Friday, January 08, 2010

How leftist is India?

I wrote a column in Financial Express today: How leftist is India?. This draws on the data shown in this previous blog post. I just noticed a piece in The Economist which dwells on related themes which is well worth reading.

Many people wrote me email about this piece. An important criticism of this evidence is that individuals parse questions differently across countries. In India, it's easy to construct questions such as: The government must setup more PSUs so as to give jobs to the people where it will seem that there is overwhelming support for a more socialist position. The main advantage of the Pew data is that they are doing it, across time, and across countries. More fine-grained measurement of political attitudes would surely be nice to have. But we don't yet have such household survey databases in India. The CMIE Consumer Pyramids is good data - but on politics they ask really only one question, that of the most favoured political party.

1 comment:

  1. You are correct. The question is not how socialist we are but whether our so called political elite are ready to evolve.

    For Example, the left had been a great boon for Kerala. Title rights( Sato) with rise in land prices, spread of education/health care, reservations has made it a very prosperous society. Despite having reached this level ...the left still talk about dictatorship of the Prolierate and Workers revolution. The fact of the matter it is so difficult to even get a coconut plucker in central Kerala. His sons are engineers in Bangalore/abroad. Why should he be a worker anymore? .... There are no workers there in the traditionalist sense ...so what are these leftist fighting for anyway? They just can't evolve...

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