The intellectuals are all worried about the dipping economic growth of India. The newspaper is buzzing with news of the poor quarterly growth of our nation and the weakening GDP numbers. What I began to wonder was this - how should the growth of a nation be really measured? Does the GDP really reflect the gross happiness of the people of the country?
Well I personally think that the economists of our age are a bunch of loony mathematicians who think that human life can be judged and measured in numbers! No computation in this universe can ever capture the number of dimensions to the ground reality of the economics of this country. Here are a few points worth pondering about:
1. Industrial growth leads to progress of the country in some sense. At the same time, it kills opportunities for some farmers. At the same time it gives jobs to millions of people. And so should we assign weights w1 and w2 the happiness of the newly employed ones and the unhappy farmers and determine their gross happiness together as h1w1 - h2w2. Does it really work that way? Should a 100 lives be thrown into oblivion so that 10000 get a good life?
2. Jobs in IT companies have given a lot of Indian people a lot of money. This has raised their "standard" of living, and the cash flow in the market, and the consequent boost to the economy. Let me ask one question - before the IT boom happened, weren't people living well enough? Were the sudden NEEDs of having a super market (and the resultant overspending), or buying an iPod, or eating at Pizza Hut (which thanks to the stuffed pockets of people can put exorbitant price tags on their products) always a part of this country. I think not! It all looks like a conspiracy. Don't think so - check out this website http://www.storyofstuff.com and you'll know what the third world meant to the US and what India is fast transforming into. The point to be pondered upon is whether having all that more money went into "really" helping India, or did it turn the naturally satisfied average Indian, into ever hungry, ever mkore materialistic creatures.
3. Can there be no economy without contributing significantly to the "consumption" face of things? Can economic growth not be tied up to making people understand that they need less, and on the core value of self-sustenance? I thought, the great Indian culture had all the answers. That's what I was made to believe in my younger years. Who then carries the knowledge of how to make people happy without them wanting more and more pieces of cake made from the very flesh of their fellow planet-mates? Can there be no respite?