P Sainath in Hindu packs in a lot of emotional appeal in his demand to have a constitutional amendment that would allow only the state to deliver water (and ban all private participation). His attack on the World Bank has solid evidence and the bank certainly has no credibility in promoting water reforms. I would actually like to go a little further and have a “Quit India” movement to throw WB and IMF out of the country. Discussing the role of these sisters, as it is over a cold beer, it transpired that in areas where MNCs exist, the bank favours private participation but in areas where there are no or hardly any MNCs, the bank continues to support state provision and control, and lends money to keep expanding the role of the state. This is a more insightful way to understand bank’s philosophy on the state vs market debate. Bank is for the market where MNCs operate and for the state where they don’t.
However on some other of his arguments, Sainath is claiming too much. Let’s take the electoral loss of Naidu (AP) and Singh (MP).
The opinions expressed in this essay are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of CCS.