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The development enigma wrapped in the mystery of Indian democracy: the obvious lag between promise and performance, and a north-south divide as it were.
Baramati is up there among the best of our constituencies, but even it has islands of neglect. Ferozepur is down below, but there are turnarounds in tiny pockets. That, in a nutshell, is the development enigma wrapped in the mystery of Indian democracy.
Numbers crunched by Outlook with the help of economics research firm Indicus Analytics (source of all data in this package) and local inputs highlight the obvious lag between promise and performance, and a north-south divide as it were. They also show that surging growth and urbanisation may be ramping up incomes, but the feelgood story does not run deep.
The problem areas are the usual ones: health (Rajkot, Patiala), political neglect (Hamirpur, Bolangir), Naxalism (Bastar, Adilabad), illiteracy (Kishanganj). In constituencies like Nellore, the happy outcomes are more the effort and enterprise of locals.
It’s not uncommon for political leaders to focus only on their own village or township. Policymakers point to the regular clamour among MPs to get their constituencies or some districts therein declared backward to attract more funds. Rarely do you find them making themselves heard in Parliament or efficiently utilising funds allocated for development of their area.
The alternative is to encourage greater people’s participation in the development process and reduce their dependence on the government for everything. Whenever this mantra has been used, it has brought richer dividends, whether in the north or the south.