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Thursday, June 17, 2004
Another voice 

Also sent this article out recently, and Ingrid Srinath, Chief Executive of CRY, wrote back:
While this particular article is not the best argued one on the subject, the broad gist tallies with the experience of CRY partners on the ground. There's a dangerous and insidious trend towards privatisation of basic social services like education and healthcare leaving vast numbers uncovered. This is accompanied by a naive faith in technology and the corporate sector as the messiahs of this century.
This despite the proven failure of the model in any economy you choose to compare ours with. Nobody seems to mention that 90%+ kids in the USA for example go to public (i.e. state run) schools. Or that even the limited privatisation of these schools there (outsourced management) has been an abysmal failure. Or that the free-market model there is mitigated and compensated for by the social security safety net.
Governments are, however, severely strapped for funds and have little choice but to agree to the conditionalities of the new "moneylenders". The alternatives viz. widening the tax net and cutting administrative flab are far more unpopular, tedious and slow to deliver tangible results.
Have you noticed that the media now rate government performance based on stock market movements and FDI rather than any measure of development? Isn't it odd that all the so-called BRIC economies are all either erstwhile/ present communist/socialist countries rather than more market-driven ones? And that West Bengal now ranks 2nd on the absurd FDI measure?
If the only thing these election results do is invite re-thinking on unbridled liberalisation a la Naidu and unfettered fascism a la Modi they will have served a useful purpose imho. Apologies for the diatribe but you did request comments!
Ingrid also sent us another link, which she describes as "the first sane piece of election analysis i've come across."

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