Growth estimates and social tensions

As we knock on the doors of 2022, here’s a reminder: Peace and prosperity are not two mutually exclusive events and one cannot be achieved without the other.

Published: 27th December 2021 08:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th December 2021 08:04 AM   |  A+A-


Representational Image. (File Photo)

As we knock on the doors of 2022, here’s a reminder: Peace and prosperity are not two mutually exclusive events and one cannot be achieved without the other. And as analyst after analyst, economist after economist keep coming up with their estimates for India’s growth in the short to medium term—not that these numbers themselves are very reassuring—most of them are probably overlooking (in whatever model they are using to arrive at these numbers) the growing social tension in the country.

Understandably, it is not an easy variable to quantify and use in models for predicting India’s economic growth. But common sense dictates that a country cannot see sustainable growth if majoritarianism is allowed a free run across the country. If, amid all those high praise for economic reforms and steps taken to steer the economy out of slump, one does not see the continuous disruptions of prayers of minority communities across the country and efforts to shrink their economic and social space, these analyses are at best hollow.

What makes the situation even worse is the complete silence of corporate leaders, who through an army of PR executives try to establish themselves as epitomes of ethics, leadership and humanity. And while they loftily keep talking about sustainability in business, not a single corporate leader has raised his/her voice against the continuous attack on minorities, and the government’s inability (or reluctance) to put a leash on the perpetrators. Looks like their talk of sustainability does not go beyond soliciting for ESG funds. Mind you, the S in the ESG stands for Sustainability.

It is hard to believe that they are not aware of the worsening social and communal fabric in the country, and the ill effect it could have on overall business sentiments. Nonetheless, economists, analysts and India Inc. continue to carry on with their blinkered vision, refusing to see the elephant in the room. But given the current situation, closing one’s eyes (to the reality) is no longer an option.


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