It is often said Indian states diverge a lot in terms of incomes

I view it differently

E.g. TN PCI : $11K in PPP Terms
UP PCI : $3K

That's a ratio of 3.7. But absolute difference is $8K

In China, Jiangsu is at $33K, Yunnan at $11K
Ratio of 3. But absolute difference is $22K
To my mind, it is the absolute difference in PPP-adjusted PCI across regions you should focus on

Not the ratio

When you move from a province with $11K income to $33K, you feel the difference a LOT more than when you move from a province with $3K income to $11K
Ratios don't make sense when the base is low.

E.g. UP is perhaps 2 times richer than Haiti

But it may not feel that much richer.

As opposed to say moving from Argentina to US
This ties back to the way we perceive growth rates in different countries

In US, people are overjoyed when the economy grows at 3%
In India, 3% growth rate would be a disaster

That's because the ratio of 1.03 means different things given their different bases
What matters is the absolute $ increase in wealth

Not so much the % increase

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More from @shrikanth_krish

14 Oct
I can sense a certain Trad anxiety here

To my mind, ICM is merely a manifestation of a deeper deracination in habits / lifestyle

When lifestyles and values converge, ICM is inevitable

If the cultures are indeed v distinct, ICM will also be marginal
So my gratuitous advice to Trads is -

Don't campaign against ICM. That's just a symptom

Instead reflect on the distinctiveness of castes, and whether the diversity is worth preserving

If people are rooted enough, they are less likely to marry out
Trads tend to think -

Endoogamy will conserve traditions

I reverse it -

If the traditions have value and hold attraction, there will be a natural resistance to ICM

As is the case in much of India even today
Read 4 tweets
13 Oct
The reaction to the Tanishq ad is way over the top

The issue with H-Right is - the reactionary instinct predominates. There is no creative instinct

E.g. You can make a "conservative" movie where a H-M marriage fails because of cultural schisms

That never happens
There are many ideas for "conservative" films

1. H-M marriage fails because of differing cultures
2. Failure of love marriage. Parental wisdom held up favorably against young love
3. Show films where endogamy can drive better social outcomes / prevent cultural discontinuity
This creative spirit was v much present among "conservatives" 50 yrs ago

The last major manifestation of this spirit in Bollywood was the actor/director Manoj Kumar

Whose films may be cringe worthy in parts, but exude a certain creativity that is missing on the indic side today
Read 4 tweets
11 Oct
A common western critique of Hindus

Hindus are not "humanists". They don't value equality of all human life. Hindus view society as comprising of many human species (jAtis)


This "narrow-minded" country has seen FAR less ethnic cleansing than most parts of the West!
It is one thing to declare -

"All men are equal"
"Hum sab allah ke bande hain" etc

Do you live up to it?

The history of the West and Middle East is one of ethnic cleansing / pogroms. Decimation of numerous cultures
I don't mean that as a blanket critique. There is much to learn from the West too

But clearly the history of the West is not one of continuity. But numerous discontinuities

Caused by state-sponsored violence.
Read 9 tweets
10 Oct
The broadest definition of Theism and Atheism

Rejection of any truth that does not have a material basis. That means you question all ideals, morals, worldviews that cannot be subject to scientific examination

Espousal of "truths" and ideals w/o material basis
So Atheism in essence is Materialism

Where you focus on the Here and Now

Any ideal whose utility is not immediately "visible" is under question

Barring scientific truths, rest of human life is prejudice
Once you start with that materialist premise, you still get variety among "atheists"

Many schools

1. Might is Right. Nietzsche. Fascism / Nazism

2. All authority is to be questioned. Liberty is paramount.

3. All inequality is unjust. Communism
Read 7 tweets
9 Oct
The objective of bullet trains is to avoid urban sprawl. To enable people to stay in City A and work in City B (say 500 kms away)

Will an Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train accomplish that?


The economics doesn't work out.…
If the daily price for to-and-fro travel is Rs 6000, then a daily commuter will spend Rs 1.2 lac/month on travel

There aren't that many people willing to spend as much on office commute

Also in this age of Zoom/webex, office commute may become passe in certain professions
And if you are a traveler who wishes to travel from Ahmedabad to Mumbai just once in a fortnight or a month, then you don't need "bullet" train for that.

Most people won't mind spending 6-7 hours in a regular high-speed train
Read 9 tweets
8 Oct
So many Hindi movies of 50s-60s grapple with moral conflicts that arise when there is a choice b/w "Farz" & "Jazbaat"

Typically it takes the form of a police officer who has to investigate a murder where his brother is accused!

E.g. Ganga Jumna, Do Bhai, and later Deewar/Shakti
To me this seems like the grand Nehruvian project. With which I have some sympathy, but which is also a tad annoying in its condescension

The project to school Indians in "modern ways". Where they learn to transcend old biradiri ties and learn to be "just"
You can think of it as a form of white man's burden, taken up by the Indian elite (as epitomized by Nehru)

But the issue with this project is its condescension
Read 6 tweets

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