India was the richest country in the world until the British invasion in the early 17thcentury.
We were the most developed in terms of economy, medicine, astronomy, mathematics and science. Our riches attracted millions to build trade bonds with us, and one fine day the British seeped into our nation to suck our nation’s wealth, dignity and reputation.
Well, I have said all this not to blame the British for our present state of misery. If there is anyone to blame for the way we are today, it is us. We are like this only because of us and we are completely responsible for it. A couple of centuries ago, the British began to suck our wealth, and now we ourselves are doing so.
The ever widening economic inequality
The economic equality in our nation has doubled in our country in the last two decades. And this has made India the worst performer amongst the developing nations. What is more ‘contributing’ to this widening phenomenon is that the top 10 % of the economy earn 12 times more than the bottom 10 %. When it comes to the middle line of the economy, that is the middle class, it is again the top 10 % that calls the shots. They make 5 times more than the median people, while the medians make just 0.4 % more than the bottom 10 %.
‘The rich becomes richer, the poor becomes poorer’ – this is a common inclusion in political speeches and socio-centred films and documentaries. But the reality that is hidden behind those words is one of misery, despair and agony. The fact of rising inequality is not really surprising, as the government offers a massive 4.6 lakh crore in tax exemptions while subsidies for the poor and the farmers harbour an amount of 1.5 lakh crore.
Can we rely on our Government?
Definitely no. Relying on our government is what has kept us still developing, despite the fact that it’s already 65 years since our independence. If we have to be dependent on anyone, that is our own self. Let us see what has been happening to our nation under the present government.
– Of all the developing countries, India has the highest proportion of informal employment.
– Our country spends much less than 5 % of its GDP on social schemes as compared to Brazil’s more than 15 %.
– India’s Gini coefficient, the official measure of economic inequality has gone from 0.32 to 0.38, the ideal score being 0.
– About 42 % of the Indian population lives on less than 65 rupees a day. This is the highest poverty rate in the seven developing countries.
– Out of our country’s workforce of about 460 million, 92 % work in the unorganized or informal sector, i.e, they don’t have job security.
These are just a few, but there are many more facts which are very much painful when we compare our present state with what we were a couple hundred years ago.
Two different worlds: One is hell, the other is heaven
One major reason for this economic inequality is corruption. Though India is not amongst the top 50 most corrupt countries, the problem is rampant in our country. And if not put under immediate control, we would soon make a shameful move not into the top 50, but into the top 10 itself.
Most of the politicians are corrupt. They support and welcome the rich, thereby putting more pressure on the poor. The poor are levied with unreasonable taxes, while the rich politicians are exempted from them. While the poor are jailed for no mistake of theirs, the rich escape punishment and are out on bail though the mistake lies on their side. While the poor have to struggle to get things done, the rich toss bundles of rupee notes and things happen in seconds. The rich live on alcohol and expensive wines, while the poor have a hard time finding water for a day. By saying rich, I don’t mean the wealthy ones, but the ones who are wealthy in a corrupt way. This is the state of our nation, and we sit back in our houses and behave as though we have sacrificed much for the country.
The other reason is freebies. Our leaders never want the poor to develop. They want the poor to remain poor, and make them beggars by offering things for free. Corruption and freebies: two devils of our nation that make the rich richer and the poor poorer.
We have been called a developing nation since ages; but we can attain the developed state only when the economic differences amongst the people can be subverted completely.