Home > Europe, India, Politics, USA > Fat in the wrong place

Fat in the wrong place


As more Indians moved away from the brink of survival, they have come to demand and depend less on public health care and public food grain distribution.

Liberty will do ... as long as my Welfare State and my bailout is safe! | Cartoon Michael Ramirez; on 8th April, 2009; Source and courtesy - investors.com | Click for larger image.

Liberty will do … as long as my Welfare State and my bailout is safe! | Cartoon Michael Ramirez; on 8th April, 2009; Source and courtesy – investors.com | Click for larger image.

The generally accepted view is that the government runs a bloated bureaucracy. Its current employee strength is 3.32 million. But over 80 per cent of this number is accounted for by specific service departments: posts, central police forces and the railways. Logically, these should not be counted as part of a “bureaucracy”, which as a consequence stands reduced to a relatively modest 600,000. Since the overwhelming majority of even that consists of clerical and support staff, the operational part of the government is quite simply too small. (via Fat in the wrong place).

The good news!

2ndlook has been consistently saying that the Indian Government is NOT fiscally expanding – as percentage of GDP. In terms of employee numbers, like this post (linked above) shows, it has shrunk. As more Indians have moved away from the brink of survival, they have come to depend less on public health care and public food grain distribution.

Who will cut health care costs? For instance in the US, the majority wants the State to increase its powers!  |  Cartoonist - David Horsey; Originally published on August 24, 2009; courtesy - sfgate.com  |  Click for larger image.

Who will cut health care costs? For instance in the US, the majority wants the State to increase its powers! | Cartoonist – David Horsey; Originally published on August 24, 2009; courtesy – sfgate.com | Click for larger image.

It wuz jes poor service

Critics may carp that the those who have moved away, have done so due to the ‘poor’ service levels at Governmental health care and public food-grain centres.

What the carpers forget is that there is a decrease in total demand for such centres or any vocal activism to improve the ‘free’ system.

Quite unlike the citadel of the welfare state – the West.

Indians see a decreasing role for the State in the future – in spite of the best efforts of the State to increase its role. And a ‘progressive’ lobby, like the writer of the post (linked above), who would like the Government to have a better ‘teeth-to-tail’ ratio.

The Indian State meets its colonial cousin

Under the garb of ‘growth’ and ‘progress’ the Indian Government has launched new mega projects to expand its footprint. For instance, the NREGA and Unique Identification Database Authority of India (UIDAI; headed by Nandan Nilekani of Infosys fame). Will the Indian Government sheds it colonial baggage and Western leanings and go for an Indic model?

So, what will it be, India?!

The world’s first (and only?) lean Government – or a bloated Western style ‘Welfare State”?



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  1. pravin
    November 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    it is not for lack of trying,that the indian state is not a welfare state.it is ,in fact,part of the directive principles of the constitution that states that we ought to strive towards that horrendous ideal.

  2. November 3, 2009 at 7:20 am

    I agree – entirely.

    Correct me if I am wrong in assuming that you have missed the most important point! What we need to understand is not the Indian Government’s efforts – but the fact that Indians see a decreasing role for the State in the future – in spite of the best efforts of the State to increase its role.

    The Indian private sector health-care has increased its share of market. More people who can afford private sector, do not burden the public sector. Same case with the public food grain distribution system.

    It is the Indian unwillingness to burden the State that is different – and important.

  3. pravin
    November 5, 2009 at 6:24 am

    “It is the Indian unwillingness to burden the State that is different – and important” . there is no such overwhelming belief amongst the people.you just have to see the clamor for getting castes labelled as backward to claim the spoils of reservation to know that. for a country that has been lenient towards power mongers/high-command cultures etc, i see that people actually wish for the state to be a sugar daddy.it is a different matter that it is not successful.

  4. November 6, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    The Indian PDS system during the 1960-1990 period covered more than 80% of India’s population. Today, it is less than 50% and decreasing. Public health service coverage in urban areas has decreased from nearly 70% to less than 40%.

    The clamor for being labelled as a ‘favored’ caste is to my mind a mix of ‘opportunism’ by politicians and a rush towards ‘egalitarianism of opportunity’ by the many.

    Not a perpetual dole queue!

  5. Galeo Rhinus
    November 6, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Whether or not the dole queue is perpetual, the mere fact that modern Indic polity makes it the states goal as an implicit giver of entitlements – is something that needs to be questioned.

    Even if Indians see a decreasing role of the state – how does that translate into a decreased role? Isn’t the present implementation of democracy the root of the problem?

  6. November 7, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    mere fact that modern Indic polity makes it the states goal as an implicit giver of entitlements – is something that needs to be questioned.

    Yes! That is exactly what the average Indy Joe is doing! He is moving away from dole and entitlements, towards non-State systems.

    Even if Indians see a decreasing role of the state – how does that translate into a decreased role? Isn’t the present implementation of democracy the root of the problem?

    Obvious question! The answers are what we need to find. The road-map is what we need to plot!

  7. November 10, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    To further support what is being proposed in the above, also look at this post titled, ‘The Government should something about this!’

  8. samadhyayi
    September 29, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    decreased role of government . you are lucky ysr is dead. he put arogyasri means health care by government. then he wanted to take over agriculture by creating some government collective farms. he was very ambitious. was ysr. he was trying to do what even obama was struggling to do. create a big brother state. he would have succeeded .had he not been killed in helicopter crash.

  9. April 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm

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