Education blindspot

EducationWorld January 2022 | Magazine Postscript

The World Inequality Report 2022 of the Paris-based World Inequality Lab, of which bestseller French economist Thomas Piketty (Capital in the 21st Century) is a prime mover, highlights that India’s richest 1 percent elite own 22 percent of national income/ wealth, and the richest 10 percent owns 57 percent.

The obvious conclusion one would derive from such grave income disparities between the rich and poor 75 years after political independence from foreign rule, is that adoption of the socialist model defined by promotion of over 800 white elephant Central and state public sector enterprises (PSEs), and a 20 million-strong neta-babu (politician-bureaucrats) brotherhood utterly corrupted by a discretionary licence-permit-quota regimen to control-and-command private industry and all economic activity, has failed. Instead, WIR 2022 blames the economic liberalisation and deregulation initiative of 1991 and subsequent sputtering economic reforms for contemporary India’s glaring wealth inequalities and the sorry condition of the poor majority.

Unsurprisingly, this topsy-turvy conclusion of WIR 2022 has been seized upon by the country’s left-liberals and closet commies who continue to dominate the academy and media, despite India’s communist parties having been utterly demolished in national and state elections. Op-ed columns of newspapers are flooded with learned essays blaming capitalism and ‘crony capitalism’ in particular. For these obsolete intellectuals more socialism is the panacea for reducing 21st century India’s glaring wealth/income disparities.

Curiously, media commentators often sporting impressive academic credentials, seldom advocate universal high quality primary-secondary education as the best leveler. This despite easy availability of a mountain of evidence testifying that no nation in global history has succeeded in accumulating financial capital without first developing its human capital. A sombre revelation of the quality of our public intellectuals and media pundits.

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