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Why India Will Never Be A Super Power:
Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen







Nobel Laureate and economist Amartya Sen needs no introduction.

His views on the India's development have been well documented. Last year he sparred with economist Jagdish Bhagwati on the growth-versus-development debate.

In a recent visit to the LSE, Sen laid out his thoughts in black and white. In an interview to Sonali Campion and Taryana Odayar, he explains why the Narendra Modi government's economic philiosophy is completely wrong -- and bound to fail.

    "India is the only country in the world which is trying to become a global economic power with an uneducated and unhealthy labour force. It’s never been done before, and never will be done in the future either."

    "India is trying to be different from America, Europe, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Singapore, China -- all of them. This is not good way of thinking of economics."

Sen then warns of the inherent contradictions of this approach:

    "The whole idea that you could somehow separate out the process of economic growth from the quality of the labour force is a mistake against which Adam Smith warned in 1776. "

Sen is harshest when asked about the comparison between India and China

    "By 2009 they could bring in a scheme of universal healthcare and by 2012 they are well in the 90s in terms of percentage coverage of health insurance. China are able to do that if ten people at the top are persuaded.

    “In India, ten people is not sufficient. You have to carry the population. Against the blast of propaganda that happened in the general elections last year -- fed on one side by the activism of the Hindutva Parivar, and the other side by the gigantic money of the business community -- it is slow to correct ongoinf deficiencies."


[Courtesy: Outlook]
November 27, 2015

Conversation about this article

1: Brij Kumar Bhasin (New Delhi, India), November 27, 2015, 10:30 AM.

An honest man, this ... one with insight and integrity. Considering the state this country is in today, anyone who is a cheerleader for Narendra Modi or any of his gang of rogues, the BJP or the RSS, has to be either dumb-and-dumber or as crooked as hell. God save my country!

2: Hardev Singh (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada), November 28, 2015, 12:12 AM.

It is one thing to send a Mars probe and another to provide for decent sanitation for the multitude of hundreds of millions defecating in the open. Besides struggling to not get choked off the polluted air. When you look at important parameters and indicators of development, India comes off worst among every Asian country and even sub-Saharan African countries. In many areas, instead of improvement, you see a steady marked descent year to year. Narendra Modi is a sharp and a populist politician, and is being marketed well by his handlers, but his Hindutva politics and alliance with big business is highly divisive, polarizing and reckless.

3: Ari Singh (Sofia, Bulgaria), November 29, 2015, 10:32 AM.

Maybe, if Indian 'intellectuals' stay in India instead of moving to greener pastures, India will have a chance to improve. Economists do not need advanced laboratories in advanced countries to fine tune their theories.

4: Arjan Singh (USA), December 05, 2015, 2:43 PM.

#3. Ari ji, your suggestion is a wise one, but India today lacks wisdom. If you are an intellectual in India, you are a target. In fact you could very well end up on a hit list and your life might be at risk. The religion or ethnicity of an intellectual is irrelevant in front of these packs of wolves. They will threaten and intimidate any progressive thought. Actors, journalists, writers, painters, playwrights, poets, scientists, etc., all are fair game in this lawless land. Things might be a tad better than Bangladesh and Pakistan where many have lost their lives for speaking up. But this logic never worked for me. Just because you are a few degrees better than your neighbor does not mean you are better, because what if you and your neighbor are both in the same pit of muck. Therefore, many and most Indian intellectuals have had to seek civil societies to excel in their fields. A few examples of individuals who have been threatened due to their opinions are: Khushwant Singh, Arundhati Roy, MF Hussain, Girish Karnard, Chetana Thirthahalli, UR Ananthamurthy, Verendra (relation to noted film actor Dharmendra) who was assassinated, and so on, to name but a few.

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Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen"

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