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Why is India poor? What can be done to change this?

I am looking to go beyond the obvious reason which is quality of institutions (including corruption) and infrastructure. For a nation of 1.2 billion, even if the institutions aren't that good, it should be possible to fix things, right?

I think we can learn a lot from history and evolution of distribution of wealth in the world. Look at this chart: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-V_zsRrVZd4w/T_B-rIF6v7I/AAAAAAAAGhE/JdlSo4iwtGU/s1600/Economic+history+of+world.png

This shows a shocking shift of wealth off India in only as much as past 300 years. Caste system and all have been here since ever, so there has to be a deeper reason. Also, as much as I agree with Technology being the reason, I don't really see it as the reason, unless we want to be developed EXACTLY in the way as the west is - there CAN be multiple other ways of being wealthy - and the tech way of using minimal human capital and mechanization while may be the best for the west where humans resources are scarce, it may not be the best way for our human-capital rich society - wonder how much we can do with sooo many hands! And still, we are just struggling to feed those mouths :(

So I guess the question is calling for a critical analysis of what has brought about the condition shown in this graph, where India houses the max poor in one country: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cXku0S7O-N0/UA1lK_DhtbI/AAAAAAAAAgE/0FduwIJQhZ4/s1600/regional-ineq.JPG

By the way, a disclaimer here is a must on my background so that you do not think this is coming from a very narrow mind - I am not casteist, am highly educated, and am IIT B.Tech. grad - so a big promoter of tech (tech I think is awesome for me and the likes who like it, but still don't see mechanization as the solution to human state).


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    Apr 8 2013: Hi Divya!
    India is poor because Indians fashion prosperity and wealth looking at others and cannot redefine these. India is also poor because Indians neglect her rural population and their realities. I agree that India's material wealth has been stolen for centuries but that's hardly any excuse for laziness, corruption and lack of will.
    If I may ask what is your tread in B.Tech? And can you innovate a technology that is cheap, efficient and help average Indian villager to raise the quality of his life?
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      Apr 9 2013: Nothing manufacturers laziness, corruption and lack of will better than democracy.
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        Apr 9 2013: So that people can live the mistakes out, suffer and learn, all by themselves and that is what is great about democracy.
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          Apr 9 2013: not sure what you mean?

          But there is this esoteric concept that is foreign to most progressives called life in which a person gets to experience it without the nanny state telling him what is best for him.
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        Apr 9 2013: I mean that democracy is still the best political system in the world. I don't deny that it breeds certain vices, but it is an open system where there are possibilities of course correction.
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          Apr 9 2013: That is not true. What you end up with is the tyranny of democracy
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          Apr 9 2013: yeah, like vito corleone is still the best mob boss in the world. democracy can grant you one thing only: the exploited class never exceed 50%.

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