In a new Gallup poll designed to show the change in levels of “suffering” between the periods of 2006-2008 and 2010-2012, one region clearly stood out.
According to Gallup’s Jan Sonnenschein, the “massive increase in suffering among South Asians is largely attributable to negative developments in India, the region’s giant,” where “average suffering in India more than doubled between 2006 to 2008 and 2010 to 2012.”
In 2012, a full 25% of India’s 1.2 billion population rated their lives poorly enough to be considered suffering by Gallup. Between 2006 and 2008 that figure was 10%.
What’s behind this mass descent into suffering? The obvious answer, of course, is the economy. India may have been the “I” in the BRICS devised by Goldman’s Jim O’Neil but O’Neil has admitted the country has been the biggest disappointment amongst its peers. The country’s economic growth is at an growth at a 10-year low, the rupee down over 12% year-to-date against the dollar, and corporate profits are collapsing.
The Gallup data is a stark reminder that India’s economic policies seriously reflect the lives of millions of people — India’s surging food prices are epitomized by a mind-blowing 245% annual rise in onion prices — and they badly need reforming.
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