India’s Runaway ‘Growth’: Distortion, Disarticulation, and Exclusion
India’s economy has seen rapid growth since 2003-04. The scale ofthis growth was not anticipated by many of the critics of the neo-liberal economic policies.
In particular the following features wereunexpected:(i) GDP growth has been sustained for five years at high levels, and iswidely predicted to continue at high rates well into the future.(ii) Rapid growth is no longer restricted, as in the past, to the servicessector, but has extended to manufacturing.(iii) There have been unprecedented increases in the rates of savingsand investment.Among the proponents of the current economic policies, thesedevelopments seem to prove that India is on its way to join the‘developed world’, indeed, even become an ‘economic superpower’.At the same time, the proponents of the present policies have beenunable to explain why, amid this extraordinary boom, the followinghave persisted:(i) Mass malnutrition worse than that of sub-Saharan Africa prevails,with average calorie and protein consumption actually declining overthe period of liberalisation.(ii) The growth and quality of employment have been abysmal.(iii) Real wages are stagnant/declining in the economy as a whole.(iv) Agricultural investment and growth are stagnating/retrogressing.(v) There is a profound crisis of the small peasantry (highlighted bytheir suicides).