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“India Leads the World in the Rate of Growth in Inequality” Says P. Sainath

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Palagummi Sainath, India’s prominent journalist on rural affairs and poverty, spoke on inequality and the agrarian crisis in India, in a talk jointly organized by AID, Boston and the Alliance for a democratic South Asia, Boston, on September 28, 2017, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. Sainath expounded on the multifactorial causes of the agrarian crisis and the resulting rapid acceleration of inequalities in India in recent years. Citing the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook, he noted that inequality growth rate in India is now the fastest in the world. The top 1% of earners in India own 47% of its assets, while the bottom 30% own very little. Sainath discussed how the globalization agenda pursued by successive governments has exacerbated poverty amongst rural farmers, driving many to suicide. This grim outcome has been the result of misaligned policies such as the move from subsistence farming to cash crops without sufficient grassroots support and training. Furthermore, systemic failures to ensure farmers from the vagaries of global markets and the negative effects of globalization of agriculture, inefficient allocation of resources and credit, and the rapidly rising rural healthcare and farming costs have all been significant contributors.
(Extracted from twocircles.net)