“We do want many, many changes that include reforms, which has made a contribution to India and could make more but it requires not just policy changes, it also requires quite a fundamental change in politics and the political economy of the country,” Sen said here last night.
At the launch of his new book An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions published by Penguin, he said, “We believe that India is in a very difficult situation now and the glitter of the achievement might well hide that”.
The book argues that the government has to play a much larger role in healthcare and education.
“An educated and healthy workforce brings economic growth and for that we need a fundamental change,” Sen said.
He also pointed out how India’s subsidy structures are biased.
For instance, as much as 2 per cent of Indias total GDP is spent on power subsidies for the relatively privileged, even as one third of Indian households have no electricity connection at all.
“We are basically a subsidy driven economy and that has to change,” he said.
Sen said the book isn’t a critique of the governments policies but points out the success stories and the failures of the country.
“Its an effort to engage and tell India how and why it has ended up behind an economically far weaker country like Bangladesh in key human indicators,” he said.