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Letters

Saibaba’s Prison Letter
Dear Vaasantha
I am frightened to think of coming winter. Already I am shivering with continuous fever. I do not have a blanket. I do not have a sweater/jacket. As temperature goes down excruciating pain continuously in my legs and left hand increases. It is impossible for me to survive here during the winter that starts from November. I am living here like an animal taking its last breaths. Somehow 8 months I managed to survive. But I am not going to survive in the coming winter. I am sure. It is of no use to write about my health any longer.

In any case, please finalise the senior counsel by or before the end of this month. Then inform Mr Gadling to file my bail application in the first week of November or last week of October itself. You remember if this is not done in this way, my situation will be out of hands. I am not responsible. I am making clear to you. Hereafter, I am not going to write about it any longer.

You should talk to Mrs Rebeccaji and Nandita Narain. You also talk to Prof Haragopal and others. Explain the entire situation. You need to hurry up. I am feeling so depressed for requesting you all so many times like a beggar, a destitute. But none of you are moving an inch, no one understands my present condition. No one understands 90% disabled person is behind bars struggling with one hand in condition and suffering with multiple ailments. And no one cares for my life. This is simply criminal negligence, a callous attitude.
Please take care of your health. Your health is my health and entire family's health. There is no one else to take care of your health for now. Till I am in your presence, you have to take care of your health without any negligence. Lots of love.
Yours Sai
[Letter of Sai written from jail
on 17th October 2017]

Top 10 Percent
One of the measures of inequalities that has been often used in the extent to which the top ten percent of the citizens of any country dominate its economy. In India the top 10 percent of the population amount in overall numbers to about 80 million (8 crore) adult individuals in term of 2014 data. To what extent do the top ten percent of the citizens (in terms of their income) have a dominant role in the economy in India?

In this context some data given in the widely discussed paper titled 'Indian Income Inequality - From British Raj to Billionaire Raj' is very relevant. This paper has been written by Thomas Piketty and Lucas Chancel of the Paris School of Economics.

Between 1980 and 2014 the income of the top 10 percent of the adult population increased by 394 percent. The top 10 percent of population (adult citizens) managed to capture or corner 66% of the increase of national income during this period leaving merely 34% share for the remaining 90 percent section of the population.

Thus while the top 10 percent already occupied a prominent place in the economy of the country around 1980 or so, from then to around 2014 this section consolidated its portions more rapidly by capturing 66 percent of the growth during the next 34 years or so. Since it is likely that this process of consolidation has continued unabated or probably accelerated further the top 10 percent are likely to be in a very dominant position in the economy today

With a size of around 80 million and with their dominant position in economy as well as in political decision-making, the top 10 percent are likely to push forward an elite dominated, elite-driven sub-economy. (Within a larger national economy of many sided deprivations) that becomes increasingly alienated from the concerns of the other 90 percent and more particularly the bottom 50 percent. This will be very harmful for all concerns of justice and equality, for broad-based progress as well as for democracy. Therefore, high priority should be accorded to correct trends of growing inequality and domination by a relatively small section of population.
Bharat Dorga,
New Delhi
<[email protected]>

Frontier
Vol. 50, No.21, Nov 26 - Dec 2, 2017