India needs fundamental changes in politics: Amartya

PTI, KOLKATA | 16 July 2013 18:40 IST

Amartya Sen at launch of new book

Calling for reforms, Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen has said that India needs a fundamental change in politics to usher in an inclusive and equitable growth.

"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 India's 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 government's policies but points out the success stories and the failures of the country. 

"It's 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.

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