Thursday, August 5, 2021
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Amartya Sen has accepted liberalization

Actually, Amartya Sen’s ‘vision’ is time bound. Abhiruchi states that liberalisation with social welfare has failed. She is right. Non-implementation is a policy failure. I’ll explain how: despite possessing the vision for land reforms, Nehru was unable to implement land reforms. Nehru failed in rooting out feudal remnants. These same feudal remnants gave oxygen to RSS and communalism. Nehru’s failure to implement is today seen as a failure of vision. Political will is part of vision. Similarly, post-2004 Congress adopted several of Amartya Sen’s policy suggestions. But failed to implement was taken as failure of vision. Liberalization plus social welfare is no vision. It is just an additive element in the pro-liberalization vision. Amartya Sen has accepted liberalization. He offers no alternative to the policies of World Bank and IMF. He just demands ‘corrections’. Demanding corrections is not an alternative vision. What today is actually an alternative vision to the entire corpus of liberalization. Liberalization plus social welfare has no answer to the current, structural crisis in Indian agriculture, the collapse of Indian Industry, jobless growth, collapse of institutions.

Anirban is caught in a situation. He knows liberalization has produced Modis of the world. So, he wants course correction. And he thinks course correcting liberalization is an alternative vision. It is not sir…you cannot have your cake and eat it too…Amartya Sen cannot support liberalization, or a course corrected liberalization, and then balk if that process creates Modi. If the vision is successful then one should not complain just because the right ‘body fluids’ produced a monster. And if you want to fight the monster then change the ‘body fluids’.

Amaresh Misra

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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