LokayatIndia becoming a colony again...
INTRODUCTION TO FIRST EDITION
Friends,It’s not very long ago that this country was a British colony. Thefirst thing the white-skinned colonizers did after they subjugated our landwas to destroy the economy and remould it to suit their interests. On this,they erected a colonial social, cultural and educational edifice. They alsodomesticated a few ‘Wild Natives’ to sing paeans to them: the Britishwere supposed to have come to civilize us. Their rule lasted 200 years.The people of this country fought long and hard and finally wonfreedom. But now history seems to be repeating itself once again.Appearances may differ, but the essence is the same.In the name of globalization, the foreign brigands are being invitedback into the country. Times have changed. Last time they had to useforce. This time they are being welcomed with open arms. The PrimeMinister and his Cabinet untiringly sing eulogies to them. We are beingtold that since we have been unable to manage our economy, the WorldBank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have come to helpus. The giant corporations of the developed capitalist countries, also knownas Multinational Corporations or MNCs, will provide us advancedtechnology and capital, increase our production and exports. All our troubleswill now be over. “India is shining”, India is becoming an “economicsuperpower”; and now after the 1,2,3 Nuclear Deal, India will soon becomea “nuclear superpower” too! In gratitude, the PM went to Washingtonand told Bush: India loves you.
India is indeed shining, for the rich! In2007, India had 533 Rupee Billionaires, whosecollective wealth stood at Rs.12.32 lakh crores.This was double that of the previous year, andfour times that of 2005, when it stood at a paltryRs.3.64 lakh crores. The membership of theclub also grew, 168 new people joined the club,who just months ago were mere millionaires.The magazine that keeps track of these worthies(
) put it simply: “India’sbillionaires have never had it so good.”
INTRODUCTION TO SECOND EDITION
India is shining. The International Monetary Fund in October 2010revised upwards India's economic growth forecast to 9.7% for calendaryear 2010, citing robust industrial output and strong macro-economicindicators.
The stock market is on a roller-coaster ride, and crossed the20,000 figure in September 2010. According to Forbes rich list, the fast-growing economy minted 17 new billionaires in 2010, driving the total to arecord 69.
Another report, by Merill Lynch and Capgemini, says that thenumber of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in India
those who havedisposable assets of over $1 million (4.6 crore)
increased by 51% overthe previous year to an estimated 1.27 lakh during 2009.
It is not just theIndian press and electronic media that talk incessantly of India's arrival onthe world stage; even renowned international authorities from investmentexpert Sam Mahtani to management guru Peter Drucker are predictingthat India is on its way to becoming an economic powerhouse.All this sounds very much like a repeat of 2006-07. Then too theeconomy had been growing at near double digit rates
around 9%, thestock market was booming and crossed 20,000 in end-2007, and the punditsdeclared that the country was heading towards becoming an economicsuperpower.We first started writing this booklet in mid-2008, by when it hadbecome clear that the boom had started to run out of steam. We explainedthat it was a distorted boom. The high growth rates of 2004-08 had beenartificially triggered, were not based on increasing the purchasing powerof the majority of the people who were living in abysmal levels of poverty,but instead were based on a very narrow base, were fuelled by triggeringan artificial investment boom based on plunder of wealth and resources of the people by big corporations and by triggering an artificial consumptionboom by the rich. And so, just when the official economists wereproclaiming that the country was entering a new stage of permanent highgrowth, the economy started slowing down.To any careful reader of this booklet, it will be obvious that thepresent boom of 2010 is also ephemeral, because the fundamentals of theeconomy remain the same as in 2007