Rich-poor divideHave you thought why rich remain rich and poor remain poor? What drives this phenomenon? Let us see through few simple facts.
a. Access to education: If a child is born in a poor family, it’s parents do not have the affordability to send him/her to good school. Despite the talent and interests, higher education may not be possible for economic reasons.
b. Job and Income level: Without higher education, it is not easy to get a high paying job. Accepting a menial job would mean the income is not sufficient to get out of poverty zone.
c. Marriage and inheritance: A rich room is likely to get a match from the well to do family. That marriage will result in a union of two rich families. And they are likely to inherit the wealth of their parents. So, the cycle of rich becoming richer continues while for the poor gets trapped in vicious cycle of poverty.
So how do you create a level playing ground? Not at individual level but at the country level.
Creating a level playing ground for IndiaNehru’s socialist approach: When India became independent, majority of the residents were poor and if left on own, things would not have changed. Nehru was a socialist. His Govt. was not a liberal one but that was what India needed. He taxed the rich as poor were not able to pay any, but he built Govt. machinery to help the poor. Not only primary education, IIT, IIM’s got built where the education fee structure was subsidized. Both poor and rich could have the same opportunity as the talent was the selection criteria and not the economical background. It needed to be so for few decades. At least until two generations got access to better education.
ManMohan Singh’s economic reforms: When you have a good number of people with good education, you should let them start businesses, support them by minimizing Govt. intervention. That’s what ManMohan Singh did. He ended the license raj. Gave liberty to businessmen who created the new wave of service industry which provided employment to the new generation of workforce.
Modi’s protectionist policies: With so much protection given to backward castes and the likes for a longer period since independence, at the disadvantage of General Merit class, someone had to revive the Hindu religion. Also, its farmers with efforts to double their incomes to catch up the with the rest. And carry out tough reforms like GST.
You might think I am pointing out only the good things each of these PM did. But think of Modi as first PM of India, it would not have worked well. Similarly, Nehru’s socialist policies in today’s world would have done more harm than help to India. But these happened in the ways beneficial to India. All these PM’s did good to India and did what was the need of the hour.
When I hear criticism of these PM's, it appears to me like we are forgetting the context these PM's operated in.