In Amit Bhaduri’s recent book ‘Development with dignity’, he has argued perspicuously the case for a full employment in India. It is a great book to read for economists and non-economists alike. (Amit Bhaduri is internationally famous as an unconventional economist.)
I have listed some of his arguments below.
1) India’s continuation to rely on English has created a linguistic divide and inequality of opportunities between those who know and those who do not know English.
2) He says that agriculture is so overcrowded and devoid of earning in poor states like Bihar and MP, that even selling peanuts on the streets bring more income. There is a very high prevalence of disguised unemployment.
3) “India’s immense diversity creates a bewildering variety of identities, and politicians try to manipulate them to their advantage in the game for gathering votes at any cost.”
4) “India has given its citizens political rights, but not economic rights to a decent livelihood, with or without economic liberalisation.”
5) “Narrow minded policies focussing on ‘cost’ reduction fail to see that cost is a concept defined in a particular social context of contending economic interests.”“The worker might think of profit as the ‘cost’ he has to bear for being employed, just as the employer thinks of wage as the ‘cost’ of employing the worker!”
He has shown us unequivocally how to go about the attainment of full employment. He has stressed the need for wider participation in the development process.Moreover, he is of the view than FDI has more positive outcomes for growth than the portfolio investments buy FII’s.
Bhaduri’s main stratagem was “employment first, with growth as outcome” and not “growth first, and full employment later.”
(The other main attraction of the book is that it comes at a frugal price of 50 INR and it is published by the National Book Trust, India.)
Here is Frontline’s review on the book.