ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Simply Subbu

Intrepid Voyage through Policy Dilemmas

Futilitarianism by S Subramanian, London and New York: Routledge 2020; pp 78, 440. 

Present Values by S Subramanian, London and New York: Routledge 2020; pp 84, 440.

Subbu, as the redoubtable scholar S Subramanian is affectionately and respectfully called, is arguably one of the most insightful scholars in economics working in the country and unarguably the only man of letters in economics working anywhere. I know of no one else whose verse (not published in the volumes under review) and satire compare with the best across time (and England). The space of Renaissance men is not dense, and my abilities are limited to carving out a Subbu set consisting of convex combinations of Lewis Carroll, Arthur Conan Doyle, and P G Wodehouse. The elements are rapiers taken to the body of economic theory, nicking thin skin here, cutting flab there. The object is to lay bare the anatomy of Indian poverty and inequality. He reports on some of the international social welfare metrics, where India fares miserably. These include the recent Democracy Index (DI) comprising 60 indicators computed by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU), where India ranks 53 out of 165 and is described as a “flawed democracy” (PTI 2021). The Sweden-based V-Dem was less kind in 2020, characterising India as an “electoral autocracy” (Hindustan Times 2021). The reports are greeted, as always, with truculence by the Indian government. Not only is it impossible to do justice to the variety on display but I will also restrict myself to no more than picking up a pearl or two cast before me in the two texts under review.

Open Defecation and Stunting

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Updated On : 4th Feb, 2022
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