An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions
From two of India's leading economists, Jean Drèze (Hunger and Public Action) and Nobel Prize-winner Amartya Sen (The Idea of Justice), An Uncertain Glory is a passionate, considered argument for the need for a greater understanding of inequalities in India, despite economic development.
Maintaining rapid yet environmentally sustainable growth remains an important and achieveable goal for India. Drèze and Sen argue that the country's main problems lie in the disregarding of the essential needs of the people. There have been major failures both to foster participatory growth and to make good use of the public resources generated by economic growth to enhance people's living conditions; social and physical services remain inadequate, from schooling and medical care to safe water, electricity, and sanitation. In the long run, even high economic growth is threatened by the underdevelopment of infrastructure and the neglect of human capabilities, in contrast with the holistic approach pioneered by Japan, South Korea and China.
In a democracy, addressing these failures requires not only significant policy change, but also a clearer public understanding of the abysmal extent of deprivation in the country. Yet public discussion in India tends to be constricted to the lives and concerns of the relatively affluent. This book presents a powerful analysis not only of India's deprivations and inequalities, but also of the restraints on addressing them - and of the possibility of change through democratic practice.