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8 Reasons Why India Is so Poor

Updated on August 9, 2017
Below the Poverty Line !!
Below the Poverty Line !!

The Super Poor India !

India has 269 million (21 percent of total population) people under the poverty line, as per the latest official headcount of the poor in India. It used to be 396 million (29 percent) prior to the announcement of new counting in June 1024.

However, World Bank recently estimated Indian poverty to be 172 million (12.4 percent), based on its new poverty line of $1.90 per person per day using the new 2011 purchasing power parity (PPP) data. This is a measure of extreme poverty. [The World Bank revised its poverty line in October in 2015 to $1.90 a day from the earlier $1.25 a day.]

In 1947 when colonial British left India, they left 70 percent Indians in deep poverty and a tiny elite class that controlled everything. Over six decades later in 2011-2012, poverty is down to 21 percent despite the multifold increase in population. However, despite the significant progress, even 21 percent poverty means a huge headcount in a country of 1.3 billion people.

You may like to know that World Bank has set the target of bringing down the global extreme poverty to less than 3 percent by 2030. The global community is now also duty bound to pursue the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which provides a holistic global development agenda, particularly for the poor countries.

There is a more comprehensive way to measure poverty, through the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). It is a joint venture of UK based Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Its 2017 report estimated India’s poverty at 41 percent (528 million).

Note that various dimensions of the MPI are connected with the SDGs. Thus, progress in SDGs can be suitably monitored through the MPI data.

While there can never be agreement on poverty numbers, compare these numbers with the European Union and US populations of 500 million and 320 million, respectively.

The mammoth Indian poverty is a delight for poverty experts for playing the game of poverty line and counting the poor!

Due to its very large population India holds the distinction of having the most number of poor of the world – a super poor nation! Consequently, South Asia has become the world’s biggest center of extreme poverty, followed by the sub-Saharan Africa.

In both regions the MPI estimates higher poverty than calculated by the one dimensional income poverty line ($1.90 a day) of the World Bank. In South Asia, the MPI reveals 41.6% percent poverty compared with 19.2 percent from the WB’s income indicator. For the sub-Saharan Africa these figures are 60.1 percent and 46.4 percent, respectively.

Multidimensional poverty indicators map the SDGs
Multidimensional poverty indicators map the SDGs

Poverty is Inherently Multidimensional

Wise people say: Poverty is easy to spot, but hard to define.

The income based one dimensional poverty line of the World Bank fails to reflect the hardships faced by the poor. It gives only headcount. A life in poverty means living deprived of sufficient food and nutrition, education, proper shelter, sanitation, clean water and so on. This points to the need of seeing poverty as a multidimensional phenomenon. The way MPI is constructed it offers a useful breakup of various deprivations faced by the poor as if poverty is being looked through a microscope.

Education of girls is the best anti-poverty tool.
Education of girls is the best anti-poverty tool.

Major Factors Behind India’s Poverty

In this page, we will discuss major factors that led to deeply entrenched poverty in India. Given the multitude of languages, customs, cultures and castes in India, these factors are further intertwined. Here we highlight 8 important reasons for high poverty in India. However, one message is very clear: One has to look at poverty, beyond income.

1. Social Inequality Leading to Exclusion and Marginalization

Societies cannot progress if certain sections of people are left-out simply because they happen to be from the “wrong” class, caste, ethnic group, race or sex. If the virus of color and race based discrimination has damaged the social set up of many countries in the West, the bacteria of “caste” division has undermined the cohesive social fabric of India. Lower caste people have traditionally been excluded from the mainstream society governed by the so-called upper caste communities. They have historically lived isolated in the periphery of the villages and townships and subsisted doing only those tasks considered “unfit” for the other castes. Their un-touchability can be considered the worst form of rejection by the mainstream society.

While considerable change has taken place in people’s attitude since 1947, but the “lower caste” communities are still not satisfactorily absorbed in the mainstream society. Rural India (where 70% of the population lives) is still quite “caste conscious” compared with the urban society where education and financial well-being has largely erased the caste divisions. Mahatma Gandhi tried to remove the social stigma of un-touchability by coining the label "Harijan" (god's people) for them but with only partial success. The official label for about 170 million (around 14 percent of current total population) unfortunate lower caste people is Scheduled Caste (SC).

Another segment of society that is still very much detached from the mainstream is the tribal community forming 8% of the population. These tribal people (called Scheduled Tribe (ST)) have historically lived in secluded areas such as forests. The Colonial British designated their habitations as "excluded areas", not due to any special privilege but for convenience of the colonial policies. Unfortunately, the “free” governments after 1947 never bothered to assimilate them into rest of the mainstream society and the tribal communities continued to remain isolated and “barely governed.” As a result, besides the poverty of the tribal communities, their backward due to lack of governance of their areas also gave rise to armed Maoist movement. It, ideologically, wants to establish communist state based on Mao’s principles through gun battle. Popularly called Naxals, these Maoists now pose the biggest internal security threat for the country. Fortunately, even now they have not formed any nexus with Islamic terrorist groups of next door neighbor Pakistan.

Beside the SCs and STs, there are several other communities designated “Other Backward Classes” or simply OBC – they may or may not be Hindus. Their socioeconomic plight is also similar to SCs and STs. The list of OBCs is dynamic and every now and then the government edits it (mostly for political reasons); there is significant confusion about their exact proportion. However, most experts agree OBCs to be in the range 25 – 35% of the population. Combined together they form 50 – 60 percent India's population! Thus, the population of the so-called forward or upper class is less than one-third, but who by and large control everything.

Now tell me how any country can possibly progress if over half of its people get excluded from the mainstream societal processes.

While marginalization and exclusion happen in all societies, but in India it is in grotesque proportions due to sheer numbers.

The policy of reservation in government jobs for the backward communities has certainly helped them to rise up to some extent. But it is insufficient because government jobs are limited. A far better way is to train and turn them into entrepreneurs. Here the idea of ‘social business’ offers a great opportunity for NGO and social organizations to make a difference.

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2. Illiteracy

High level of illiteracy, particularly in the rural areas and among women, has been a crucial factor not only in perpetuating economic backwardness but also for high population growth. The persistence of high illiteracy has created a situation where poverty and population have been feeding each other. It is well established that female literacy plays an important role in the well-being of the family in many ways. When women are educated, they not only contribute economically but also raise healthier kids and keep the family size small. Early marriage of girls and early child bearing is closely related with their low literacy; it feeds poverty.

In 2010 only 26.6% women above 25 years found to have received secondary education, as opposed to 50.4% men. In comparison, in China 54.8% women and 70.4% men had secondary education; in the US, this figure was 94.7% for women and 94.3% for men.

3. Population

While the growth rate of population has decreased significantly over the decades and the rate fertility decline has accelerated since 2011, India's population is currently growing annually at the rate of about 1.4 percent. The total fertility rate has sharply fallen to 2.3 and should approach the replacement rate of 2.1 by 2020 and country's population should stabilize by 2050 at around 1.5 billion and then begin to fall. The current population increase is largely driven by population momentum (large base of people in the fertile age); not because people want large families. Around 18 million people are added to population each year. However, not that many people are lifted out of poverty every year.

Early marriage of girls and lack of awareness about reproductive healthcare, particularly in the rural areas, are major factors behind current population growth. Population is clearly a factor contributing to, and sustaining, high levels of poverty. But the Chinese population control through one-child model would be a bad example to follow for the democratic India. ()

4. Gender Inequality

Gender equality is both a core concern and an essential part of human development. Indian social fabric is highly patriarchal which has left women significantly exploited and discriminated. If caste based biases work only outside home in the open society, the discrimination against women operates both in and out of homes. Not only men always get preference in every walk of life, their attitude towards women is largely patronizing and imposing.

Their weak status, particularly in the rural areas, is at the root of most chronic problems. It is their lack of awareness or access to family planning tools and early marriage of girls and their early child bearing, which ultimately have led to high population; lack of awareness of health issues related to pregnancy and child upbringing has resulted in high mortality rate, under-nutrition and malnutrition among children; lower education and lack of freedom has resulted in low participation in societal processes. All these factors are enough to feed and sustain poverty.

On the World Economic Forum’s 2016 gender gap index (GGI) India ranked 87 out of 144 nations.Last year it was at 108 position. The index benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education and health criteria.

Indian Muslim community is easily the most backward group in terms of gender inequality. Its clergy habitually wants to live like the Arab tribes of the 7th century uncivilized Middle East, in the name of Sharia'h Law - confining women inside the veils and oppressed by polygamy and 'triple' Talaq.. But for their resistance, India would have by now a Uniform Civil Code for all Indians. As radical Islam (Wahhabi Islam) is spreading across the world due to push from the Saudi Arabia it will make the task of providing equal treatment to Muslim women even harder.

Fortunately, Indian government is now firmly pushing an end to the stone-age practice of ‘triple talaq’ in the Supreme Court of India. There are chances that Indian Muslim women would now move a bit closer towards gender equality.

Rich Mumbai
Rich Mumbai | Source
Poor Mumbai
Poor Mumbai | Source

5. Unequal Distribution of Wealth

India happens to be a rich country inhabited by very poor people. – Dr Manmohan Singh

Unfortunately, since departure of the colonial British in 1947 all economic development has taken place in the cities, while the majority of the population lives in the countryside. Thus, the rural India has always remained neglected. Another peculiarity is the land holding pattern in India: most land has traditionally been under the control of a few landlords, leaving the vast majority landless. The "Zamindari system” of lopsided land ownership has ancient origin but given a boost during the British rule. Handful zamindars became legal owners of vast tracts of land and all others had to work for them to survive. This rent seeking exploitative system has since kept a vast majority of people in the rural India poor. Land reforms were debated noisily after independence but implementation lacked honest political will, despite the famous "Bhoodan Andolan" of Vinoba Bhave. Unfortunately, land reforms are no more an issue of public debates at present. All talks of poverty removal appear to center only around economic reforms, imitating the unsuitable Western capitalism.

Rising wealth inequality

According to the latest edition of Oxfam International’s global inequality report titled An Economy For The 99 Percent published in Jan 2017, the richest 1 percent in India owns 58 percent of the country’s wealth. As the myopic ‘economic experts’ gloat over rising number of billionaires in India, the inequality is growing bigger with each passing year. Rising inequality is trapping more and more Indians in poverty; it is also fracturing the society and undermining Indian democracy.

It is in fact a global phenomenon. The report also revealed that 7 out of 10 people live in countries that have seen inequality widen in the last 30 years. Furthermore, the report also mentioned that during 1988 - 2011, the incomes of the poorest 10 percent around the world increased by an average of just $65 per year, while those of the richest 1 percent grew by an average of $11,800 a year—182 times as much!

Poor Children Sharing Meal
Poor Children Sharing Meal | Source

6. Faulty Economic Reforms

The so called economic liberalization and market reforms that started in the 1990s are nothing but an attempt to replicate the Western capitalism that promotes "trickle down" economy. It serves to make the rich richer and expand the economy. India has become more unequal in recent years. In early 1990s, there were just 2 billionaires; now there are 97 billionaires, in a country of 1.33 billion people. The rich elites are also controlling more wealth, their share increased from 1.8 percent in 2003 to 26 percent in 2008. Today, they are still richer and much more powerful.

Experts suggest that if India could only freeze its rising inequality, by 2019 around 90 million more people could come out of extreme poverty. Reducing inequality by 10 points in Gini coefficient (equivalent of a 36 percent reduction) could further lift up another 83 million poor people.

The push to urbanization means uprooting the poor from their rural roots and turning them into “cheap labor resource” for businesses in the town. In the cities they would live in large slums, exploited both by the mafia and employers, devoid of human dignity and livelihood security.

Given the huge population and poverty, India needs an "employment centric" economy – millions of micro, small and medium business units. Only they can employ the unskilled or low skilled people from the vast pool of the poor.

Large high-tech industrial units don't generate too many jobs and whatever jobs they create is suitable for those who are already well off. According to the NSSO survey, the size of India's workforce is around 450 million. Of which only about 30 million work in the formal or organized sector. The government recognizes only about 70 million as unemployed or underemployed. Thus, there are 350 million unrecognized by the government as unemployed. Government surveys list them as "self employed" but they barely survive and live chronically in poverty. Who are these "self employed" people, more in numbers than the population of United States, and how do they survive?

They milk the cows, become seasonal farm workers, run small shops or sell on the roadsides, make incense sticks, match sticks and bidis, drive manual or auto rickshaws, work as domestic help, work as unaccounted contract workers on daily wages, work as gardeners and watchmen, or work as plumbers, carpenters or shoe repairers and so on. They have no safety net such as pension or healthcare benefits enjoyed by the regular employees and hence, are the most vulnerable. They are also the first victim of natural calamities, now becoming more frequent due to climatic disorder. [The poor are always the first victims of climatic disasters. Of course, nothing changes for better after their death-toll makes headline news.]

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Jobless Economic Growth

Considering the population growth of around 18 million every year, around 10 million new jobs need to be created per year. In 7 years, between 2005 and 2012, India's GDP growth was 5.4% and only about 15 million new jobs were created. Official data say that 1.55 lakh jobs were created in 2015 and 2.31 lakh in 2016. All these numbers talk about the so-called formal economy of the rich people and their firms. This formal sector is all about the prosperity of the rich; not at all about the well-being of the poor.

Arrival of the dynamic Modi government in 2014 did not make things any better for young job seekers. The GDP may be growing at 7% per year. But job growth remains pathetic and that too for those well educated. India’s textbook ‘economic experts’ are ‘worried’ about stagnating 5% unemployment rate because their book knowledge ends at GDP growth. They have never lived in poverty or read books that talk about how the poor masses survive and what type of economy they actually need. Why? Because the ‘poor men economy’ is labeled ‘informal economy’ and it is all about people’s well being; not GDP.

The Economic Survey 2015-16 estimated that this informal sector provided 90% of jobs through the period 2004-05 to 2011-12. Further, the Survey also pointed to a shift in the pattern of employment from permanent jobs to casual and contract employment. The increasingly “temporary” nature of work has an “adverse effect” on the level of wages, stability of employment, and employees’ social security. It also indicates preference by employers away from regular/formal employment to circumvent labour laws.

Here is another twist. Such employment surveys do not consider the huge workforce – people working in units employing less than 10 people – and those employed in the informal sector.

A commonsense question: Why Indian government doesn’t make policies around this informal sector, if it is serious about eradicating poverty?

And the answer is: because India is run by the "follow West" economists who haven't the slightest idea what type of economic reforms India and its poor people really need. Their thinking stops at inviting "foreign direct investments" and vision fails to go beyond air conditioned corporate houses of the rich few. They are capital market fundamentalists who worship their only God called GDP!

I wonder why Indian finance minister doesn’t read about the capability theory of Nobel winner economist Amartya Sen to come out of his morbid obsession to GDP growth.

India Needs “Social Capitalism”

India must reject the Western capitalism model; it needs a “Social Capitalism” that is ideal for solving India’s problems. It should follow twin goals: ‘maximizing employment’ – given its huge population and poverty – and ‘maximizing social good’. This involves shifting away from the ‘shareholder’ to ‘stakeholder’ capitalism by incorporating interests of other stakeholders: employees, society, customers, and environment. Then finally encouraging what nobel winner Bangladeshi economist calls “social businesses” which operate to maximize chosen social goals while keeping the business profitable.

7. Corruption

Corruption and leakages in government schemes are widespread in India. Late Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi had famously admitted that only about 15% money actually reaches the ultimate beneficiaries. Even if we discard this figure as highly pessimistic and assume that say 30-35% of the welfare funds actually reach the designated beneficiaries, the rest is siphoned off by the middlemen and people connected to the implementing government machinery. This is a common way for the people with “high connections” to acquire dirty wealth – by depriving the poor who generally have no voice or ability to assert. Another common form of corruption in schemes designed for the poor is inclusion of non-poor people with political connections in the list of beneficiaries. The end result is that the eligible poor are denied the benefits.

The scale of corruption has steadily increased since the economic reforms were started. In 1992, when market reforms just started Harshad Mehta led stock market scam was estimated at 750 crores; it was mind boggling figure then. Corruption peaked during 2004-14 when Manmohan Singh ruled the country. India was rocked by scam after scam, as if the country was literally thrown to dogs.

Fortunately, 2014 brought a nationalist government of Modi which is honest, efficient and far sighted. Indians are now full of hope about the future.

How India was "colonized" is reflected in this "brilliant" thinking of a British Official
How India was "colonized" is reflected in this "brilliant" thinking of a British Official
Photograph by W.W. Hooper, a Colonel in British army
Photograph by W.W. Hooper, a Colonel in British army | Source

8. The Colonial Rule

"A significant fact which stands out is that those parts of India which have been longest under British rule are the poorest today." – Jawaharlal Nehru, First Prime Minister of India

The colonial British rule laid the foundation for a long term and chronic poverty in India after they departed. This is what Nehru is saying above using different set of words. The tiny state of Kerala in the southern India fortunately saw the least damaging influence of the British exploiters (there are many reasons for that) and is at present a unique model (in the world) of improvement in the quality of life through social and human development alone. It is something unthinkable for a Western brain which has been taught to see economic growth alone as "development."

It was the traditional historic prosperity of India that attracted invaders from various parts of the world in the last 2000 years. Prior to the British, India had been ruled by the foreigners like the Kushanas, Turko-Afghans and Mughals. All of them gradually got assimilated into the Indian society and culture. They not only became absorbed in India but also protected and promoted Indian society, culture and economy. None of them systematically drained India’s wealth or resources to make another country prosperous. Revenue collected or wealth acquired by them was spent within India. Whether spent on the public or for personal luxury of the ruling elite, the wealth remained within the country. Thus, India remained prosperous even in the Mughal era until the East India Company started acquiring "diwani" (right to collect revenue) around 1760. It was the beginning of the legal "plunder." The colonial rule was all about robbing India to enrich Britain.

The Battle of Plasssey in June 1757 marked the beginning of British dominance (and also the beginning of end of the Mughal Empire): when a small force of the East India Company's professional troops, defeated and killed the ruling Nawab of Bengal, Siraju-ud-daula. The outcome of the battle marked a significant turning point in the history of Indian subcontinent. It allowed the English East India Company foothold on the Indian soil, from which to undertake its future expansionist ventures within and around India. Soon, after the Battle of Buxar it acquired the "diwani" in Bengal and in 1765 its rights expanded to Bihar and Orissa.

Unlike their predecessors the British, however, consciously remained in India as foreign occupiers until their departure in 1947. They remained isolated from the Indian society and culture and formed a separate class of their own within India. The only reason for their presence in India (and in other occupied colonies) was to secure raw materials for British industries and other goods for the comforts of their citizens. The vast population in India also provided market for goods manufactured back home. They subordinated Indian economy to the British trade and industry. Their economic policies actively favored non-Indians or made things difficult for Indian businessmen. As occupiers, they used Indian wealth to pay for all their expansionist ventures and territory building both inside and outside India.

Moreover, the British policies forcibly disbanded community grain banks and promoted replacement of food crops for local consumption with cash crops like cotton, opium, tea and grains for export to feed the animals in England. This change in the cropping pattern left Indian farmers vulnerable to famines.

There are documentary evidences to suggest that the colonial rulers chose to ignore the famine affected people. It is estimated that during the two centuries of colonial rule, famines and the resulting epidemics caused over 30 million deaths. The most recent Bengal Famine of 1943-44 led to about 1.5 million deaths from starvation; 3.5 million if deaths from epidemics are also included.

In his masterpiece "Poverty and un-British Rule in India" Dadabhai Naoroji (popularly labeled as "The Grand Old Man of India" and "The Father of Indian Nationalism") also categorically blamed "the drain of wealth" for the poverty in India.

Conclusion

As oppose to the Western ‘trickle down’ capitalism India needs a comprehensive “human development” plan in order to really crush the widespread poverty. 1. It needs an economy that supports millions of small and medium enterprises that are suitable to employ low skilled poor people. 2. Focus on good governance to root out deep rooted corruption that eats away major chunk of the welfare budget. 3. Finally, promote women empowerment through education and healthcare; it will greatly help deal with poverty fed by the population growth.

These 8 major causes of poverty, by themselves, point to the right development model. India must realize that by blindly following GDP growth, it is only promoting inequality that sustains by keeping the poor in poverty.

Readers Voice

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      Maknus Fyre 4 weeks ago

      Blame the British for being idiots. Why the hell did they exploit India and Africa? Me, being Dutch, has always been against the British and Netherlands as they have exploited once-rich countries to shitty poor.

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      Purche.. 2 months ago

      Corrupt government should be killed dead or alive...this is the time to fix poverty..

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      Gail Johnson 2 months ago

      A massive reduction in population is necessary. Mandatory vasectomies? One child policy? Free birth control and abortions? Re-education about the desirability of no-child families. Europe had hereditary surfdom until after the Black Death which wiped out 30-40% of the population. Then like magic labor was back in demand since it was so scarce. This is what gave rise to the middle class in Europe. Perhaps working in this direction is the high degree of female fetus abortion or outright infanticide. Right now there are only 9 women for every 10 men. Not sure how well things will work out though when it gets to be 8 or less women for every 10 men. An interesting social experiment to watch.

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      RATHOD AJAY KUMAR 2 months ago

      Does anyone trying to implement any ideas to avoid poverty

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      Prasad 2 months ago

      I find it ironic while humans created money (wealth) giving it importance we gave it value, Now few 1% has most of the wealth 99% are deprived of it. Work hours should have reduced in 21st century but its still 8hrs of slavery to make some guy rich. Every honest person who wants well being of his/her country pay taxes but have anything changed? No redistribution of wealth is being done which is important to eradicate poverty.

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      Danish 2 months ago

      Modi and honest ? Seriously its so funny he is the biggest lier I ve ever seen in my whole life! Modi is just a trouble maker in between Muslim and hindu brothers indirectly

    • Goodpal profile image
      Author

      Goodpal 2 months ago

      Very correct! Climate disturbances do promote poverty and deprivation.

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      rajagopal 3 months ago

      fiscal discipline and public expenditure are most important aspects for sustainable growth of national economy. The elements of nature - EARTH FIRE WATER AIR SPACE must not become the possession of anyone, which belongs to the wealth of a nation that consist of. To preserve and safeguard these elements of Nature is the duty of a Government of the Nation and of its people. Laws and Rules are to be exercised stringently by imposing penalties.

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      Modiyanathji 3 months ago

      The pic of Macauley is fake!

      https://www.quora.com/Did-Lord-Macaulay-really-pro...

      This article doesn't make any sense!! India is poor because of the caste-system and because of brahmins!

    • Goodpal profile image
      Author

      Goodpal 3 months ago

      Poverty is basically a human development issue; we wrongly see it as mere income issue. It is also an issue of social justice and rational distribution of wealth. 1% richest humanity controlling everything is the most basic cause of poverty in the 21st cenury.

    • Goodpal profile image
      Author

      Goodpal 3 months ago

      Please keep sharing. I always invite thoughtful comments.

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      Manuzz 3 months ago

      Goodpal I know ind much better than you, there is prohibtion for dalit people even using public govt well, u dont know anything abt Ind caste system its a poison, what u do research is on rich people, read ambedkar books and talk, ur knowledge about ind caste system is such a minute, there is still bonded labour in ind, all such atrocities are only faced by dalit, ya their religious cruelty for enrichment of their wealth, dalits are looted day by day, A policy should be mandated, so that dalits in ind have a representaion in United Human Rights, then only the world know its problem, if not shutdown ur Mac Book.

    • Goodpal profile image
      Author

      Goodpal 3 months ago

      Poverty has several dimensions; it can't be adequately understood by any one dimension. You may explore my hub: Looking at poverty, beyond lack of income.

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      Manuzz 3 months ago

      INDIA IS POOR ONLY BECASUE OF CASTE SYSYTEM

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      f-f-a.info 3 months ago

      In countries where poverty is rife, corruption is generally high. However, it must be acknowledged that corruption is less in India than in other countries with similar income per capita.

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      Ravi Mahara 5 months ago

      Very insightful, it encapsulates most of the causes. Thank you, it will really help me in my essay exam for civil services. Once again thank you.

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      hari haran 10 months ago

      very touching.corrupt ones should be punished

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      NGarner 10 months ago

      So basically, India is poor because they're not liberal enough, except for the corruption bullet point? Horse. Shit.

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      sruthi 12 months ago

      i know that india us developing step by step but all the hardwork of higher authorities has beenwasted by grabing them for their own use to improve india first we should eradicate the corruption i too have a opinion that it should be a socialist economy

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      Manpreet Kaur 13 months ago

      India holds the distinction of having the most number of poor of the world super nation.In order to make "development" in India the first & foremost thing is that India needs Economy .Secondly,it should promote "Women Empowerment"..Still now millions of people are suffering from poverty..

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      Sundaram Sharma 13 months ago

      I am from haridwar, india. This place is made for visitors but if u accidentally born in this place, ur are going to have a bad experience. Nobody want to improve themselves, only they can blame government and no problem in that, our state government have send more than 1000 crores rupees for development and still we don't have smooth road for even 100 meters. I love my country more than anything but at the same time I hate my country people who always praise western country and at the same time help our country to make it even worse.

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      joe 14 months ago

      Why not use China's one child policy? You've never explain why not. There comes a time, when population growth is going to do more harm than good, drastic actions must be done, such as restricting further births. These actions must be taken by Indian leaders. For Leaving birth control in the hands of indian populace is a receipe for disaster.

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      Vishal 14 months ago

      Actually the problem lies in the above comments itself. None Indians bother about others excluding a handful. it was a colony once bt now it is over. thinking and discussing about past will make no difference. If anyone wants the country to be jst the way you want then its not gonna work. keep it simple start from yourself. Indians are expert in pulling others legs neither we have guts to do the same. learn moral values, helping the ones who suffer. contributions in small scale whatsoever can make a difference. Throw away the thoughts about caste, rich, poor, men-women differences. i actually am working in UP right now and i feel ashamed of the things that How women are looked upon by Men. neither the people have a mannerism about how to speak nor they are civilized. Moral values doesnot even count. India has become a hub of major problems:

      1. Population

      2. Poverty

      3. Racism

      these factors have led india down and no other.

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      sarfraj Ansari 14 months ago

      The main reason of India's backwardness poverty ,literacy ,cruption, bad politician,etc . Today india faces many problem . this problem can solve if all indian become literate and we should hate cruption , poor should given economically halp by the government so that they find good education .

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      kashika tyagi 14 months ago

      in order to reduce poverty the main step we can do is to make government go to the 3 main states that has highest poverty and take out the various methods to reduce them, its not only government duty but our as well , in order to support we can conclude many workshop in order to teach how to be hygienic .................................... india is not only government's but of our as well...........

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      Mckinsey 15 months ago

      India will never ever become a successful and prosperous country due to a rampant corruption, vicious caste system, inadequate educational programmes and woeful state of India's health care. Game, set and match!

      There was a time when we the West compared India to China, China is currently the second most powerful nation in the world and India is still not just lagging behind but it is going backwards, an economic calamity, the poorest nation in the world.

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      Shubh 15 months ago

      India is poor because people want it to be poor

      India would have been richest country if britisher didn't came to our country

      India would not be poor if people would send their children to school instead of making them work

      The answer is very long but the reason that it is poor is people. Britisher made us fight against each other. Britishers stole our property. They everything we had. Before britshers came to India, it was the richest place in the world

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      Bob 16 months ago

      Generic article. Looks like is written with an Indian mindset. Very mediocre, there's nothing that stands out.

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      ravi 16 months ago

      Very great article.

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      Singh 16 months ago

      India deserves much better than this, we have got the fastest growing economy in the world and large pool of highly talented people but we are let down by horrible politicians

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      zak 16 months ago

      Twenty years ago Rwanda was engulfed by brutal civil war which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives and today this country is the safest, prosperous and the cleanest nation in the world. The capital Kigali is far cleaner than New York, Amsterdam, Sydney and Paris. We have achieved this through hard work, discipline, stamping out corruption and excellent leadership and in 2025 this nation will become a middle class to upper class

      I love Africa and Asia, guys can we please stop dwelling on what is wrong with our society and start finding the core problem and then remove it. India can take Rwanda as a case study; Rwandan leaders were inspired by Asian nation Singapore’s rags to riches story.

    • profile image

      zak 16 months ago

      Twenty years ago Rwanda was engulfed by vicious civil war which has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives and today this country is the safest, prosperous and the cleanest nation in the world. The capital Kigali is far cleaner than New York, Amsterdam, Sydney and Paris. We have achieved this through hard work, discipline, stamping out corruption and excellent leadership and in 2025 this nation will become a middle class

      I love Africa, Asia and Latin America. Guys can we please stop dwelling on what is wrong about our society and start finding the core problem and remove it. India can take Rwanda as a case study; Rwandan leaders were inspired by Asian nation Singapore’s rags to riches story

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      Anonymous 17 months ago

      One of the reasons why india is a poor country is that the people live here are too much arrogant & too much selfish. People are jealous of each other's betterment. Too much corruption broke its legs. This land has no problem but is blessed with numerous wealth. People are the main culprits.Remember if this continues this way, India will have a nightmare soon.

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      SNP 17 months ago

      We are not rich due to the following reasons.

      1) lack of Value Education

      2) lack of Value Governance

      3) lack of facility for all (inequality)

      4) Lastly development is just a huge wave in an Ocean, so when all indians try to develop with hand to hand then everybody will develop.

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      baskaran 18 months ago

      india is really rich country in once upon a time ..but now my indians families are in poverty...main reason was corruption .....i wanna a good leader to rule and educate our county ......always proud to be a indian.. only day definitly it wil be change...that day india is the most powerful country in the world...

    • Goodpal profile image
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      Goodpal 18 months ago

      Thanks for the time to read and share your thoughts. I try to focus on issues that need solution. More than my mediocre writing skills the population issue needs highlighting and I just tried my best.

      Good day!

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      Zerberus Tbh 18 months ago

      I liked the article in what it said and entirely agree with you.

      Not the best writing I saw on this site, but still pleasent to read and very informative.

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      Prakash sharma 18 months ago

      Hello all ,

      Though its true , the colonial british rule , our corrupt netas , businessmen etc. All have contributed to India s woes . but isnt it true that as citizens of this great country we have also failed to do our basic duties .? How many of you follow lane discipline ? How many of you pay bribes to the RTO for quick licence ? how many of you throw plastic wastes into the garbage dump ? How many of you have not bribed anyone to get contracts or tenders .. How many of you have misused our reservation system to get admissions to colleges and varsities inspite of being economically well off . How many of you have bought fake degrees from dubious institutes or colleges ? Ask yourself these questions and then introspect .its good to think about the society or country but before that we must think about changing ourselves . changing our attitude . India will change if we all change personally.

    • Goodpal profile image
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      Goodpal 19 months ago

      Dr Romanov, do elaborate the point you want to make. Thanks for reading.

      Good day!

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      Dr. Romanov 19 months ago

      While there is some truth in this article, it is very biased.

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      Student 19 months ago

      I think the most leading cause of poverty is corruption done by Politicians and some people who keep black money due to which prices are increasing and in result poor are getting more poor.....

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      indian 20 months ago

      There are so many rich people in india if eveyone of them donates even 1 Crore Or 1 Lakh india will be rich again.Also if we buy indian products and just for 90 days we leave foriegn products india's money in rupees wilk he changed in dollars and that's a fact and everybody who read the article and the comment neeed to understand this and work on this matter . India doesn't need sympathy but it needs EMPATHY.

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      rohit... 22 months ago

      I pray for god plz save my indian I realy hope one day they will change .....

    • Goodpal profile image
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      Goodpal 23 months ago

      Thanks MagikGimp, for sharing.

      I am glad that you did not justify the very philosophy of colonization and resource plunder. 'Developed' people don't think in terms of exploiting other people and societies.

      The theme of the article is the widespread poverty in India - towards which colonialism has certainly contributed a lot; not on whereabouts of some Freaky Englishmen. The impact Indian society has seen is reflected extremely well by the said quote.

      BTW, exploiters don't say or document everything they do. Indians have never sent any invitation to the British to come and take away resources or colonize them.

      Britain now has the opportunity to share development technologies with its ex-colonies and help them come out of poverty. Is it doing it - is the biggest question.

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      MagikGimp 24 months ago

      I don't know how much this article was based on sound research but that quote is commonly misappropriated with Macaulay at least. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Thomas_Babingto...

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      saalim abdiaziz mohamed 2 years ago

      i think the most problem of indians people have there is no middle class until view off

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      vipin yadav 2 years ago

      A nice assimilation and systematic presentation of thoughts and ideas..It gives a deep insight & approach..

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      KAN 2 years ago

      Dont forget the main reason ie RESERVATION

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      buddhaanalysis 2 years ago

      India is filled with poor people and they are very dirty.

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      concon13 2 years ago

      this was NOT HELPFUL

      deal with it

    • Goodpal profile image
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      Goodpal 2 years ago

      Thanks wut,

      As we all know, all global rules are made according to narrow Western interests. Injustices like colonialism, racism, exploitation, apartheid, invasion of smaller countries, ............... globalization, trade rules..... and in the future more rules will come - they all originate from the 'static'Western mindset. The West must control and dictate. Respectful coexistence is a foreign idea that must be rejected, always.

      But, the power balance is now slowly shifting to the East - China, in particular. The US will continue its traditional hegemony but it clearly lacks finnesse and insightful diplomacy. It does not match its destruction power. It is all old fashioned stick and carrot kind of stuff, devised by mediocre diplomats. It miserably failed in its glorious war against terror (!); more failure should come in coming years. It's record on climate efforts is as we all know - irresponsible and escapist.

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      Wut 2 years ago

      There's also the trap that Western countries have put them (and many other countries) in, supplying food and clothes and electronics to the world is remarkably devalued in comparison to the services allied to banking (e.g finance itself, accounting for finance, financial consulting). Western countries can supply and produce less but still earn more for not much.

      They never stood a chance.

    • Goodpal profile image
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      Goodpal 2 years ago

      Thanks Maheshwar, for sharing.

      Empowerment and skill development are two basic aspects for permanent poverty removal. For this, battle has to move in areas beyond economics and money. Unfortunately, people still see poverty as a money issue; it is actually an issue of lack of proper development beyond GDP growth.

      https://soapboxie.com/social-issues/Looking-at-Pov...

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      Maheswar Deka 2 years ago

      If I have Rs 100/and I buy vegetables worth Rs 100/=then it is OK and as such no loss in incurred. This is the model of economics of a country too. The Public money be spent without any wastages.Correct policies be framed-modernisation of both agriculture and industrialisation.Infrastructure be created and public utility services be provided.Both education and heath care be made available in the country.

    • Top Indian cinema profile image

      @ Bollywood... 2 years ago from Ahmedabad

      Nice in depth article... I wish we could help in removing these problems on a small scale at least...

    • Goodpal profile image
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      Goodpal 2 years ago

      Thanks Sarka, for reading and sharing.

      Yes, they are the "free market" fundamentalists whose economic textbooks tell them that government should stay away. They aim to make money and represent people with money; solving poverty is not their forte. In fact, they should stay away from talking about poverty and poor.

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      Sarka 2 years ago

      I saw the Slumdog Millionaire film last night, and was interested to know how this amazing country so rich in culture and phylosophy has so many many people leading so troubled lives in slums.

      Your article enlighted me very much, thanks. From what I recollect, the good starting point could be land reform in countyside - the state could buy the land from the rich landowners and give it to suitable "poor" people (and teach them how to work on the land). More money for them, better life for their kids with more free time to go to school, less people going to cities to find jobs and ending up in slums.

      What makes me smile are the comments "state shouldn't do anything, people would become lazy", so far from day -to-day reality... look at Scandinavia states.

    • Goodpal profile image
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      Goodpal 2 years ago

      Thanks Melissae for reading an sharing.

      Yes, Americans typically blame laziness for poverty in the US. The day when they would see it coming from the nature of the economic system, there would be no poor in the US.

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      Ridiculous Man 2 years ago

      How beautifully and systematically you have put forward the problem and a gradual process do deal with it... Very nice post Goodpal... keep it up...!!

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      Melissa Reese Etheridge 2 years ago from Tennessee, United States

      What an interesting and thorough article. I find it interesting that poverty in America is linked to laziness by most people. Poverty in America cannot begin to compare to poverty in other countries.

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      Piyush Sharma 2 years ago from New Delhi

      Nice and Informative Article.

    • Goodpal profile image
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      Goodpal 2 years ago

      Yes, the colonial rule like slavery or racism was never a benevolent act. It was all about loot (or rob) in ordinary language to get rich quickly!!

      Look at the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq and turmoil there. It is still about dominance, hegemony, and oil politics - 3 things NATO nations can't let go!!!!

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      i love india 2 years ago

      omg.....the British stole our money and they ruled over us that's what caused all this hassle.....and India will become a superpower soon i have faith in that!

    • Goodpal profile image
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      Goodpal 2 years ago

      Thanks Angel. Do keep sharing.

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      angelayuka 2 years ago

      The articles are beautiful. The goddess bless you

    • Goodpal profile image
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      Goodpal 2 years ago

      Thanks sweety, for sharing.

      More than prayers India needs good policies and clean and transparent governance. In last 2-3 decades realities have changed so old solutions like reservations in govt jobs are neither sufficient not right approach. Empowerment is the key word for long term effects.

      With dynamic Modi as PM, there is hope that some meaningful change will take place in Indian society.

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      sweety 2 years ago

      I love my country.poor people should get rights as soon possible.plz pray for the people who r so poor to get right...

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      gminam 2 years ago

      some people tht when then become they will go to USA but i want to see the day when they say they will come to India when they grow up

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      sera 2 years ago

      I love my country.so I prayer to god for safe my country in poverty

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      satyaveer 2 years ago

      Its always amazing to read you sir.

      If you wont mind could you compile your articles in pdf form .I really like the way you narrate the whole story. Indeed its my hobby now to read your work whenevr I get time.

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      prachi sinha 2 years ago

      i like this article. This is truth that poor person don't get food , respect , home etc. In winter season some politician said that i will give blankets to poor people but some of them fulfil their promise........but some don't fulfil their promise.....

    • Goodpal profile image
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      Goodpal 2 years ago

      Thanks :( for taking time to comment. You have inadvertently raised a vital point - people and leaders of India need to change.

      It means the focus of development should be people. This is true for all the country. Even the US has 'tent cities', homelessness and hunger while it is fighting unwinnable wars for so many years.

      You like India because it is still not violent, at least yet. You like it for the varied culture it has, but that is under threat as the economy is attracting exploitative corporations and their money based mono-culture.

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      kishanth 2 years ago

      i like this article.. i would say its 100 percent true... the poor people need food, education, home, & respect..if the government would gave them, then they have no need anymore.. here are only rich people get again and again rich.. poor people are always poor..

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      :( 2 years ago

      One of the worst countries i'v ever visited.

      Racism, untidy streets, corruption leading to one of the worst infrastructures, . . . this list isn't gonna end unless the people here changes themselves, especially the political leaders.

      Btw I love this country

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      akhil 2 years ago

      "At the beginning of the 18th century India's share of the world economy was 23%, as large as all of Europe put together. By the time we won independence, it had dropped to less than 4%. The reason was simple: India was governed for the benefit of Britain. Britain's rise for 200 years was financed by its depredations in India.

    • Goodpal profile image
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      Goodpal 2 years ago

      Thanks for shating Pradeep.

      We need to chase commonsense and ground realities rather than any model.

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      pradeep 2 years ago

      Great article....But unfortunately the common man is not aware of this....Essence of the article is follow kerala model instead of gujrat model....

    • Mohank Sainikpuri profile image

      K Mohan 3 years ago from Hyderabad

      I think politicians are to be blamed for this. Every politician in India is getting Local area development fund and it is not utilised properly. The recent adoption of a village by Sachin Tendulkar brings to highlight that such measures shall prove great in the long run. But who is sincere in politicians ?

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      claudio s 3 years ago

      I read it but I have seen the same effects on way less poor countries. I fear you have not got the point here and the solutions that you look for a mostly political. I think India has and it is been poor and there will take a long time to go up. Education it is important but not the key element (USA was brought up to where it is today by people mostly by entrepreneurs) no that this is the key but just to point it is not the problem education. From my point of view it is thing of social concern. I believe people in india are way to humble like in other parts of the globe where poor communities live (eg Philippines) and that humbleness comes from acceptance of the current situation. As long as that mind set does not change I do not foresee a way better india unless some sort of social revolution (not reform) finally arises from the poor classes.

    • Goodpal profile image
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      Goodpal 3 years ago

      Thanks Preethi, for reading and sharing.

      We actually need to review the whole concept of development and progress as prescribed by the West. It is too narrowly limited to GDP growth alone. Here Bhutan shows the correct path through its concept of gross national happiness (GNH). Human life and hence human well-being is multidimensional; therefore progress of people should involve many things other than economic development which is merely an important tool, never an end in it self.

      Following the West, we have also adopted consumption as the yardstick of progress which is silly. It is time that we sit down and think how to put people at the center of progress - as suggested by Amartya Sen. Brainless obsession for GDP growth, year after year, is also at the root of global climatic mess up and resource depletion.

      https://hubpages.com/education/Amartya-Sens-Concep...

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      preethi 3 years ago

      Good work..according to me the main cause is we (public)we read many things and show our sympathy and forget an issue, i hope if every one join hands to see india as my family then we can change few issues i hope so,instead of saying my country is poor why cant we clear atleast our streets,india pls wake up remember the words of mother teresa she says "its not about how much we give,but how much love we put into giving,so its in our hand to make our india rich not by comments only by service,which i am trying my best i hope from u also,

      Thank u,

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      Shivi 3 years ago

      This is the most enlightening and useful article I have ever read.. Accurately expressed... Empowerment is the key to all problems

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      Manoj 3 years ago

      Good article. very true. hope some change happens. main problem is corruption. here for everything we have to pay bribe. this shld change for india to prosper and get rid of poverty

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      shiva prasad 3 years ago

      hiiiiiii every one.....

      i got a foolish question in my mind ..that is WHY INDIA IS POOR????

      I found many things from internet ...But i got ZERO answer ...

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      Hinhin 3 years ago

      It's so sad because they can't eat

    • Goodpal profile image
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      Goodpal 3 years ago

      "Change" is the most difficult thing for people who have been taught to depend on "FATE" for centuries by the clergy class. An ordinary Indian ins tied to senseless rituals right from before his/her birth to after death. These keep the Pandits/Purohits in good economical conditions and em-poor the ordinary folks. Indians are still slave to irrational thinking promoted by misguided gurus whose livelihood depends upon people's ignorance.

      This must be another major cause of high poverty in India.

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      som 3 years ago

      People should change

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      Rikki Sarohi 3 years ago

      I love India, but the reason why they are poor is because for thousands of years, India has been ruled and striped of its wealth. Take the british empire for an example, they stripped our wealth and made us 2nd class citizens. We need time for progress and 67 years is not enough

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      rajesh 3 years ago

      Don't always blame on corruption.

      Inefficiency and unable to or unwilling to learn from other nations on how to overcome Inefficiency is also one of the main reasons.

      India wastes more than 50% of food on inefficient logistics raising food prices high.

      Inefficient agriculture gives only 30% out of the land by area.

      Lack of R&D in spite of having thousands of Engineering collages makes us buy simple things like a Dustbin (Chennai Corporation bought a dustbin from Germany and placed it in front of my house). Than to Politicians and lobbyist from Germany. We paid 4 times more and also lost a chance to offer some employment.

      Lack of credit.

      India pays 10% on housing loans to world bank but Western nations pay 2 to 4 %. So they live out of our 6%

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      georgebob 3 years ago

      THE INDIANS goal must be go to other country, and wipe out the people there, and call other indians to live there,in this way people in indiawould become less. Less people in a big country would enjoy a RICH life

      Like WHITE MEN did to aborginal black australians, to red indians in the north and south america and occupying their land, which resulted in less population in their own country or origin, and more in the occupied land

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      Lohithkumar 3 years ago

      India may not be successful nation but it's the land of values it may not be successful now but definitely I'll make it to be successful...... If everyone takes initiative no one can show finger on us.........

    • Goodpal profile image
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      Goodpal 3 years ago

      Thank you sid, for reading and commenting.

      You have raised a very valid point: how will you employ so many people even if educated. Seen purely from the capitalistic angle it is impossible, as you mentioned rightly. India is following a wrong economic model based on corporate led economic growth. In last 10 years it has only increased the GDP without job growth. Even if the jobs are created they will be only for educated middle class, the vast mass of poor will be left untouched by the "growth." India needs a 'job oriented' and people-centered economy, not the 'trickle down' economy it is following today.

      The solution lies in promoting millions of small and micro enterprises, only they can employ the masses that are unskilled or low skilled. A populous nation like India can't look after its masses following the "trickle down" economy and urbanization. There is hope that the 2014 general election will bring to fore people who understand India and need of its masses better. Even good solutions from the rich nations are unlikely to work in India, given its unique set of problems which are too many - from corruption, to bad governance, to high poverty, to super high diversity.

      India's best hopes lay in the ideas of Nobel laureates Amartya Sen and Muhammad Yunus, not in the rich countries's economic textbooks.

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      Sid 3 years ago

      Education sounds good on paper but can India afford to educate so many people ? Even if it does miraculously manage to do so then what about jobs ?

      No matter whatsoever the government does it will not be able to create so many jobs, heck if all fortune 500 companies recruit ONLY from India then also people will be left unemployed.

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      Bharat paliwal 3 years ago

      poverty is an abused for man & frankly say it's reason is corruption.

    • Goodpal profile image
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      Goodpal 4 years ago

      Thanks Amazing Thinker for time to read and comment.

      Please feel free to link or share my hubs in any manner you want to. Publishing on Hubpages is all about sharing ideas, learning from others, voicing opinion, raising queries and supporting each other.

      Have a Wonderful Day!

    • AMAZING THINKER profile image

      AMAZING THINKER 4 years ago from Home

      Great hub Goodpal!

      Can I link your hub?

    • Goodpal profile image
      Author

      Goodpal 4 years ago

      Thanks Sara, Krishna and Jo for commenting. I never knew that a serious topic like poverty would invite caring comments.

      "What are the real chances of any type of reform?"

      Frankly speaking, unless someone with the true leadership quality of Atal Bihari Bajpai emerges and starts providing effective governance, it would be futile to waste mental energy on much optimism. Current leaders on the national scene can be at best like the "Liliputians" compared with the problems India faces. At the core of all problems is stifling bureaucracy and their nexus with corrupt politicians. The bureaucracy and the police is still clones of their colonial counterparts; they are at their best performance when it comes to harassing the common men or the poor.

      Just like in pre 1947 period, the elected representatives act like unaccountable rulers and "lords of the common people;" hardly ever as people's representatives or problem solvers.

      My blog outlines some of the important issues India must address: http://socialissuesindia.wordpress.com/about/

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      Cynthia Lyerly 4 years ago from Georgia

      It is tragic, the condition of India as a whole but free public services are not the answer. Welfare creates a lazy underclass that will never rise above. People want to work hard for themselves and see a return in the form of money and possessions. Education is the place to start but not a government education. A second place where India needs help is birth control. They cannot sustain the amount of people they have in that country. It's a big problem and one that I'm afraid will get a lot worse before it gets better.

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      vamsi krishna 4 years ago

      True....A concrete policy holistically designed and implemented in spirit only will make Indians raise above poverty.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 4 years ago from Tennessee

      India touched my heart when I visited, so I sincerely hope to see progress there.

      What are the real chances of any type of reform?