First, Dilip D'Souza started it with an article at Rediff about liberalization's inability to make a dent on poverty in India:
There's no doubt in my mind: reforms must happen. But 15 years after the process began, I can't help feeling that something is wrong about the way we are pursuing them. For I am yet to see the one effect they must have, first and above all: a visible lessening in the level of Indian poverty. Fewer poor Indians around us. I can't see that.
Dilip's post attracted a thuggish treatment at the hands of Sandeep and his commenters (except uspeed ;-). I would never have suspected that Sandeep's rants could actually inspire someone to take up his cause, but this one did: Yazad Jal did a nice piece rebutting Dilip's arguments, and got it published by Rediff (it appears to be his first "publication". Congratulations, Yazad!):
So how have so many poor people got themselves the money for shoes, transport, private education, fridges, television, coolers and cell phones? Maybe those figures have some answers after all. They're worth a brief look. India's GDP per capita in 1990, before liberalisation, was $1,300. Today it's $2,830, more than double. It's increased at around 5.33 per cent per year [on a PPP basis].
Yazad posted on his blog about his Rediff piece, and guess what? Dilip made a guest appearance in the comments section! The result? A very nice, civilized debate among the commenters, Dilip and Yazad.Folks, this is the very best of the entire enterprise of blogging. Enjoy it before Sandeep and his fellow travellers spoil it!