“Inequality grew faster in India than any where in the world” : P Sainath
Manipal: Ramon Magsaysay award winning journalist P. Sainath delivered the Founder’s Day and 33rd T.A. Pai memorial lecture organized by T.A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI) on January 17.
The author of the Penguin India Classic ‘Everybody loves a good drought’ gave the lecture on the topic “The Age of Inequality : The moral economy of rural distress”. Sainath discussed various ways in which inequality has reached staggering proportions in the country. He highlighted the water shortage crisis in Maharashtra and the flaws in the water distribution system which allows more than 53 percent of all drinking water being delivered to just the three major cities of Thane, Mumbai and Pune, which meant that these three cities received 400 percent more water than rural Maharashtra. He also cited Credit Suisse’s wealth report that claimed inequality growth in India in the last 15 years to be the highest in the world, and various other statistics included in the report that show the top 1 percent of the wealthiest Indians owning more than 49 percent of the total household wealth.
Infusing irony and sarcasm, Sainath presented the glaring statistical disparities in India’s performance at various surveys, with the fourth highest population of billionaires in the world but a Human Development Index ranking of 135. He also decried the gradual acceptance of inequality as a fact of life, amusing the audience with his own interpretation of various statistical reports and political events. “Russians send their billionaires to jail every few years. We send ours to the parliament.” he exclaimed.
“Such talks help in our students leading more meaningful, and not just efficient, lives. If these were not held we would be just imparting professional training, not education”, said Dr.R.C. Natrajan, the director of TAPMI, the organizers of the talk. “I think such talks help us understand and remember Bharat, and helps us bridge the gap between India and Bharat “, said Priyash Durkha, an MBA student who attended the talk.
The talk ended to a standing ovation from the audience. It was attended by Dr. Ramdas Pai, Chancellor, Manipal University among other distinguished guests. The occasion also saw the felicitation of five staff members of TAPMI for exceptional dedication and commitment exhibited in the course of work.