There is a delusion policy makers and people are currently living in, and needs serious examination – that the economists have scientific answers, and know what is best for a country. It must be understood that economics is different from mathematics. It is more interpretative than absolute. Every economic argument has a counter argument. Every model of economic theory has its success stories to share, and failures to be ashamed of.
The power behind economic positions is determined by political ideology, the backing of power, and money – sometimes ill-begotten. It is also determined by a variety of motivations. It is tragic that the community of economists, which prides itself on its objectivity, has become the new God. Opinions are created by selective perception. The media helps reinforces the view that this is the whole truth. Only a few decades ago, it was internationally accepted that economic designs emanated from political priorities. But today we have conveniently elevated economics to a science, and we abide by it.
Our policy makers have consistently distanced themselves from poverty and its causes. In their euphoria about the GDP, growth rates and sensex figures, they have deliberately ignored the consequences of endemic hunger and deprivation on the people. They consciously ignore the alarming figures of infant mortality, literacy, unemployment, and the per capita income of the poorest 30%. In the words of P Sainath, Inequality, and not IT is the fastest growing sector of India. India is a complex web, inexplicable by mere figures and numbers. We need to look back as much as we need to look forward.