Why is India Still Poor? – commentary

Why is India Still Poor?

By Aseem Shrivastava and Ashish Kothari – for 

In March 2012, the Indian Planning Commission stated that 29 percent of India’s population was poor. These were people who had less than Rs.22.42 (US $0.41) a day if they were living in villages, or Rs. 28.35 (US $0.52) if in a city. The Commission’s happy conclusion was that poverty had fallen from 37 percent since its last measurement in 2004-05.

It is difficult to decide which is the more remarkable figure here. The fact that more than six decades after India gained independence, and after two decades of some of the highest economic growth rates in the world, almost a third of the country was still poor—or the fact that India’s highest planning body actually considers anyone earning more than $0.52 a day as not fitting into their definition of poor. Activists pointedly asked the government economists if any of them could live on that amount in New Delhi; the response, of course, was a resounding silence.

If even slightly more realistic figures are used, the grim reality of poverty in India is revealed. Taking the World Bank criterion of $1.25 (PPP) a day, for instance, there were 456 million “poor” Indians (42 percent of population) in 2005. Estimates that take nutritional and caloric needs into account bump the number in poverty up to 60 – 80 percent.    [more]

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  • Cyril Balkaran  On 06/20/2012 at 7:25 am

    The Indian Planning Commission has a lot to gloat about using the pre determined indices to measure the levels of Poverty now existing in present day India. According to the Commission there was a drop from 37% to 29% and this is a measurable fact based on the Internationally accepted standards. In the year 1976 the Population census released figures of India’s population to be 650 million souls, 30 years later that figure doubled to reach 1.2 billion people. Herein lies the problem. The population continues to grow unchecked and the same is true of China. Together these two Asian Nuclear Competing Giants have one third of the world’s population. As the un-curbed population continues to rise so will the Poverty Index either move up or come down. Population decrease incentives did not work in the past as the culture, religion, socio moral standards did not allow for a downward spiral. in 1969 -1976, the Indira Gandhi Central Government undertook a Compulsory Sterilization Program that faltered. If cost the Congress Party the Government and it shattered the socio-religious-cultural norms of this Plural Society that was considered to be 50% illiterates and 40 % poverty ridden! Its time to deal with the numbers and look at the opoulation growth. After all India is committed to the 10 year Recurrent Census Program. While India’a 65 years of Independence from Great Britain did allow it to be a world’s leader in the IT Business and in Nuclear Expansion for Peaceful Purposes, the population growth business needs to be tracking for more positive achievements.

  • Ann Kennedy  On 06/20/2012 at 2:04 pm

    The reason why India is still poor is because Hinduism teaches their followers to be content with what God gave them, because in another life they would do better. It is all about being content and not begrudging to those who have. I have been among the poor in India and most of them are quite happy with their lot in life. If you give them a few coins they are usually very grateful. Now there are the honest rich who help the poor and the dishonest rich who just take and never think of others. In all my years in business I have never been taken advantage of until I started doing business with an Indian, smooth talking thief from India who now resides in the US. He found a way to get into my business bank accounts and stole nearly two hundred thousand dollars. Beware of these types of Indian businessmen. They also know how to scam you and make it look like they are the victims.

  • Clyde Duncan  On 06/21/2012 at 2:54 am

    Oooh, Ann! Nasty! Nasty! In my opinion, the ones you encountered may have learnt the tricks of the trade from an Englishman. They tell me that’s why the sun never set on the British Empire – God never trusted an Englishman in the dark.

  • almanca tercüme  On 06/21/2012 at 8:04 pm

    Nothing to do with Hinduism. There is no work for people. They are getting not enough money for their work. This is the main reason why they are poor.

  • a.michael tannassee  On 06/23/2012 at 2:52 pm

    THE truth be told of the dirt poor hindus ,, probably 800 MILLION of them who were made so by those walking on their backs to maintain their “meal ticket” and who tell themself that they are the “knower” of all things ,, i will not mention who they r here ,, but they know who they r ,, my qtion to them is ,,”WHO died an leff y’al the “knower” of all things ?????????????????????????????????????| ,, and the upper crust ,, of the “caste” system that y’al so cleverly created to manipulate the poor into serfdom…… hinduism is a cult like the one jim jones had in GUYANA !!! there is no such word as HINDU ,, in none of the sacred indian texts found today in the oldest living civilisation on the planet TODAY ! the “ignorant” tell demself ,, “i am an hindu ,, and that is my “RACE” !!! poor souls ,, hinduism is a cult ,, made so by the BASTARDS to have a “MEAL TICKET”………

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On 06/23/2012 at 6:00 pm

    It is unfortunate that illiterates in Hindu philosophy love to peddle their racial, ethnic and religious biases against the most ancient (Abraham derived from Hindu ‘A-Brahman’) and venerable philosophy. Yes, venerable! Ask the likes of Emerson, Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Toynbee, Klostermaier; scientist Richard Dawkins, physicists: Frijof Capra, Neils Bohr, Shrodinger, Heisenberg, Carl Sagan, Oppenheimer, etc, etc…
    Also, they’d be shocked to know that CASTE is NOT a Hindu construct….but “Varna” is. And, the Bhagavad Gita (four:13) laid out that it based on a person’s Guna (quality) and Karma, NOT birth!
    Colonialist Lord Risley( following Max Muller’s quest to ensure mythical Àryans invaded India and get credit, and to convert Hindus), formalized the Indian Caste System in 1901 after measuring Indians’ skulls and noses to classify them into races and hence Castes .
    Furthermore, Look at India’s demographic figures and you’ll see that Hindus are doing better in containing their population than Muslims and Christians ( 10 yrs (’91-2001): 20.3% vs, 29.5 and 22.6, resp.).
    So, these Hindu bashers should do their homework. Also read my book UNDER ATTACK! THE CARIBBEAN INDIAN (Rebutting and Educating UWI’s Dr Kean Gibson) avail at Austin’s Bookstore, GT, Guyana. Or write me at vedamohabir@rogers.com
    Veda Nath Mohabir

  • de castro compton  On 06/26/2012 at 10:29 am

    RELIGION is the “opium” of the church !

    RELIGIOUS FANATICS are but fools in this “paradise” planet earth !
    I will not “waste” my thoughts on people who “believe” in the “supernatural”
    as I myself am a “naturalist”…more so a “realist”

    however if there is an “afterlife”..I certainly wont re-incarnate as a “PIG” !
    There is an “interlect” above ours ….but hey if you were an “alien” would you want “humans” to know you existed !….
    On a more personal level “will you be happy among illiterate” people !
    I am happy in the company of “poor”people as I can learn so much from them…
    among the rich all I feel is “envy” which makes me more depressed !

    a saying my grandmother taught me…..

    I prefer a “healthy and wealthy mind”….money is but the root of all “evil”

    I can go on and on as i have accepted “poverty”
    what I cannot accept is “starvation” …I blame the politicians and the religious fanatics for the “dilema”

    the end

  • Cyril Balkaran  On 06/28/2012 at 3:24 am

    India is a Secular Nation that allows each Religious Sect the Constitutional Right to Worship. There are various Religious sects as the Hindus,the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Catholics, the Jains, the Sikhs, the Pharsees, the Sai Babas, the Kabir Panths, the North Indians are believed to be of the Aryan race and are from the INDUS VALLEY Civilization. The South Indians are from the DRAVIDIAN Origin and Dravidian culture in South India. There are the four major Caste System throughout India and there are many sub castes. People of today have accepted this fact of a label in the society and some exploit this for their own reasons. The population has doubled itself in 30 years from 650 million souls in 1976 to 1.2 billion souls in 2011. Survival is the name of the game and the government has instituted measures to have social and other reforms among the Scheduled or Backward Castes in the Indian Society. It is a stupendous task but the National Government has stepped up its measures to eradicate poverty in India. The only place in this wide world that has officially eradicated poverty is the European Continent! The Bible says “Blessed are the POOR for they shall inherit the EARTH” .There is enough earth for both the poor and the rich to inherit. Poverty is a result of many interlocking factors, the least of which is not exploitation of man by man!

  • de castro  On 06/28/2012 at 9:59 am

    thanks the above lesson on “caste” …reminds me of BRITISH
    royalty….the “aristocracy” and its “sophiscated” snobbery
    stinks…however that is also changing with HRH QE2 being given
    elecution lessons on how to speak to her “common subjects” ha ha !…..the only usefullness of the royalty is their charitable work and the “tourist attraction”…..
    The other appointed LORDS and LADIES days may be numbered.

    I do not feel “superior” to anyone
    neither do I feel “inferior”

    I trust and love everyone until they betray me !

    JESUS was aware of JUDAS and his purpose or maybe even JESUS
    was a bit “naive”..he could have had judas “removed”….

    so my friends let us give the benefit of the doubt that the situation in INDIA will change hopefully for the better
    forever the optimist

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