[PDF/EBOOK] Capital The Eruption of Delhi ↠ Rana Dasgupta

review Capital The Eruption of Delhi

Po wprowadzeniu otwartej gospodarki rynkowej w Indiach zapanował chaos niszczenia i tworzenia slumsy i targowiska były burzone a na ich miejscu wyrastały centra handlowe i apartamentowce powstawały oszałamiające fortuny młodzi ludzie robili zawrotne kariery a luksus był na wyciągnięcie ręki Ale transformacja dała też początek ogromn. Just a few days ago Narendra Modi banned the two largest currency notes in India 500 and 1000 rupees in an effort to catch those who are corrupt or practising tax avoidance A brief synopsis of the situation can be found in The New York Times if you want to learn the full story about the heavy burden of corruption that beleaguers Indian society then this is the book for you You need to gird your loins and stiffen your resolve because this is not an easy read Dasgupta interviews a series of people interspersed with descriptions of Indian history politics and notorious episodes of corruption like the organising of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 Most of the people he interviews are ridiculously wealthy and immoral corrupt and grasping warning their attitudes and behaviours give one serious indigestion A couple of the people he interviews however are highly principled and fighting for the rights of the poor whose lives have been horrendously disrupted by corrupt business practicesDasgupta is a novelist and he writes with much power This is his first work of non fiction and the book is about Delhi the capital of India where he now lives It is an ode to stinking and corrupt capitalism at its very worst and carries warnings that all of us will recognise wherever we live I think reasonably regulated capitalism is a good thing but this is a story of things going very wrong Highly recommendedI will end with two great big chunks of information that are totally for my own interest mostly taken directly from the book view spoiler In 1991 Manmohan Singh India s new finance minister announced that India would now embrace the principles of open markets and free enterprise Before that there was a closed economy orthodoxy introduced by Jawaharlal Nehru Nehru felt that Britain s system of free capitalism had pauperised India whose per capita income had not increased between 1757 and 1947 This was due to the enormous drain on India s wealth during the British eraNehru was inspired by the Bolshevik revolution and argued strongly for a centrally planned economy He visited the USSR in 1927 on the 10th anniversary of the revolution and was filled with excitementHe also made India a democracy The constitution granted universal sufferage to adult citizens despite the fact that only 12% of them could read plus he guaranteed freedom of the press These things paid off and are an extraordinary legacy to India s founding politiciansNehru instigated a series of Five year Plans which would harness the nation s resources into coordinated forward thrusts Later these plans were formalized by Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis1 Strategic industries were the exclusive preserve of the state egoilgasatomic energydefenceaircraftironsteelelectricity generation and transmissionheavy electricalstelecommunicationscoal strategic minerals2 there would be a second category where both state and private enterprises could operatechemicalspharmaceuticalsfertilizerspulp and paperroad transport3 The remaining industries such as consumer goods were open to private companies Private enterprise was subject to intense controls however specific government licenses were needed tointroduce new productsset up a new plantfire workersMake major investmentsThose big business houses that escaped nationalization were kept under the watchful eye of the Congress Party in return for their docility they were given cosy access to commercial licenses which kept competition away and ensured high profits even when as was often the case their actual products were of terrrible ualityNehru set up several high level research institutions whith the help of the theoretical physicist Homi BhabhaThe Tata Institute of Fundamental ResearchThe Atomic Energy Establishment The Indian Istitute of TechnologyThe Indian Institute of ManagementThese institutions continued to play a critical role into our own century turning out many of the men and women responsible not only for India s technology boom but indeed because many of them ended up in Silicon Valley for America s tooBy Nuhru s death in 1964 and the end of the third Five year Plan the promise of the early years was looking remote Nehru left behind a thwarted economy whose resuscitation was the subject of furious debates for nearly three decades thereafter Part of the reason these debates were so drawn out however was that Nehru s conception of India continued to enjoy an almost theological prestige even as the economic system on which it was based witheredIn the years following Nehru s death the wider world became even for the educated and affluent even remote and prohibited During the 1970s and 80s for instance foreign travel by private citizens while technically allowed was difficult even for the few who could afford an air ticket because of severe restrictions placed on currency exchange An international phone call had to be booked a day in advance Very few foreign companies could invest in Indian firms or set up Indian operations of their own and imports of foreign products were largely banned So perhaps it may be understood from all of this why India could not contemplate the dismantling of its state controls and embrace of global capital until there was simply no other choice even though the Indian economy was conspicuously dysfunctional for decades The idea was simply too blasphemous And yet by July 1991 the prevailing system was in tatters and there was indeed no other choice Since then the Indian economy has grown by as much as 10% per annum overtaking the economies of Canada and Russia to join the ten largest economies in the world Dasgupta argues that the successful in Delhi owed much of their prosperity to these othersto the fact that they were situated in the middle of an ocean of povertySweeping away from Delhi s south eastern edge was the vast swathe of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar where 300 million people earned an average of 500 per year Not only were they very poor the were also politically weak and their lives were getting worse They constituted therefore a cheap and near infinite resource for the labour intensive industries such as construction mining and manufacturing that made Delhi wealthyHe talks about a corporate occupation of the countryside which pitted big money against poor agricultural and tribal communities turning rural India into a turbulent and volatile battleground Expanding business needed land and most of India s land was in the hands of small farmers whose legal ownership of it had been well secured during the Nehru years He says this land could not be acuired legally So the post liberalisation period was witness to various forms of seizure involving millions of hectares of rural land Sometimes this was achieved by so called land mafiaswho got farmers off their land with gang violence or who used connections in the political establishment not only to arbitrarily re allocate land but also to enforce the order with state resources such as the police But often the land grab was enacted by the state according to the terms of the Land Acuisition Act of 1894 an instrument introduced by the British empire to legalise the expropriation of lands from their historical owners to the colonial power and indeed the rampage of Indian elites in their own country bore a significant resemblance to that of nineteenth century European imperialists in other countries Land was repossessed under an authoritarian law little or no compensation was given to the people who previously made their living from it and it was sold on often at ten times the price to corporationsAt on point there were hundreds of protest across the country over land appropriation Most distressingly for the political establishment an armed Maoist rebellion swept the country s most devastated rural regions and in many places usurped all state control Prime minister Manmohan Singh declare in 2006 that they represented the single biggest security challenge ever faced by our country which was something of a shock to the urban elitesBut even those rural communities who managed to escape such land battles found that it was increasingly difficult to survive doing what they had previously done This was partly because of altered ecological conditions particularly as regarded water The expanding cities found themselves in a greater and greater water deficit and had to pull it in from further and further afield drying out villages and agriculture to a radius of hundreds of kilometresOther farms were affected by the high intensity farming introduced in the 1960s the Green Revolution had by that time exhausted their land and they were obliged to explore the possibility of new crops and chemical supplements At the same time the arrival of global corporations looking to India s farmers to supply raw materials for processed foods presented them with new revenue Many farmers therefore opted to stop growing food and to pursue higher returns by growing cash crops such as sugar cane coffee cotton spices or flowers But this left a financially vulnerable group highly exposed to market fluctuationsIn other instances due to international trade agreements farmers were tied to buying seed fertiliser and pesticide products from global biotech corporations and the seed was often sterile so had to be purchased every year In an environmental context that was already becoming stern many farmers exhausted their land with the new chemicals and entered an impossible spiral of debtTogether all these things were fatal In the first decade of the twenty first century some 15000 Indian farmers committed suicide every yearAs a result of this rural crisis large tides of refugees departed for the cities Delhi s affluent households were hungry for servants The fact that it was so easy to purchase cheap labour in fact was essential to urban middle class identity Even modestly off families often employed a chauffeur while a maid to come early in the morning and clean the floors of the previous day s dust was de rigueurAnd yet their relationships with their domestic servant were freuently and bizarrely resentful They showed little sympathy for the trauma s that sometimes struck the fragile lives of their employees The middle classes were fond of seeing themselves as under appreciated benefactors and their image of the poor was not as a productive engine but as a pack of parasites living off their own intelligence and hard work it was they the middle classes who contributed real value to the economy India s boom belonged to the middle classes it was their moment and they would fight furiously for it In a country where the mean income was 1400 per year the slightest move to average out incomes would be catastrophic for the few who earned say 60000 per year So the 90 per cent were excommunicated from the middle class project of India s rise and their claims on better incomes and better lives pronounced illegitimateAnd yet it goes without saying that the poor were instrumental to the new accumulation of middle class wealth The disaster of the Indian countryside unleashed not only a handy supply of domestic servants it also generated a vast supply of lab our for construction firms and factory owners Employers never had to worry about where the next workers would come from They could pay almost nothing and demand pretty much any level of toil It was common for factory workers to work sixteen hours a day seven days a week thirty days a month Most were not paid the minimum wage of 4 per day and almost none were granted pensions or insurance The fact that Indian factories were now producing for consumers all over the world added to the intensity of workers lives but made almost no difference to their salaries hide spoiler

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Capital The Eruption of Delhi

Ym nierównościom społecznym a przemoc na ulicach osiągnęła niespotykaną dotąd skalęRana Dasgupta pisze o współczesnym Delhi z liryzmem i empatią wsłuchując się w głosy jego mieszkańców miliarderów i biurokratów handlarzy narkotyków i przedsiębiorców mieszkańców slumsów i pracowników międzynarodowych korporacji Są poko. A disappointing work by an outsider trying to understand one of the major cities of the world through the eyes of its rich if not its richest The work is long verbose and offers little that is not already known to most This is not to say that there are no occasional flashes of insight and interest For example in the middle of the book where the author has a long conversation with a social worker and residents of a slum within the city and in the last chapter where he beautifully describes the river Yamuna which flows across the city To the non Indian reader the book provides a dystopian view of one of the emerging centres of world capitalism almost as a reassurance of the West s continued dominanceThe most fundamental flaw of the book is that it seeks to understand how the city s rich imagine their city The rich do not lack the means to convert their imaginations into reality whether these be opulent malls or gated communities It is the poor and the dispossessed whose imaginations need words to be described

Rana Dasgupta ☆ 4 Summary

Leniem na zakręcie a ich historie składają się na obraz miasta i społeczeństwa pogrążonego w wirze transformacji Delhi to literacki portret jednego z najszybciej rozwijających się współcześnie miast ale to także opowieść o tym co być może czeka nas wszystkich; to błyskotliwa analiza rozwoju i przyszłości globalnego kapitalizm. It is an unfortunate reminder of how jaded Indian society is when you see all the reviews below panning this book as stuff we ve heard before Seriously Is everyone so resigned to living in a gangster state that the lucid and lurid anecdotes in this compendium no longer make people tremble with rage and indignation Have we all just decided to meekly allow ignorant fools with no shame to take over Delhi and rule it with all the wisdom of a poorly toilet trained 3 year old crapping wherever they wish Sure there is nothing in this book that any well read student of contemporary India does not know about It s the prose and the theoretical yarn that Dasgupta weaves that makes it truly compelling His ability to thread all the multifaceted symptoms of the ill city together into a comprehensive diagnosis is what is worth reading I m not sure I agree 100% with his analysis but that is a moot point as I found his argument enchanting and thought provoking

10 thoughts on “Capital The Eruption of Delhi

  1. says:

    Just a few days ago Narendra Modi banned the two largest currency notes in India 500 and 1000 rupees in an effort to catch those who are corrupt or practising tax avoidance A brief synopsis of the situation can be found in The New York Times if you want to learn the full story about the heavy burden of corruption that beleaguers Indian soc

  2. says:

    I left Delhi to come back home to the south in February last year at which time Rana Dasgupta’s Capital was the ‘in book’ It tells you something about Delhi that there’s such a thing as an 'in book' but that’s n

  3. says:

    This book is about Delhi post 1990s Rana Dasgupta successfully records the transition of Delhi from a sleeping monster to a raging one The city's landscape has changed in unprecedented ways; new jobs multinational companies escalation in prices of real estate Apparently this has also impacted its people in different waysSo this book tells the story of Delhi and people who live in it He meets some of Delhi's ultra rich a

  4. says:

    A disappointing work by an outsider trying to understand one of the major cities of the world through the eyes of its rich if not its richest The work is long verbose and offers little that is not already known to most This is not to say that there are no occasional flashes of insight and interest For example i

  5. says:

    Rana weaves a web of exuisite prose to study what capitalism has done to Delhi a city which had previously been traumatized by other catastrophi

  6. says:

    455 This is one of the best travelogues I have read it sometimes read like literary fiction with beautiful poetic

  7. says:

    It is an unfortunate reminder of how jaded Indian society is when you see all the reviews below panning this book as stuff we've heard before Seriously? Is everyone so resigned to living in a gangster state that the lucid and lurid

  8. says:

    This is a searing read Dasgupta puts together a patchwork of intricate stories of various inhabitants of Delhi applying at once the keen eye of a reporter the insight of a psychologist the lyricism of a poet We hear the perspectives of overt Be

  9. says:

    Written from the point of view of a foreigner this book attempts to outline the character of Delhi the various tragedies developments and incidents that have made it what it is today The author talks about the Mughal period British period 1947 partition post partition IT boom 1970 Sikh riots patriarchy real estat

  10. says:

    To cut the long story short this book could have easily done with a hundred pages less There's a lot of historical gleaning eventual