What’s wrong with the Definition of ‘Economic Development’ – My Take

This is going to come off as a very different post for the ‘regular’ readers of my blog. So, here comes the warning: DON’T PANIC. Don’t be alarmed. It happens. Take a deep breath. Now relax. Read on…

This post has been sparked off over the recent debate about India actually needing to import food grains and stuff about inflation and so on. I mean, we had a self-sustaining economy as far as I know. In fact, we used to export food grains all over the world, you know. And now, boom! Major controversy sparked by some dumb comments by politicians in the West. What’s up? (See the last 2 links in the list of references at the end of this post.)

Where have the perceptions and ideas gone wrong? Have we (economists) got it all wrong, after all?

Now I am not going to get into what is happening with the import of food grains and the global inflation and the recession in the West. What I am going to get into is the basis of all this crap – which lies in the perceptions of Economic Growth as defined by Economists the world over. What does a country have to be doing to be classified as ‘textbook’ ‘Developed’ or ‘Developing’ or even ‘Under-Developed’?

(See the Wikipedia article referenced below for more info on Development Economics)

Without confusing the reader more, I shall try to simplify the concepts.

As per what we studied, any economy primarily begins its journey of Development by starting out as an Under-Developed country. The basis of this economy is primarily agrarian (agriculture based). The economy is sustained only by what is produced in terms of agricultural products. These food grains, crops etc are used to create an import-export situation with other countries, whereby other finished goods and production tools are introduced into the country.

Soon enough, the economy of this country begins to develop and grow, and some parts of the finished goods and production tools begin to be manufactured within the country itself. This process continues till the economy begins to produce all its required finished goods and production tools (machinery etc) within the country itself. It then has no need to import these items from other countries. It now transitions into an industrial economy, having started out as an agrarian economy. In short, more people are now working in the industrial sector compared to the agricultural sector.

At this stage, the industrial sector is now importing various service related functions from other countries. But soon enough, the industrial economy begins to provide some basic service functions and it grows well enough to provide all the service functions from within the country itself. This country has now become a ‘Developed’ Country.

So what is wrong with this concept?

According to me: Everything!


Because in simple terms, if all the farmers in a country begin to leave farming altogether, then who is going to grow the crops? And if this becomes a global phenomenon, then we are looking at (possible) starvation – because there won’t be anything to eat at all.

OK. Now, all the farmers leaving farming altogether is an extreme view. But makes one think, doesn’t it?

Even if a small percentage of the farmers leave farming and get into the industrial sector or even the service sector, the Domino Effect will be rippled around the globe.

This means, those many less crops are being grown. The land which was initially being used to grow crops is now used for building factories, malls, offices and what have you. Less crops grown. Throw in the fact that education is reaching everywhere. Which is not a bad thing. But the end result – sons and daughters of farmers are now becoming engineers, lawyers and doctors. Which is good, but it translates to the fact that there will be no one left to grow those many crops which his / her dad grew.

Now if you imagine this on a global scope (or in a macro view) you will see the point.

The basis of deciding the level of development of any economy is wrong. Moving away from agriculture to an industrial and then to a service based economy does not constitute becoming a developed country.

In my view, an economy becomes ‘developed’ when it learns to find a balance between all these three aspects – because all these are equally necessary.

Let me know what you think.





Windoze Format – Paradise Lost!

So I love to install programs and then uninstall them and do a lot of masti with my laptop! The end result – some many GBs of space gets cluttered with some shit data (which I can never locate and delete manually) which ends up clogging my disk space… let it also be known that I also love the System Restore feature of Windoze…. Use your imagination!

I decided to take the bold step of formatting my C partition and re-install all the programs in order to free up the space.

It is said, that such an experience leads one towards Windoze Enlightenment.
With such noble intentions, I embarked on this journey – a place I have never explored before!

I decided to bone up on the background research – searched for videos on YouTube, where to my utter dismay I even saw a video where a 14 – 15 year old kid do this.
So I back-up all my data on my trusty external hard disk.

Thinking that I was not to be left behind, I sat down on Saturday to do the deed.

11:00 AM – I begin. Am all clenched up in all kinds of places. Worry can do that to ya!

1.30 PM – The C partition has been formatted, and Windoze XP has been installed. This begins my entry into the world of ‘searching for Drivers’.

6:00 PM – Have downloaded all the Drivers. Thanks to Bit Torrent and all the seeders out there! God Bless You! (If I have paid good money to buy a branded Laptop, why doesn’t the compay also provide a disk with the drivers? Beats Me!)

8:00 PM – Have installed the drivers. My screen resolution has been restored! And I have audio! Have also updated my Windoze software! Yay!

9:00 PM – Discover that when I launch my Outlook Express, it doesn’t behave like a fresh install and begins to look for some data files! In a mad rush, I join my external hard disk to the lappy and then do something which doesn’t work…end result, my outlook has got 2 Personal Folders and all hell has broken loose!

11:00 PM – Having re-installed Office 2007 and still discovered that this is not working, I decide to go to sleep.

Saturday has now transitioned to Sunday…

12:00 AM – Tossing and turning, I suddenly realize that there is a file in my other partitions called MSO Cache where some data has been stored…so again with noble intentions I get up and begin the process again. This time, I am going to format all partitions. I never liked partitions anyways. So I get to it.

3:30 AM – Windoze has been installed. Drivers have been installed. Office has been installed and now behaves like a fresh install. I am thrilled.

4:00 AM – Now is the time to retrieve my backed up files. I begin with Outlook. Some files get imported properly. Inbox doesn’t. All my correspondence data is in that file. To my utter dismay, the files have gotten corrupted in the prior import processes! I am not so thrilled anymore!

5:30 AM – Physically and mentally exhausted, I stumble to my bed and sleep.

9:00 AM – Call from a friend about something. I listen. Fall off to sleep right after.

10:30 AM – Insistent ringing of doorbell – the woman who comes to take the trash. After seeing my haggard state, she apologizes profusely. But it is of no use. I am now awake.

During The Day: I install all the programs and generally relax. Also have a reading to do for a regular client. Day passes without incident. Am also searching for freeware files which can repair the .pst files. There are no freewares. So I download a trial version of something. I don’t mind paying some $$s if it works. The software tells me that only 5 e-mails per folder will be retrieved. For the rest, I will have to buy. OK. But the software doesn’t show me the e-mails that it has supposedly retrieved. How do I trust it? I abandon all hope.
Perhaps, it is a sign. I am supposed to leave it all behind….who knows!


After installing all my programs etc. I do some quick calculations on the handy Windoze calculator. I have managed to retrieve some 5 GBs of free space on my disk!
At least, I got something right!

Anyone out there who can retrieve .pst files for me, get in touch. I will pay!

Otherwise, I shall carry these relic files with me forever to remind me that sometimes, one needs to take backup of backup as well…

My Website Re-vamped!

As an annual custom, my website, www.madhavighare.com has been subjected to a re-vamping session – the look and feel, and of course, the content has been changed.

As such, I did not have very many complaints with the previous look of the website – because it was a CSS Table-less format. But that time when I made it, I admit, I was quite in a hurry. And it was, like, stark white. But this time round, I took my own sweet time going for a contemporary (tilting more towards the ‘Web 2.0’) kind of look.

I wanted to make the navigation more straightforward and the look smoother. I wanted to create a home page that talked more about the work that I do, rather than go into who I am. There is an ‘About’ page for that, right? Plus, and more importantly, I wanted to create content which was more SEO friendly. I put in some Google Analytics code as well to see how my pages track up with hits and stuff. This way, I will know which pages are attracting more visitors and which aren’t. And so on…

I experimented with Dreamweaver, as usual. For that, I searched high and low on the Internet for a free template and downloaded one, and then I did a whole lot of reverse engineering and finally got it to look like what I wanted.

The first look was ok – but the thing was that by the time I uploaded it in a ‘beta’ folder, I was not happy with it at all. So I got down and dirty with it and made another look. This time I got what I wanted. Inspiration came in one flashing moment and then the rest of it just fell into place.

So my new website is up. Here is a quick comparison of the old (not the beta look though!) and the new look.

Let me know your thoughts. Do comment.

Question of the Day: When will I have a software like iWeb for Windows?
Answer: When I buy a Mac!

*Puts it in her To-Do List*


My Hero – Amitabh Bachchan

Everyone who knows me, knows that I love Amitabh Bachchan. And that PK doesn’t like him one bit. LOL. Well, he’s learnt to live with it, I suppose.

In Bollywood, they call him the ‘Big B’. For me, he has always remained Amitabh Bachchan – My Hero. Ever since I began to watch movies, I have been fascinated by this tall man (6’ 2”) who had the deepest, most moving voice of all times. It’s quite funny, the thing about his voice, because he was rejected by the All India Radio when he had applied there once!

Of course, I have graduated from my childhood days where the entire name was spoken as one word … but then, his voice, his personality, his screen presence – all have always managed to stir something deep within me.

Probably because my father was a tall man, I always felt that men should be tall. (And Yes, I Still Do Feel That Way!). But then AB always managed to add a bit of oomph with his voice. His demeanor on screen was always very fabulous. I remember, when we were living in Thane (this is before I came to Pune in the 3rd grade) we used to rent a video player in the summer holidays and watch movies on the telly. Of course, most of the movies were AB movies. He was really big then. To be honest, I don’t really remember the plot much (not from back then anyway), but all I do remember is this tall, wonderful man who always fought for the underdog and was always hard-done-by and, most importantly, he had this voice. See ‘Shakti’ or even ‘Coolie’.

You don’t really understand that much when you are a child. Back in 2nd grade, you don’t really have the concept of ‘angry young man’ or ‘sexy voice’ which he epitomized. But you get the drift. I knew something was very, very perfect about this guy.

When I grew up, and we all had cable television, AB rocked his way into the households of all and sundry. Now you could see him right in the comfort of your own home. It was then that I watched all those movies of his – not as a child but as an adult. Of course, the admiration only managed to grow, not diminish. Although I have to admit that I have not seen all the movies that he has made, but I have seen most of them anyways.

Amitabh Bachchan was first noticed in ‘Anand’ – which is quite an achievement in itself because he shared screen space with the then ‘superstar’ Rajesh Khanna. Then ‘Zanjeer’ took him on his path to success. It was AB who brought in the concept of ‘angry young man’ into Hindi cinema – see ‘Trishul’, ‘Deewar’ and ‘Shakti’. Despite that image, he still does the best comedy and drama that I have seen on screen. See ‘Chupke Chupke’ or even the recent ‘Cheeni Kum’ if you don’t believe me. Even in the evergreen ‘Sholay’ the man does make one laugh, and of course, I cried buckets when he died in the movie. His dialogue delivery is awesome – see ‘Silsila’, ‘Kabhie Kabhie’ and even ‘Don’ if you don’t believe me! Some of his ‘mature’ roles which I liked were in the movies ‘Abhimaan’, ‘Saudagar’, ‘Kaala Patthar’ and ‘Main Azaad Hoon’.

Amitabh Bachchan is also one of the most well spoken people in the Hindi Film Industry. His oratorical skills are simply amazing – he speaks so well – whether in English or in Hindi. He has always used his voice to his advantage. I always use him as an example to show people how voice modulation skills can be used to an advantage. He knows his assets and uses them well.

As is the case with most everyone, AB’s life too went through ups and downs. What I admired about him was despite all the hurdles in his path, he managed to overcome and surmount them. After his company was declared bankrupt, he went through a lot of complications and problems financially – so much so that he would have even lost his house. What I like and admire about him is that despite this, he worked hard and got the money to pay back the loans.

No matter what hurdles came his way, Amitabh Bachchan has managed to surmount them with a class, a finesse that comes only with a sense of inner awareness. I mean, here is a man who some people claim ‘rules the Hindi Film Industry’ – he has his share of fans and critics – but when the time came only a few trusted friends stood by him. And still, this man did not lose his presence, his calm or his poise. This is one man I can look up to without feeling that he will cause a Tower moment for me!

Even today, when he acts on screen, he has a presence which puts the younger actors to shame. The characters he plays always come across as real, and he seems to have gone deep into his role.

What can I say – I can probably write reams and reams, but the fact remains that Amitabh Bachchan is My Hero!


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amitabh_Bachchan (Wikipedia Page)

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000821/bio (IMDB Page)

http://blogs.bigadda.com/ab/ (Amitabh Bachchan’s Blog)