Readers respond.

Published : Dec 14, 2023 11:00 IST - 3 MINS READ

India’s lawless financial capitalism

With the expansion of India’s Q2 GDP to 7.6 per cent, a significant growth in infrastructure and a soaring equity market, India’s economy has crossed 4 trillion dollars (Cover Story, December 15). However, these aggregates hide a pronounced inequality between the rich and the poor. With 1 per cent of the population owning more than 40.5 per cent of the nation’s total wealth according to an Oxfam report, India needs to fight inequality more vigorously than ever before.

Unemployment is higher than the headline figures suggest because many people have simply given up looking for work or have to be content with part-time jobs. It seems our planners are happy with the average figure the GDP represents. I think we need a better measuring tool to indicate genuine economic progress. New Zealand became the first nation to formally drop GDP as its main measure of economic progress. It is noteworthy that Simon Kuznets who designed GDP said that he is not satisfied by the GDP.

Kangayam R. Narasimhan


Kudos to Frontline for giving us the real pulse of the Indian economy and showing up the bankruptcy of the powers that be, politically and otherwise (Cover Story, December 15). Frauds are considered exalted operational efficiency, criminality is adored, political nexus is regarded as prestigious and open collusion with scammers by black hats at all levels of governance has pathologically turned financial systems, institutions and the economy into a “new order” of disorder.

Adani is the new czar in these murky corporate deals whose identity is inseparable from that of the ruling regime. State-owned banks are at once the sources of recapitalisation and conduits of misappropriation and embezzlement of state funds; NBFCs have become the minions of corporate houses and are a law unto themselves since the RBI and regulatory authorities have become the cohorts of the autocratic anti-people regime. Fintechs, loan apps and social media are the cymbals of perennial deception.

This is really a level-playing ground for integral equality that cannot be carved out by any government other than the present regime.                                                                                              

B. Rajasekaran



No one cares about, let alone mourns for, the people of Sundarbans (“Who will mourn the Sundarbans?” December 15). After every natural calamity, be it Cyclone Aila, Cyclone Amphan or Cyclone Yaas, crores of rupees are sanctioned for the development of the area, especially for the building of dams and embankments, only to go up in smoke for the reasons best known to the ruling dispensation. Cyclone Yaas in particular exposed the corruption that is rooted in building dams and embankments. At least 134 embankments were breached, flooding lakhs of homes.

The saga of suffering of the people of Sunderbans has its roots in the continuous depletion of mangrove forests, which were a natural safeguard against cyclones, and the irreparable damage it has wrought on the biosphere. Meanwhile, the land mafia are busy filling up the wetlands and ponds to make lucrative real estate deals. Providing one-time relief to the victims is just a temporary band-aid from a corrupt, insensitive, and myopic government. Rather than a quick-fix solution, what this problem needs is well-calibrated planning and a holistic humane approachbeyond the politics of chicanery and deception, whataboutery and passing-the-buck.

Sudipta Ghosh

Jangipur, West Bengal

Your photo essay paints a grim picture of the world’s largest wetland ecosystem, now imperilled by climate change as never before. The fragile delta has been through several vicissitudes, part natural and part man-made. The rich and unique flora and fauna of the Sundarbans have been wantonly pillaged and plundered in the guise of development, forcing the mass migration of the original inhabitants.

Climate change-induced events such as sea-level rise, saline intrusion, massive shore line erosion, floods and cyclones, along with anthropogenic activities like overexploitation of the ecosystem, uncontrolled tourism, habitat degradation and pollution from oil spills and bilge water disposal, have all contributed to the degradation of the Sundarbans. The West Bengal government needs to act in a proactive manner to mitigate climate change calamities and save this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site from further destruction.

T.N. Venugopalan

Kochi, Kerala

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