Friday, May 02, 2008

The White Tiger

This is one book I'm definitely buying. Arvind Adiga was a correspondent for Time Magazine, and he writes a fable that could possibly come true in the 'booming, shining' India we can't get out of our heads.

A few quotes from an interview of his by Arthur J. Pais,

1. The shameless way wealth is flaunted [in India] is extraordinary. Poor people [see] the money the very rich have.

2. The Indian economy is booming but the money was [is] not really getting down to the poor and the difference in the world between the rich and the poor was phenomenal.

To say that the divide between the rich and the poor, and the invisibility of the poor is an issue that has been `dealt with' is to trivialise its profound and perpetual importance. The problem is omnipresent, its manifestations keep changing

And most importantly and prophetically, perhaps:

4. India, amidst the hoopla and hype of the economic boom, the poor are more invisible than ever before, and the dangers of ignoring them are greater than ever before: The proof of this is in the resurgent Naxalite, armed rebellion in the heart of India, where communist guerrillas, fighting in the name of the poor, are waging a brutal war against the state.

Read the full interview here.


Govind said...

I agree with you on some of these aspects.. yes there is a divide , yes there is naxalite and struggles... infact Lehman Brothers has a 183 page report on this which you might find interesting. They claim that inspite of all this , India would see a potential 10% growth... which is very promising and much above the Hindu rate of growth.

The point i try to make is that India needs to give up on the socialist Ideas we have borrowed from other nations.. Five year planning and especially planning commision should go... If something can rejuvinate India it is efforts that would start from the grassroots. Dr. Kalam's talk on AUg15 2003 - he discusses PURAs where he talks about attempts to empower the India villages. second is the Honeybee network and grass root innovation .. This shud be a focus .. keeping pure unadultrated Capitalism in mind.. ( AYN RAND's definition of capitalism - details in my blog)

Mosilager said...

Although... don't you think wealth creation and that wealth inequality is far greater in cities than in the villages where most Indians live? So how will the inequality affect them daily?

The Indian government (and people) have failed to ensure basic rights to all the people... food, shelter, education, health I think are basic rights. But are there enough resources in the world to provide for all of our people? Maybe research into how to provide for all these people will help.

If you look at the GINI index, India's wealth distribution is better than the USA's and China's, so comparatively we're not doing as badly. That's scant comfort to the poor person on the street though.

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