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Basis of Good Economics

Anil K. Kanungo

By Amit Bhaduri
National Book Trust, New Delhi, 2005, pp. x 107, Rs. 45.00

VOLUME XXX NUMBER 9 September 2006

In a social party, or in the circuit of savvy politicians, celebrities, intellectual elites (not to mention what kind of), big corporates, policy makers or whizkids of the new economy, there is one statement making the rounds, when one is running out of conversation: “The Indian economy is doing very well. Consistently registering a growth rate of 7 or 7.5 is amazing and we can even do 10, is what the general feeling among these tribes is all about. Thanks to reforms and emergence of free market.”   Such candid expressions also in public places have influenced or continue to influence even now the minds of the children of the lesser god—the common Indians. The urban elite or the affluent class (referring to the above composition) reasserts itself by advocating that speedy liberalization and open market is the only answer to the country’s overall growth, and development and eradication of long-time social malaise like poverty. Such repeated noises to which the “State” is also a party today symbolize mainstream India.   Whereas, some who are sensitive and in touch with the ground realities or even associated at the grassroot level and have still in them a sense of idealism and belief in realism are aghast to notice how unreal this world is. They are often confronted with the question, “Do they (the class mentioned above) represent the real India?”   Idealists or evangelists are not an extinct species, they are very much part of the state, participate in the democratic functioning of the state and voice their genuine concerns towards major societal policy failures and try to put up a set of alternative proposals through their teaching, writing or public speaking. One such idealist is Professor Amit Bhaduri, a renowned, prolific economic theoretician of this country, who has drawn up a set of proposals to evolve a larger economic strategy which can bring to its people “development with dignity.” While delineating an alternative strategy, he also tries to bring back the seriousness and glory of the very discipline—Economics, which seems to have lost some amount of its dignity in the wake of frenzied pursuits of globalization with the flaunting of ostentation of nouveau riche and the direction that it is taking for promoting an imbalanced growth strategy.   If the basic objective of good economics is to create wealth and look after the welfare of human kind in totality, then Bhaduri’s this recent ...

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