Friday, April 24, 2009

Development is the only way to all Social Justice

What do we actually mean by social justice? Is there any bigger injustice to mankind than hunger, poverty and illiteracy? Don’t you think that the root causes of all injustice are just these? Though all these are related to economic issues, still, once these are eradicated, I’m sure that will take care of any social issue also. A poor person is always vulnerable and can be a victim of injustice. Have anyone heard of any injustice towards any Parsi family, even though they are even a smaller minority in India than most other minorities? It’s because Parsis are perhaps one of the most literate and affluent people in India. Can you ever imagine that Sanjay Dutt will get special privilege over Salman Khan in any of the criminal cases pending against them just because he is a Hindu and the other a Muslim? No. In this case both are financially strong and both can avail of the best of services and privileges and can make sure that they get the ‘right’ justice in the cases pertaining to them. There are innumerable examples that can show that social injustice (or justice)  is just a function of the economic condition of the people.

Now the question comes, how can we make the full nation economically strong and literate so that there won’t be any social injustice? Let’s take the example of the famous economist Keynes, whose ideas were responsible solely to bring out US from the depression of the thirties. Most of the freeways that we see in US now were created during the depression on Keynes advices. The policies and the advices that Keynes gave to the US government are the foundations of the Keynesian Economics. His idea was very simple. Infrastructures are the best and easiest ways to create employment and thus elevating the economic conditions of people and subsequently impacting the economy of the entire nation in positive direction. He even told that if there’s no new road to be created then have one group of people dig up an area and another group fill it up.  When setting up industries might take time, investing heavily on infrastructure
is the best possible alternative to employ huge chunks of unskilled labor. Isn’t that exactly what BJP had started during their tenure from 1998 and something that has been almost stalled during the UPA rule? India got independence in 1947 and it took more than 50 years for the governments to appreciate the importance of infrastructures!! Isn’t that weird?

Let’s look back into history. Let me use ‘Discovery of India’ as the reference. (Congress would be quite happy to read this part of the article). Jawaharlal Nehru had made a very good  observation to explain the economic supremacy of Indian subcontinent for almost 2500 years, till 1700 AD, during which India (along with China) used to be among the two biggest economies of the world, generating more than 20% of the world GDP uninterruptedly. He observed that the main reason for this was that not more 30% of the population was involved in agriculture. The remaining of the population was always involved in activities like construction of houses, roads, ships, manufacturing of articles with metals, woods, production of textile and cloth, trade and commerce and many more. Though large scale industry was never in place during all these period, but still India’s economy was strong just because of the fact that the labor force was properly distributed between agricultural and non-agricultural activities and above all the entire working population was involved in activities that created enough money for them. This structure was totally shattered by the British rulers, which destroyed almost all non-agricultural activities and thus forcing all those people with niche skills employed in those areas to move into agriculture, which never had so much work for 40% more people. Still now in India we’ve close to 70% people in agriculture. The only way to make India progress is to keep only 30-40% people involved in agriculture and have the rest in manufacturing and  construction works - out of which the later is the most easy to implement.

It’s really a pity that people speak about rural employment but then the biggest and the most successful means of generating employment - constructing roads - has been stalled!!

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