Sen does a Sainath…

in The Hindu, picking on (rather politely) the Indian media for their obsession with the bold and the beautiful in our society. So multi-crore corporate subsidies don’t make for any negative news or critical analysis (unless there is a whiff of corruption), while wage/food guarantee schemes get scrutinised incessantly and often get panned for poor implementation and wastage.

An excerpt –

…The impact of India’s division between the privileged and the non-privileged can also be seen in the political power of the advocates of continuing — and expanding — subsidies on fuel use, even those that go particularly to the relatively rich (such as petrol for car owners), or of fertilizers, which yield major transfers of a regressive kind, even as they help with agricultural production. It is possible to redesign these fiscal arrangements to introduce more economic rationality, greater environmental awareness, and the demands of equity with efficiency. The political support for tolerating — and defending — the present profligacy in catering to the relatively better off contrasts sharply with the fiscal alarm bells that are sounded whenever proposals for helping the poor, the hungry, the chronically unemployed come up…


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