Friday, December 28, 2012

Neoliberal Trickle Downs: FDI, Coalition Politics, and beyond

While the country is making sense of the Delhi rape case, Tendulkar's retirement, Christmas and approaching year, Kaleidoscope is finding more liberalisation in the name of reform. Interestingly, while the country makers are repeatedly assuring about the care for the women and weaker sections, a mass movement is getting even more momentum. Within this chaotic situation we are slowly entering to the era of even more aggressive neoliberal pursuits.

What is trickling down?

While neoliberalism is commonly perceived as a form of economy, viz. cross-border movement of capital, it ought to have political predisposition. Kaleidoscope finds two primary issues associated with political predisposition of neoliberalism, first, state's helplessness in striking the balance between corporation's welfare and people's welfare and second, and related to it is state's compulsion of retaining faith of the corporations to ensure continuation of capital investments. Quite often this results in overruling the interest of the people to which a state ought to be more accountable. In consequence, instead protesting the neoliberalism wholeheartedly, states tend to make institutional environment feasible for the neoliberal economy to flow. The promises are catchy, "more jobs", "more money", "more capital", "more development(trickle down effect)", "more advancement", "stronger democracy", "healthier and happier lives."
Kaleidoscope, like many others is looking forward to these promises. However his Indian experience is quite different from these promises.

Identity politics:

While there are promises of "more", why should there be more fragmentations? The identity based politics advocated by even so called secular political parties reflect on the everlasting struggle over ever shrinking means of livelihoods to the people and ever increasing demands. The generation of enormous inequality in income and increasing equality in markets is one of the primary indicator of much more fragmentation in near future. A situation is further deteriorated with multiple fragments of identities based on the regionalism. Some one might not get the job because s/he is a Bengali who prefers not to leave West Bengal, or may be a Bengali businessman is not allotted a project just because there are Marwaris working as a team. The use of such sentiments in election is also very common. There are multiple identities, being a women, being a dalit person, being a muslim person, being some body from Bihar or West Bengal and not from Gujrat, on which there is even more complex game of politics.


With neoliberal pursuits, key players are important in a democracy, therefore Walmart releases the amount they have spent for lobbying and in every few months Kaleidoscope witnesses new revealing of scams. 

Coalition compulsions:

Politics of convenience is at its best. Regional as well mainstream parties are safeguarding their own issues often at the expense of public interest. All could be seen is a shadow boxing, BSP walking out in protest, SP boycotts the voting procedure to help the Government out. BSP's vote in favour of FDI in Rajya Sabha transcends all records.

Fascism and cash transfer: furthering neoliberals 

Recent review of patterns of state's actions are quite alarming. There are examples of University professors being arrested because of circulating a cartoon, a man being arrested for asking a question at a public meeting, two innocent girls being arrested for making comments in facebook, entire city gets shut down in fear of unrest centring around the death of a local politician and so on. The lack of sensitivity (some say sense of humor) from the states also reflect the restlessness and mounting pressure on the states and regional powers because of the consequences of neoliberalism. To further such endeavour which might lead to further downsizing the state's role development is Direct Cash Transfer (DCT). Although Kaleidoscope like many knows the black marketing of government subsidy for poor, Kaleidoscope also knows the effect of cash and how it gets spend in real situation... more about that in some other day!!




  1. i think state has forgot the basic thing that it is for the people. . not for any profit ..

    lack of political consensus is the main reason.

  2. yeah... we know... we can feel the issues with neoliberal political economy... and we also know that we are hopelessly dependent...