Inequality and Poverty in India Frank yang Current events

Poverty and Inequality is one of the biggest issues facing India today. Over 22 percent of the Indian population are below the low poverty line set by India while 51 percent could be considered poor (Kashmir Times, 1). Poor people in India became poorer and poorer in the last three decades while strengthening the inequality by opening the gap between rich and poor. The increasing numbers of rich people does not mean India is growing stronger but actually might even mean the opposite as the rich people got their wealth from the large amount of poor people. Inequality and Poverty can also be a big threat to India that should be taken cared of. But how did this all begin?

The 1990s started a new era to the inequality and poverty in India as a start to changes in the Indian economy. The population, labor force growth, and potential labor force grow started to grow. Jobless growth grew India's economy while suffering the loss of jobs during this era (Encyclopedia of India,1).. Poverty in India today was started during the 1990s when major issues arose. The population of India soared, rising the labor force, and potential labor force as well. Growth in India's economy lead to lost in many jobs. There were more people available the be hired but less jobs available which lead many into poverty. Many factors contribute to this high poverty rate that includes the high inflation, rise in food prices, rise in population, undeveloped public services, the high inflation, and most importantly, the concept of castes that started it all.

The culture, especially the caste system of Hinduism is no doubt to main cause for the inequality and poverty issues in India. Our western culture was created based on the idea that everyone was created equal and are shaped by how we grew up. Indians believe that everyone was born unequally to fulfill the basic tasks of the world but everyone all follow the caste system to heads towards moksha. (Aatish Taseer,1). The caste system creates inequality and also leads to poverty for the lower castes, who has no privileges whatsoever. The lower castes have to do the low payed things they are meant to do by birth while not having a family that could provide you with even three meals a day. Members of the lower caste also do not have resources to go to school to change their own fate and walk out of poverty. Over 70% of Indians are from low castes, most of which are poor. All of these low caste Indians contribute to the high poverty rate and ar suffering from inequality. Modernity couldn’t even wipe the ancient caste system out of people’s minds but could only make it worse. Why don't low class people get out of the caste system? Maybe because the concepts of moksha trapped them and made sure they believe this is the only way to become free from their cycle of life.

The idea of caste in Hinduism is a very serious problem in modern India. A driver of a low caste was forced to wash his plate in a family of a higher caste because they say their community will be angry. Indians believe a contaminated plate full with one’s saliva cannot be handled by one with a higher status than the one eating as they believe that is spiritual contamination and is not acceptable. The hosts could wash the writer's as he is exempt from their caste system as a muslim. In the same week this incidence happened, a young PH.D student of a low caste with a bright future ahead committed suicide after being suspended from school because of letters written by a group claiming that he assaulted a student from the powerful ruling party of India. He could not accept the "fatal accident" of his birth. A few month before, four dalit boys were stripped and beaten with iron rods after being accused of killing a sacred kill when they were actually skinning a dead one, which is ironically a job that was forced on them by caste. Millions of innocent low class people have been looked down at just because of who they were born to, just because of the strict concepts of caste of Hinduism that makes them nobody who have to forfeit the meaning of their life to reach moksha, the ultimate goal.

Indian School

The Indian government has not done enough in solving the problems of poverty and inequality. Just compare it to its neighbor, China, also a developing country. China has expanded education and healthcare for all of its people, rich or poor, creating an opportunity for the poor to change their fate. India on the other hand, has not done a lot. Even though India is the largest producer of medicine, its healthcare system is a mess that forces the poor to rely on expensive low quality private healthcare while the government spends little on public healthcare (Amartya Sen,1). Learning is the key to success. The education system in India is also not well developed. Only the rich could send their kids to the good education of the elite schools when only some poor kids could go to the low quality schools that couldn't even teach half the kids to divide 20 by 5 in fourth grade. This leads to a fifth of males and a third of females being illiterate. Not having the ability to read or write is a setback that almost makes sure that you will not be successful. The lack of good education in India is why poor families stay poor as without education, they would not be able to some great thing and must follow the caste. The bad education and public services could be an enforcer of the caste system. Why don’t India spend money on public service? Taking people out of poverty will benefit the economy and government.

Hindus believe that a man from a low class is spiritually contaminated just because he was born into a lower class. What do they think will happen if one of a high caste gets ‘Contaminated’? Maybe they think their "germs" will bring bad luck and would make them a member of a low caste for their next life. It wasn't that man's fault that he was born into a low class but the higher castes would not tolerate. Some religious beliefs of Hindus directly lead to discrimination of lower castes and the inequalities and poverty of India. How could India stop this problem?

India did not focus on bettering the lives of their lower castes not realizing that it would create economic returns. Solving the inequality and getting people out of poverty would require India to improve education, especially for the poor. With education, the smartest children from lower castes that deserved a chance to show themselves will have the ability to use their intelligence to change their fate. Most of the earnings of exports of India rely on sectors such as information technology and pharmaceuticals that all requires highly trained personnel. These jobs could not be obtained by even the smartest lower class men if they do not get educated. What India needs to know the most are the consequences that inequality and poverty creates. The government did already try to solve this problem starting from the constitution that states everyone should be equal but seemed to fail to convince everyone to stop this system.

The caste system is the main reason for the inequality and poverty in India while also being a great privilege for the higher castes. Even other religions built on the idea that everyone is equal saw this and members of their higher castes started the accept this concept that will only benefit themselves. Muslims started to believe that only the higher castes were superior. The caste system is not only a Hinduism concept but an idea that is close to us. Inequality is close to us. Our socio-economical level is a caste system, poor people are looked down at and poor families tend to stay poor for many generations. People are sorted by their background and some tend to get privileges. We need to learn about the caste system of India and look at the inequality that faces us. We should look at how far we have improved from the caste system to now and how we should improve in the future.


Kashmir Times. "Inequalities Threat to Stability." Accessed December 1, 2016. Global Issues in Context is a reliable source as a part of Gale, a company that gathers knowledge from libraries around the world and spread them for over 60 years while global issues in context uses over 660 reliable sources they check from around the world. I am going to use this source to learn more about the seriousness of income inequality in India as well as how the problems were made.

Encyclopedia of India. "Inequality and Poverty." Gale is a professional educational source for students around the world for over 60 years, they have hundreds of reliable sources, like the one used in this document, the encyclopedia of India which is a source including over 500 articles dedicated to India. I am going to use this source as a way to look at the history of the inequality and poverty in India.

The New York Times. "India's Eternal Inequality." October 12, 2016. Accessed November 30, 2016. The New York Times is a famous news source providing reliable news from their own writers and editors for over 150 years while also listing the author's name on each article as well as the editors' names, which shows the authors are not trying to be annomous to publish fake news without getting blammed. I am going to use this new source to examine how castes play a role in the poverty and inequality in India.

The New York Times. "Why India Trails China." Accessed December 1, 2016. The New York Times is a newspaper providing people around the United States good news for over 150 years, they have a lot of dedicated editors and authors who print their name on every article they right to show readers that they know what they are saying is true. I am going to use this source to see what India has done leading to the poverty and inequality in their country.

Assam Tribune. "Poverty Has No Caste." Gale is a educational database providing students with trustworthy data from over 330 sources around the world including this newspaper the Assam Tribune which gale had found as a good source. I am going to use this source to learn about how castes play into the poverty and inequalities of India as well as the history of it.

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