. Anyone who see can see that government is going the cargo cult way is dismissed by terming as communal, conservative , retrogressive, champion of social injustice and so on. When these adjectives are applied to the opponents they start feeling apologetic about speaking the truth and soon join the cargo cult. Thus the tribal leader however honest he might pose himself, is actually ensuring that his Janata/Praja is dumber than him. That gives him a control and promising future.

Soon there will be a Super NREG scheme to hide the failure of NREG. Soon there will be another grand loan waiver or some other scheme in a more attractive packaging and a still bigger price tag. That will hide all the past failures and will create a more glorious picture of the future. India will be a superpower they will say. Why? Because we have such huge number of software engineers. We are an IT superpower. We have millions of mobile users we are an telecommunication superpower. Because the tribal doesn’t understand the difference between a stick and rifle. Just the way stick will not work in a real war, those thousands of engineers will be incapable of generating wealth the way engineers do in United States or Japan. Because we see only the front end. We only see that the degree certificate sees “Bachelor of Engineering”, we don’t pay attention to quality of educational infrastructure we build, quality of education imparted to those young minds and opportunities that we create for them when they are ready.

When someone tells me that India will get developed one day, soon there will be no poor people, soon we will be the best in world, I remember a Ghazal by Mirza Ghalib. Such poets, however worldly unwise they might be, see the truth more bluntly and honestly.

एक बराह्मण ने कहा कि ये साल अच्छा है
ज़ुल्म की रात बहुत जल्द टलेगी अब तो
आग चुल्हों में हर इक रोज़ जलेगी अब तो
भूख के मारे कोई बच्चा नहीं रोएगा
चैन की नींद हर इक शख्स़ यहां सोएगा
आंधी नफ़रत की चलेगी न कहीं अब के बरस
प्यार की फ़सल उगाएगी जमीं अब के बरस
है यहीं अब न कोई शोर-शराबा होगा
ज़ुल्म होगा न कहीं ख़ून-ख़राबा होगा
ओस और धूप के सदमें न सहेगा कोई
अब मेरे देश में बेघर न रहेगा कोई

नए वादों का जो डाला है वो जाल अच्छा है
रहनुमाओं ने कहा है कि ये साल अच्छा है

दिल के ख़ुश रखने को गालिब ये ख़याल अच्छा है


Atanu Dey on india’s development

Poor Arent Lifeless Bricks

India is a poor country. As per world bank reports there are about 450 million people living below world poverty line. (less than $1.25 or Rs 62.5 per day). Over all the World Human Development Index HDI report keeps India in the company of Sub saharan countries. We are with countries like Solomon Islands, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea. But shut your eyes wide to this. Say that we have half million people working in IT industry and soon we will be a superpower.

What does it REALLY mean to be poor? I personally have not faced extreme poverty. India’s poverty can be best expressed through following facts, unless one questions World Bank and other organization’s integrity.

1.Over 200 million, or about one-fifth of India’s population, is chronically hungry.

2. 2.5 million children in India die every year before reaching the age of five. (Gujarat Riot Victims: 2000, Tsunami Victims: 7000)

3. Literacy Rates in India today are 66% for Adult and 88% for youth while the same figures for China are 91 and 96%.The difference between male and female literacy rates is 21%

Unemployment, Healthcare, Public Transportation, Urban Waste management, Education are few more areas where I can cite that few million people are not getting even the basic structure that every human must deserve.

If we compare china with India. Take 1978 as the base year where India and China were at par. Even a century ago when United States was Emerging as a superpower, Argentina was just at par with it. Today we know the difference between US and Argentina. India’s comparison with China has been exactly the same. When in 1978 India and China were at par, today China has overtaken India by a margin too large. In fact China has beaten India squarely.

But India is democracy. Things happen at a slow rate here. I think this is the worst excuse one can give. There is no logical relation between democracy and being slow. Even Japan, England , US are fairly democratic. Democracy being slow is acceptable logically only if we use “democracy in India is corrupt” as a intermediate premise. But whatever it may be, any system that allows 2.5 children to die every year when they could have been saved is essentially useless.

We must note that all the governments right from 1947 were self professed pro-poor governments. They implements what they called pro-poor policies. Their every speech promised elimination of poverty. Despite that nothing has happened. The reduction in poverty over years has happened largely due to luck and global development. Its not a change brought by systematic planning and policies.

The roots of India’s failure in eliminating poverty (or any other failure) lie in its faulty policies. Refer to any article on India’s poverty today. In the cause one cause is never missed. That is the license Quota Raj. Despite this the Indian government was just not ready to do it. They finally had to do it in 1991. It was done because the only choice left was to go bankrupt. People responsible for this dark period not just went unpunished but were even glorified. The same license quota raj is also one primary reason of increasing corruption in India.

One decision to give up the license regime and open the markets made significant difference to India’s economy. But this was neither predicted nor wished by Indian policymakers. China did. They opened their economy in early 80s and India lost 10 important years.

As this article argues these faulty policies look at poor as a lifeless bricks. Bricks that are used to line up and build the ladder that helps to attain power. The pro-poor policies are not actually targeted at “eliminating” poverty but they actually “sustain” poverty. The best example is of NREGS explained beautifully by Atanu Dey. I think its the ignorance of masses (which is again a result of intellectual poverty attributed to our poor education system) and even the media hero that consider such schemes as pro-poor.

Let me quote from the livemint article

One of the authors of this study, Narayan, even told The Times of India in an interview: “People want a free-market economy. But they need the skills to connect with it. The government machinery needs to treat the poor with dignity and respect. This is something that they value a lot. The people also desired free and fair elections and honest leaders as it helps in empowering them.”

The true way to eliminate poverty is by viewing these people not as helpless ones but as able people. Provide them with opportunity and not outcome. Dont provide the employment but just provide them with opportunity to employment. If you dont allow to setup industries, if you dont allow private companies to setup schools you end up having an employment guaranty scheme which produces ZERO output. It help the poor to sustain for another day but doesn’t help him a day after.

If the government has stressed enough on education, urban planning, industrialization and wealth generation instead of slogan against poverty. Today India would have been a far better country. Even today we fail to recognize our mistakes.

The only reason why we hope India is developing is because of handful of industries like IT. (But India’s computer infrastructure is very weak and underdeveloped compared to that of china. ) These industries have comes into existence only due to free market policies. The planning comission had never visualised IT as an industry and outsourcing as a component adding to GDP. Still today IT has grown. In fact every aspect that the government has ignored has grown. Just compare Cricket (not controlled by government) and Hockey (Controlled by Government).

I think it is time for government to think of poor people not as lifeless bricks that deserve compassion and support but as able individuals who need freedom from cliches. Given them freedom to write their own destiny. Give them freedom to choose their own future. They are very much capable of doing well, but only if government doesnt interfere.

My Related Posts

1. India’s Growth Story

2. My thoughts on Recession

3. Atlas Shrugged

4. India’s Middle class failure