[Marxism] "The India Model" by Gurcharan Das, in _Foreign Affairs_

Sayan Bhattacharyya ok.president+marxmail at gmail.com
Fri Jul 21 00:48:52 MDT 2006

This is an interesting article, written by a former CEO of Procter and
Gamble India. It identifies the right problems with India's economy, but,
expectedly (given the biases of the author), advocates wholesale
privatization as a sort of  panacea. Basically, the article argues that the
Indian economy essentially does not produce public goods (even in education
or health care) and that it  is already de facto privatized for all intents
and purposes.

The solution, marxist/leftist Indians like myself would argue,  however, is
not wholesale privatization as the article argues, but more accountability
and more grassroots-level democracy with people's empowerment (as is
happening, forexample, in Venezuela and Bolivia). Anyway, the article is an
interesting read, if only to see how the intelligent bourgeois mind thinks
and the kinds of solutions it proposes for the current juncture...


The India Model
Gurcharan Das<http://www.foreignaffairs.org/author/gurcharan-das/index.html>
>From *Foreign Affairs*, July/August

Full article at: <


Summary:  After being shackled by the government for decades, India's
economy has become one of the world's strongest. The country's unique
development model -- relying on domestic consumption and high-tech services
-- has brought a quarter century of record growth despite an incompetent and
heavy-handed state. But for that growth to continue, the state must start
modernizing along with Indian society.

  *GURCHARAN DAS is former CEO of Procter & Gamble India and the author of
India Unbound: The Social and Economic Revolution From Independence to the
Global Information Age.*

In the midst of a booming private economy, Indians despair over the lack of
the simplest public goods. It used to be the opposite: during India's
socialist days, Indians worried about economic growth but were proud of
their world-class judiciary, bureaucracy, and police force. But now, the old
centralized bureaucratic Indian state is in steady decline. Where it is
desperately needed -- in providing basic education, health care, and
drinking water -- it has performed appallingly.


The government's most damaging failure is in public education. Consider one
particularly telling statistic: according to a recent study by Harvard
University's Michael Kremer, one out of four teachers in India's government
elementary schools is absent and one out of two present is not teaching at
any given time. Even as the famed Indian Institutes of Technology have
acquired a global reputation, less than half of the children in fourth-level
classes in Mumbai can do first-level math.


The same dismal story is being repeated in health and water services, which
are also de facto privatized. The share of private spending on health care
in India is double that in the United States. Private wells account for
nearly all new irrigation capacity in the country. In a city like New Delhi,
private citizens cope with an irregular water supply by privately
contributing more than half the total cost of the city's water supply. At
government health centers, meanwhile, 40 percent of doctors and a third of
nurses are absent at any given time. According to a study by Jishnu Das and
Jeffrey Hammer, of the World Bank, there is a 50 percent chance that a
doctor at such a center will recommend a positively harmful therapy.


Full article at: <

More information about the Marxism mailing list