Chronic Poverty in India: Issues, Policies and Challenges
- Anand Kumar
- Ashish Kumar Das
- Sarada Prasanna Das
The book is a systematic study of poverty in India.It brings together contributions of several social scientists with the objective of promoting clearer understanding of poverty-related questions through inter-disciplinary dialogues. The book deals with issues of poverty and society in India and discusses the challenges of studying the multidimensional aspects of poverty. Each section of the book contains a specific thematic area in the study of poverty, looking at the theoretical, methodological and empirical aspects of the dynamics of poverty in India. Some of the papers in this book have tried to evaluate poverty eradication policies and programmes since independence. It has also papers on the people’s responses to their situations of poverty. Most of the papers in the book have used micro data for critical analysis of programmes and policies in different regions of India. A large proportion of India’s poor are living in chronic poverty. This has resulted in protests, electoral defeats for ruling political parties and coalitions and the rise of extremism. If we analyse the protests/movements after the 1990s closely, we can see that these displayed some emerging characteristics. Firstly, these movements were against post-liberalisation industrialisations, which were based on privatisation of public resources and mostly profit-oriented. These were also based on capital-intensive technologies and maximum utilisation of the natural resources. The post-liberalisation industrialisation policy ignored the land, forest and water issues, which were basic sources of livelihood for rural populations of the country. The movements also tried to link the issues of development with cultural questions. Thirdly, these movements also tried to provide an alternative discourse of people-friendly development and they also provided a space for the marginalised masses. These protests and movements also questioned the political economy approach of development and gave an alternative to link development with the socio-cultural aspects of the specific region. Finally, all these protests/movements are against industrial developments which are creating marginalised groups in peripheral areas.