Distribution of wealth in India

53 billionaires in India- sounds like the gala of developing India. Claiming the 4th rank in the world in the number of billionaires after the US, Russia and Germany and being ahead of China, UK, Japan and France shows the Indian is taking steps heading towards the big shoes to become one of the world’s superpowers. Sunil Mittal, Mukesh and Anil Ambani, Azim Premzi, K. Birla and many more adding up the glory to India’s present. Huge FDI inflow, high market competition, increasing support for entrepreneurs, mall culture, designer accessories are all showing the bright side of the coin. But what about the grim side? What about the side-effects of this westernization?

Today the wealth of the top 35 billionaires exceeds that of 800 million poor people who are mainly poor peasants, rural population and slum workers. At one side when the common man is striving for his bread and butter for one time in the day, the rich are enjoying the lavish lifestyle of mall culture.
Malls with gols plated ceilings are built to enhance the looks while people in slums hardly manage a hard roof to live under. Versace, Benetton, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss are investing to allure one class while others sleep only with one torn piece of cloth in freezing temperatures. Problems of malnutrition, infant mortality, illiteracy are still surrounding our country.
Neo liberal policies which favor the rich are the prime concern for such economic division. The IT revolution has also accounted for and impacted the wealth division. Failure to deliver social justice and development to India’s poorest regions is also a cause. It’s not that income level of lower and middle class is not rising. But the concern is that the richer are becoming rich at a higher pace. With profit as the only concern, capital ventures try to guide the judicial parameters and facilities available. This division causes dissatisfaction, migration and discord. Farmers are committing suicides due to non-repayment of loans and increasing burdens on their family. Crime situation is increasing as poor youngsters tend to adopt shortcuts which lead to wrong paths and doing.
Wealth condensation poses several serious threats on economy. It will stop the flow of cash hence decreasing the income level which will subsequently decrease the purchasing power of common man. With lower income level, credit will not be easily available and loan payment will get defaulted. This may lead us towards economic crisis like one which we are experiencing right now. It will increase the inequality in society. Today, the bourgeoisie is already fragmented. The upper middle class has got a good purchasing power and is enjoying life, while the lower middle class is facing hardships to maintain its social status.
The government has to take serious steps and get its think tank working over this issue. Otherwise in the near future our democracy will be a capitalist guided democracy. India’s main population is comprised of these poor people with the richer ones numbering in few thousands only. If these people get neglected, government will bear the burn in the elections.

It should introduce methods which attract investments. Reserve Bank of India should introduce policies by which everyone can take part in India’s development and make it everyone’s effort.

Saurabh Agarwal

[Image courtesy: http://www.business-standard.com/special/billion/2005/bill05_51.jpg]