Saturday, October 22, 2005

The State of India

'The sector of the economy that grew most in independent India was neither the agricultural nor the industrial, but the bureaucratic. In other words, regulation became a more important economic activity than production. As the state became all-pervasive, it was also the only available focus for discontent. If jobs were not available, it was the state's fault; if there was not enough food on the table, the government had failed. In turn, the state was the only available means for redressing its own failures, and when it took steps that alienated its citizens, they had nowhere lese to turn but to (or against) the state. Would despairing young men have taken to immolating themselves in the streets in protest against the V.P. Singh government's decision to guarantee reservations of government jobs to "backward castes", if the government was only a minor option among many for a graduate job-seeker?' - Shashi Tharoor

I've long wondered why the Indian public expected the government to provide them with everything they needed. The above passage made a lot of sense.

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