Thursday, March 16, 2006

India: One Country, Two Worlds

India: One Country, Two Worlds By Girish Mishra: "Two reports have appeared simultaneously. One report has been carried by the American magazine Forbes and the other by the German journal Der Spiegel’s English version. These two reports underline that India, despite being one country, is getting divided into two worlds, which may have disastrous consequences.

The German newspaper Der Spiegel carried a report from its Bangalore correspondent Thomas Schmitt, entitled ‘Forgotten in Bangalore: Meet the Losers of Globalization’. At the very outset it stressed: “Economists predict a rosy future for the Indian economy, with the stock market rising from one record to the next. In boomtown Bangalore, the nouveau riche proudly flaunt their wealth. Unfortunately, this dazzling display often obscures the losers of the country’s economic miracle.”

Ms Mrinal Pande, a noted writer and editor of a Hindi daily with a huge circulation wrote in her weekly column, soon after Bush’s departure from India: “Whatever the comrades may say, after travelling so far, we must bring necessary changes in our economic system so that the rate of growth of the country gets accelerated. It is not important whether indigenous or foreign capital is invested. What is more important is the rate of growth.” It is needless to add that this suffers from her utter ignorance of economics. Had she been aware of ‘multiplier effect’ and read what Lord Keynes had written she would not have flaunted her ‘wisdom’. Besides, this statement suffers from the fallacy of slippery slope argument. She may have to answer the question: what was wrong with foreign capital that Indian national movement and Tata-Birla Plan campaigned for putting constraints on it?"

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