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May 31, 2004

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George Abraham

Just a note: The Deccan Herald is a good place for getting news that is better than the TOI at least. Looking good, Anup!

Adam

Very informative post Anup, thanks.

The Indian folk I talked to in California last week, claimed that the "India Shining" campaign was so misaligned with the average Indian's daily experience that everyone could see through it as a sham.

I hear that the vast majority of Indians are still stuck in serious poverty, living off of substinance agriculture. Then there's the thin slice of the elite population, IIT graduates and the like, that are doing really well. Basically approaching American standards of living. The elites are pulling away from the farmers very very quickly.

BJP was too focused on this thin slice of society, and didn't understand that there can't be 1 billion programmers and call center operators. A broader economic development policy including agriculture and manufacturing is needed (which Congress focused on during the elections). A more redistributive policy is also needed.

What's interesting though is that Singh pledges to increase FDI by 2 to 3x current levels.

Some people were discussing with me how a strong civil society and economy are developed when a country gets a strong middle class. They claim that outsourcing jobs to India will be the basis for that growing middle class, and lay the foundation for India's future development.

From my limited knowledge/experience, I tend to side with Congress right now, as long as they don't tax the offshoring companies too hard, or restrict investment in India (which seems very unlikely).

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