Social equality key to go global

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  • Published 20.01.07

Patna, Jan. 20: Social equality is more important than income equality for taking Bihar and the rest of India to globalised world, observed Lord Meghnad Desai here today.

The professor of economics at London School of Economics said Bihar was “never a stranger to globalisation” as reflected through its massive indigo cultivation. But the state has not learnt to respect its people and potentials over the years. “Why is there a talented person from Bihar in every part of the world?” asked the economist, saying the state has to be responsible and just not only claim to be “benevolent”.

“Treat your people well or they will run away,” cautioned Lord Desai, describing globalisation as “just another phase of capitalism”.

Without naming any political party, he blamed mass migration from Bihar and other parts of India on “bad politics” and “politicians” craving for “self-aggrandisement”.

Speaking on “Development of Bihar in globalising world” at the three-day global meet here, Lord Desai — also the director of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at London School of Economics — first thanked the chief minister, Nitish Kumar, for being in the audience and said “now when people say Bihar is passing through a phase of resurgence, a sense of optimism develops within me”.

Lord Desai said the Congress, which ruled the country for over 40 years, never spared a thought for “social parity”, which eventually led to vociferous reservation demands in 1989.

“Call it Hindu rate or Brahminical rate of slow economic progress, the big chunk of population was left out. That’s why unreformed social reality is now catching up with politicians,” he said.

People of Bihar, Lord Desai said, must volunteer for development and make its government responsible as “there is no system in the world or any expert agency like IMF or World Bank that can reform politicians. It is only people or politicians themselves”.

Lord Desai said the government should respond to neglected sections’ “demand for inclusion”. He said one’s caste identity could be a matter of pride, but it must not bring injustice to others.