After last week’s vilest ever television programme here is a contender for dumbest ever. Kevin McCloud, know in Britain for presenting television programmes on architecture, finds wisdom and happiness in Dharavi, the Mumbai slum reputed to be the largest in Asia. He argued in his Channel 4 documentary that despite the poverty he sees it […]
SA Aiyar, writing in his Swaminomics blog in the Times of India, argues against romanticising Bhutan as a haven of happiness. Prominent thinkers such as Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz have lauded the Himalayan kingdom for proclaiming happiness as a priority and downplaying economic growth. Yet in reality it has enjoyed rapid growth as a […]
Just saw Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle’s film about an 18-year-old from the slums of Bombay who overcomes adversity to win the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? The film does not have a explicit political message but there is something unhealthy about its obsession with India’s urban squalor. The characters tend to […]
The following comment by me appeared in the latest Fund Strategy (15 December). As the days go by explanations for the economic crisis pile up. Initially the favoured explanation was a combination of greedy bankers and irresponsible borrowers. Others added to the list since include insufficient state intervention and timeless financial euphoria. This column has […]
India’s lunar programme should be welcomed. India is sending an unmanned space probe to the moon and in the course of it explore the possibility of bringing helium 3 – the ideal fuel for nuclear fusion – back to earth. It was inevitable that many would sneer at such a mission when India is still […]
The backdrop to the 2008 Booker Prize Winner, White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, is evidently inequality and getting rich in India. I could be wrong but it sounds relevant to the growth sceptic discussion. The chairman of the award judges was Michael Portillo, a former Conservative politician in Britain, so it should not be surprising […]
Jeffrey Sachs writes in an article for Project Syndicate on the spread of mobile phones in the world’s poorer countries: “market penetration in poor countries is rising sharply. India has around 300 million subscribers, with subscriptions rising by a stunning eight million or more per month. Brazil now has more than 130 million subscribers, and […]
To many it will probably come as a surprise that China is not already the “workshop of the world”. But according to a piece in yesterday’s Financial Times (FT) it is likely that China will take over from America as the world’s largest manufacturer sometime next year. China will account for about 17% of manufacturing […]
After writing my piece on the campaign against the use of Indian child labour by suppliers to Primark (see 24 June post) an interesting parrallel occurred to me. It seems to me there are similarities between the campaign to “save” Indian children with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s campaign for chicken welfare at Tesco. Both sets of campaigners […]
Spiked has published an article by me on the recent documentaries on child labour in India. It argues that ethical consumerism is nauseatingly elitist.
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