Why is India poor?

Don’t read Tavleen Singh’s column “Educating the Education Minister” in the Indian Express today if you wish to continue being puzzled by the question why India is poor.

Basic decency and propriety prevents me from suggesting what should be done to the Indian minister she writes about. Shame on you, Dr Manmohan Singh. Please, in the name of everything decent and human, resign.

Author: Atanu Dey


9 thoughts on “Why is India poor?”

  1. I am not in agreement with many things Tavleen mentions.

    For one, she says because people do not have access to good education do they become goons.
    Really? Why then, are all of Al-Queda’s top fighters MIT and Stanford PhDs, doctors, engineers etc?

    Surely living in the US of A could have made them more aware? Or why, for that matter, does Malaysia become more intolerant and afghanistan-ish the richer it gets?

    Availability of education is a problem but it is the content of education that is equally a problem. Here is where a solid grounding of economics and history — as you suggest — helps.

    There are other things though that are spot-on, including your call for MMS to resign!


  2. AGWorld, while your point about education and terrorists is valid, it is also true that educated people are less likely to go the way of terrorism. If you look at the percentage of terrorists recruited, overwhelming majority of them are poor and/or uneducated, with no/little job-earning skills.

    If the assertion was “educated people never become terrorists/indulge in violence” then what you say is true. But if the assertion is “educated people are less likely to become terrorists/indulge in violence” – you’ll probably agree with it.


  3. But how is the resignation of Dr. Manmohan Singh a solution or even a logical thing to do (for Dr.Singh) considering that his Education Minister is doing irreparable damage to the Indian education system? I fail to understand that. He, as a PM, is accountable for his ministers. Agreed. But isn’t asking for his head a little to radical? Lets assume he has a conscience and he does indeed resign. What better can happen? Sonia decides Arjun Singh knows best how to cash-in on vote-bank politics and cling on to power and makes him the PM instead. He is an old player, loves and adores madam, surely he cant be a bad choice! We should perhaps ask ourselves if that is what we want. I am of course arguing more on the comment to the post than on Tavleen Singh’s column itself. Mostly because I am in near-total agreement to all that she said.


  4. Ag and amit you both are wrong that educated people dont make terrorists,terrorists/violence are made when there is perceived injustice,anybody can get angry and violent its human nature.regards to knowledge of islamic terrorism u both are i think not informed well forgive me.one of my islamic freinds told no matter whatever education a muslim may acquire Stanford,UCLA,MIT for him islam is at the top of the pyramind all other things come afterwards.


  5. Does education means just the knowledge. To me education means the imparting skills. And when we talk about primary education then it means imparting a child with ability to learn. And secondary education should impart him with ability to reason. Now if a person can fairly reason pros and cons of a given thing, he can do a justified deed to his duties.
    If like Pankaj said someone keeps his faith(Whether faith is of religion or his leader) on top of his reason then definitely he has not received education, virtually he might be a post graduate.


  6. AGWorld:

    I would disagree with you. Tavleen was not talking about illiteracy but rather education. I think that we have to take a much broader definition of education. Anyone who is willing to commit horrible crimes based on some ideology is definitely not educated — regardless of how many technical degrees they acquired.

    Here we should be careful to note that merely because some prominent terrorists have degrees does not argue that crime in general is more likely in a society that is less educated. Also, there is are causal links between the level of education and general social prosperity.


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