Friday, July 16, 2010

GDP vs GDP: The Story of Indian “Development"

Badri Raina

(From Badri Raina's Znet Page)

O Brave New India that hath such Creatures in it.


Clap clap, and clap again.

India’s GDP is set to grow at 9.4%, sayeth the oracle of the World Bank.

So, where is the high table, and why aren’t we on it yet? And what is a mere G-20; it is the permanent membership of the Round Table we seek and deserve. Our knights now shine too resplendentally, O Arthur-Sam. So, move over, you defunct old inheritors of defunct old glory. Our charge now resistless indeed.

Which is perhaps why the evil ones conspire to stymie that charge with ill-intended facts and figures. Familiar colonial perfidy alive and well still, epicentred where else but in that decrepit Oxford.

They now unleash another GDP to undermine our Icarian flight, namely, Gross Destitute People.

Some busybody Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative brings out a Report on world poverty based on Multi-Dimensional Indices, calculated wickedly to show us down.

And it would have us believe that actually, in point of fact, as they say in Oxford, there are an aggregate of more poor people in just eight Indian states than in all of Africa’s poorest 26 countries; roughly, more than some 410 million Indians. That them Africans there have better access to “good cooking fuel,” “schooling,” “electricity,” “nutrition,” “sanitation,” and so on than eight of our resource-rich states! Perish the perfidy.

And, as if to mock our GDP I thesis, they also rub in the view that “low per capita GDP income doesn’t necessarily mean high poverty.”

Clearly, waka waka Shakira, whom Oxford loves, brand ambassador for the rainbow nation down south in Africa, must have something to do with this inspired computation. We love Shakira too (or do we?) but to say that 26 of the poorest African nations are less poor than Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Jharkhand, and Chattisgarh—well who else but the knowledgeable would believe such calumny?

And who cares for the knowledgeable? Certainly not our corporate channels and print media who spread the word on India’s GDP of the first order, namely, Gross Domestic Product. Gross indeed.

As to GDP II, did you tell us something we did not know? And is it to be thought that any nation can increase GDP I without simultaneously increasing GDP II as well? Dammit, somebody has got to pay the price for the frontline few to conquer the world.

Progress—it poureth like ungentle torrents from heaven (as it is doing now in India’s showpiece Capital); and when it does, is it your view that roads, shanties, bridges, trees, electric poles and mobile towers, even neighbourhoods next to where the Primum Mobile lives will not, or should not, be washed away? Or that only a few should lose their lives? Strange notion of progress you must have indeed.


Don’t think for a moment we are not wise to you and your anti-national shenanigans.

You are of the tribe who filed that writ in the Supreme Court of India, challenging the validity of Section 2 of the Constitution (42nd amendment) by virtue of which the word “socialist” was inserted in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution.

And who also challenged Section 6 of the Representation of People’s Act, 1989, which makes it incumbent on every political party registered in India to pledge allegiance to the socialist ideal, failing which such a party can be deregistered.

So you would blow the whistle on us, would you? You would like to tell the world how we are not a Democracy but a Hypocrisy. As if the world does not know.

You think good governance entails an honest adherence to what we profess rather than what we do. Alas, how Kautilya and Confucious must turn in their realpolitik graves at the enormity of your naivete.

Know then that good governance means first and foremost feeding words to the 410 million, with an odd “gurantee scheme” thrown in, and wealth to the handful whose accumulations alone may take India to the Round Table. Elementary, my dear nincompoop, who it seems takes too much to heart what ablutions we make to the “socialist” ideal when them votes are needed.

Just as we pay homage to the Father of the Nation, that naked fakir, when all else fails to mollify the mob. Returning to designer lifestyles the minute the mayhem dies down.

As to those 26 African nations; have you no concern for Africa where, after all Bapu Gandhi first blew the whistle? How is Africa to seem to move forward if we do not step back that little bit? And what is 410 million but precisely “that little bit”?

Your problem is that you dig for dirt because you are at bottom a leveler. And you think God truly created all of us as equals with them unalienable rights etc., Not true. Read any of our Hindu scriptures and you will know otherwise. Why else would we fall into unreconcilable castes and gotras we ask you? And not a one of those 410 human beings, we tell you, may seek parity with a Garuda, a Ganesha, or a Hanuman, although not even human those. Such is the genius of mystery. Such are the things between heaven and earth that your philosophy will never understand. Your problem entirely.

When in the history of our colonial slavery did Oxford bode any good to us? So, why should it now?

It made us slaves then, and it sheds crocodile tears at the slavery we have made for ourselves as free republicans. Surely, a perfidious second colonization is being forged, using, cunningly, the very tools we supply. To Oxford we thus say, leave us be; our poor are our own, and they understand us better than you do. So do not stir the pot, which is already on the boil anyway. What is a nation where everybody is fed the same ration? A spectacle of dead uniformity from whence no great deeds can emerge. Know that it is difference, as the philosopher has taught us, that lends meaning to us severally. Sameness of well being is a mere recipe for sloth and slouching. It is hunger in the extreme that seeks new recipes and transforms the cuisine. Worry thou about quality, not about quantity. And learn for god’s sake that Indian “socialism” is different, pretty much now like the Chinese, and finds directions to glory through indirections of policy. Too much for Oxford to understand.

Which is not to say that we will not send our children to Oxford if Oxford


Just a way of the empire striking back, you moron.



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