In a time where economic policy discourse is focused on the tug of war between chronic capitalism and socialism, we must instead focus on the actual repercussions of policies on the various sections of the society in Odisha. Furthermore, we must bring all the parties together at the conception of similar new policies and ensure proper execution.
Analyzing these inequalities is necessary and provides insights as to the crux of the problem. The following are some of the core causes of regional disparities:
- Negligence in state policies towards the Dalits, Adivasi, and bottom-line farmers via a lack stringent implementation procedures or a broad mandate.
- Unaddressed requirements and lack of sustainable solutions for investment into lower sections of the society.
- Enormous ethical flaws seen in the division and distribution of basic resources and amenities
- There is minimal innovation of local ideas and little grasp of the local concerns by the central government bodies.
- Handful of multinational companies providing incentives and structured investments to the mining and irrigation sectors shows how disproportional the governmental allocation of funds for these administrations is.
The tradition of governing via domination has done little to reduce regional disparity between the coastal districts and inland regions. Nevertheless, it has been legitimized through the electoral process, welfare support, and the media.
Meanwhile the growing unemployed population, major swaths of youth forced to seek employment outside of the state, and farmers toiling hard for equal wages are often left dreaming about the potential for change the next election may bring. While the argument for taking such issues into the hands of the private sector is compelling, holistic efforts involving the government are also required to address structural issues.
To quote Paulo Coelho, “Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first they have to understand that their neighbor is, in the end, just like them, with the same concerns and questions.” To a large extent what the state actually requires is engagement of multi-lateral talks between the multiple stakeholders casting their concerns.
For without a functional framework which truly takes into account and serves all of the divisions and the ethnic groups under one umbrella, the state is on a verge of economic, existential crisis.