12 April, 2021

2007: We Are Still Colonial

There is an alarming political unanimity on pro-rich growth economics

2007: We Are Still Colonial

The wide range of political choices available in our multi-party democracy seems increasingly illusory. A marked convergence is occurring among political parties. It isn't just the compromise of coalition politics at the Centre—political parties of very different labels are following with equal vengeance the same economic course: growth through industrialisation. Yet, it leaves open the central question. Is the high rate of growth via a certain kind of industrialisation synonymous with development?

The type of industrialisation currently on in India has three traits. Corporations lead it; they're mostly private and the government's role at the central and state level is of a promoter of private corporations, not of a regulator. All political parties seem to agree that the cost of industrialisation has to be borne by the poor. The corporations need make no sacrifice; they need encouragement. The estimated subsidy to the Tatas in Singur is Rs 850 crore for investing Rs 1,000 crore.

As traditional political differences melted into a...

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