The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Why India?

Posted by rantingkraut on July 27, 2006

Gurcharan Das writes in the current issue of Foreign Affairs:

“How does one explain the discrepancy between the government’s supposed commitment to universal elementary education, health care, and sanitation and the fact that more and more people are embracing private solutions? One answer is that the Indian bureaucratic and political establishments are caught in a time warp, clinging to the belief that the state and the civil service must be relied on to meet people’s needs. What they did not anticipate is that politicians in India’s democracy would “capture” the bureaucracy and use the system to create jobs and revenue for friends and supporters. The Indian state no longer generates public goods. Instead, it creates private benefits for those who control it. ”

Is it just me or is the use of ‘India’ a bit artificially restrictive in this passage? Britain would fit that description just as well as would a lot of other European countries in a number of respects. This is a quote about the nature of state bureaucracy in general, not just the Indian variety!


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