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An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions Hardcover – 25 Jun 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Description for An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions

From the Inside Flap

When India became independent in 1947 after two centuries of colonial rule, it immediately adopted a firmly democratic political system, with multiple parties, freedom of speech and extensive political rights. The famines of the British era disappeared, and steady economic growth replaced the economic stagnation of the Raj. The growth of the Indian economy quickened further over the last three decades and became the second fastest among large economies. Despite a recent dip, it is still one of the highest in the world.

Maintaining rapid as well as environmentally sustainable growth remains an important and achieveable goal for India. In An Uncertain Glory, two of India's leading economists argue that the country's main problems lie in the lack of attention paid to the essential needs of the people, especially of the poor, and often of women. 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. There is also a continued inadequacy of social services such as schooling and medical care as well as of physical services such as safe water, electricity, drainage, transport and sanitation. In the long run, even the feasibility of high economic growth is threatened by the underdevelopment of social and physical infrastructure and the neglect of human capabilities, in contrast with the Asian approach of simultaneous pursuit of economic growth and human development, as pioneered by Japan, South Korea and China.

In a democratic system, which India has great reason to value, addressing these failures requires not only significant policy rethinking by the government, but also a clearer public understanding of the abysmal extent of social and economic deprivations in the country. Yet the deep inequalities in Indian society tend to constrict public discussion 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.

From the Back Cover

'In dealing with India's multitude of problems, there may well be a temptation - but not a serious reason - for India to give up or reduce its long commitment to democracy, for which so many people have fought and out of which so much good has already come to the country. It is deeply disappointing that more use has not been made of the opportunities offered by a political democracy and a free society to solve the problems that so many Indians continue to face. The success of a democracy depends ultimately on the vigour of its practice, and with that in mind, the book presents material for informed and reasoned public engagement. The important task is not so much to find a 'new India', but to contribute to making one.'

[adapted from Chapter I, 'A New India?']

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane; First Edition edition (25 June 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846147611
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846147616
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.9 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #45,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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