Integrative development could lead us to achieve shared growth

By Bibek Debroy & Amit Kapoor

It’s a simple question, but one that is pertinent: Is social integration a precursor to equality, or should we seek to create separate enclaves and empower communities within those structures? We ask this question, for we strive to attain full economic and political equality in our country.

The answer is also as simple as the question itself: integration is desirable, integration is the solution. For the longest time, almost all remedies to inequality have been proposed by looking at the temporality of the issue, forgetting that inequality is more structural than ad interim.

In part, the idea of integration attempts to offer an egalitarian society where the gains of development are distributed equitably and not concentrated in some pockets. This structural change rests on a clear delineation between the public and private sphere where identities or identity signifiers are not at the core of one’s choices; we move towards what it means to be a part of a whole, instead of separate compartments that resemble a honeycomb. It intends to include those who are excluded from social progress on account of ethnocentrism.

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