Sunday, November 28, 2010

Income Disparity: The void

Since the last decade or so, India has been witnessing a constant growth in GDP and absorbs a major portion of the foreign money. The retail market has been booming, the real estate market its at its peak, salaries of a crore or more are common for top honchos in MNCs. The kind of money 3G auction brought in was one of the biggest of its kind. The kind of subscription the recent IPOs have received shows the level of liquidity present in the market. All in all the it seems everybody is growing with the growing economy. Everything is so glorious and glittering.

As they say, everything has two sides and so the glorious, glittering side of India’s growth story also must have other side which probably is not visible directly as its overshadowed by the brighter side. I am neither a pessimist nor a communist who is against the growth. It just that I am very obsessed with the 2 sides rule and so try to look the hidden side also. And I feel, in case of our country the hidden side, the not so easily visible side is growing each day. In simple terms, what I mean to say is that the income disparity between the average Indian and the upper class is widening. Everybody is getting richer but the pace at which the rich are getting richer is very high compared to common man of India. And this is creating a kind of hollow, a kind of void in the society. The aspirations, expectations of common man are increasing at a pace which is not met by the pace at which he is making money.

There is surge in the demand for homes but most of the homes taken up are by the people who already possess one. A movie ticket on weekend at the multiplex in my neighbourhood costs me 250 INR and its ironically more the daily wage of the security guard of my society. The average price of a 2 BHK flat in Mumbai is 7-8 Million which is more than what a average Indian would earn in a lifetime. In fact, I am told that even the jhopdi costs more than a lakh in Mumbai

The common man would try his best to fill this void, this gap to a certain datum and the authorities have to help him in this. Once the threshold valid methods is crossed, the failure of the try, the effort would frustrate, would suffocate, would agonise the common man and the only way out would be to get things by hook or crook. I don't know what the result would be but for sure these are turbulent and testing times.