Correcting India's Income Disparity

It has become rather cliché to describe India as a land of contrasts. After all, in a land of more than 1.2 billion people, with hundreds of languages, and a history that dates to over five thousand years, there are bound to be contrasts that have emerged along the way.

Still, India is often characterised by the degree of contrasts that exist within the country. In fact, the government and the people of India have come to accept, and even embrace this profile. As one Indian netizen puts it, India is a “country with unity in diversity…all are undoubtedly united by one sole feeling of ‘being an Indian’.”

Here at EconomyWatch.com, we’ve also gotten a sense of how diverse and passionate our Indian readers can be when it comes to issues related to their homeland. From the comments left on our India-related articles to our social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter (Follow us on Facebook and Twitter) our Indian readers have always shown a willingness to share and express their opinions – often displaying a keen interest to learn as well as to educate our non-Indian readers about Indian topics.

Another thing that we’ve noticed about our audience from India is, regardless how diverse or different individual opinions may be, there is one common factor that binds these opinions and represents “unity in diversity”: a desire to enact positive change.

Few countries in the world exemplify this spirit as much as India. Unfortunately, very few countries in the world can also claim to exhibit the level of financial and economic disparity that India has.

In major population centres across India, the rich and poor live in such close proximity to each other that it almost feels as if they were deliberately promulgating the disparity that exist between the social classes.

India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, for example was recently criticised for building the world’s most expensive house in Mumbai named Antilia. Antilia is a private 27-storey building – valued at more than US$1 billion to construct – that towers over some of the city’s poorest slums.

Related: Reliance “Family Tower” Highlights Mumbai Wealth Gap

According to Dean Nelson of the Telegraph, the number of multi-millionaires in India is also expected to triple in the next five years together with a “fivefold increase in net worth” for this elite group of Indians.

At the same time, India has one of the highest levels of poverty in the world. According to the CIA World Fact Book and EconomyWatch.com’s Econstats Database, 25 per cent of India’s population live below the poverty line. However, there has not been a uniform measure of poverty in India and other studies seem to indicate a far higher level of poverty. The Arjun Sengputa Report for example states that 77 per cent of Indians live on less than US$0.50 cents per day. The Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative also estimated that there were over 645 million poor people living in India.

Read the FULL STORY: A Tale of Two Indias With One United Goal

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