19 October, 2020

The Roadmap We Must Make As We Go

Massive challenges face the Narendra Modi government. Here are some of our bigger ailments that need attention.

The Roadmap We Must Make As We Go

As Narendra Modi gradually takes control of government, what is the state of the nation, and what are the key challenges ahead? The sad and terrible fact is that India is one of the poorest, most wretched places on earth, especially northern India, and the task for the BJP government is massive. At the same time, the capacity of India’s institutions to do anything rational and substantial to improve the lot of Indians, middle class or poor, is limited.

The largest number of poor people in any single country is to be found in India.  You are poor in India if you consume at approximately the rate of Rs 25 per day, Rs 750 per month, and Rs 9,000 per year—roughly $150 per year, or less than 50 cents per day. Using that abysmally low figure for the poverty level, about 22 per cent of Indians are poor—nearly 300 million people. If we raised the figure used to compute poverty, a much larger number of people would be counted as poor. To give you a sense of what it means to say that 300 million people are poor, we should note that the total population of...



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