There are many factors that tend to increase relative income inequality in the early stages of developments in poor countries. Poor countries are characterized by geographic, social, financial and technological dualism. When the process of transition from a traditional agricultural society to a modern industrial economy begins, it increases inequalities in income distribution. There are structural changes which lead to increased employment opportunities, exploitation of new resources and improvements in technology. All these lead to an increase in per capita income in the industrial sector. The incomes of workers, managers, entrepreneurs etc., in urban areas increase more rapidly. But income per capita of workers engaged in agricultural and nonagricultural occupations in rural areas does not rise due to subsistence agriculture, defective land tenure system and rural backwardness.
In economic terms, development has been understood as achieving sustainable rates of growth of income per capita to enable the nation to expand its output faster than the population (Todaro and Smith 2011).
In sociological terms, the term ‘development’ is used ( often by Western sociologists) to mean industrialization, economic growth and the living standards associated with prosperity, such as increased life expectancy, health-care, free education, etc. Those countries that have not yet achieved these objectives are said to be ‘undeveloped’ and are often termed ‘less developed countries’ (LDCs).
Yet we cannot judge the book by its cover. Therefore, to find the answers one must trace those chapters in history that led to the present concepts of development, especially when there was clash of civilizations, cultures and nations states. Indian state is one good case to study in this context.
To rule India despite being thousands of miles away, the British had in place a simple policy-- an effective control and gradual weakening the native state to the point of extinction. This way the British (which was still East India Company then) expanded its control on the entire territory by outright wars for example the battle of Buxar (1757) established the British as the masters of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. With the success in Anglo-Mysore Wars (1767 to 1797), the East India Company annexed most of the territories of the Mysore region. After the Third Anglo Mysore War, the Maratha territories north and south of the Narmada River were acquired by the British. Punjab was annexed in 1849 after the Sikhs were defeated in the Second Anglo Sikh war. From 1823 to 1856, The British further extended their empire by conquering Sindh and territories of Assam, etc.
Subsidiary Alliance was introduced by Lord Wellesley. He decided that the time was ripe for bringing as many Indian states as possible under British control. An Indian power that accepted the Subsidiary Alliance had to observe three important conditions –it had to accept the British as the Supreme power; it had to agree to maintain British troops at their own costs; The territory would give up its independence.
Lord Dalhousie, Governor General of India, annexed many Indian States using the principle of Doctrine of Lapse. According to this, heirs adopted without the consent of the East India Company could inherit only the private property of the deceased ruler, and neither his territory which would come under the Company’s rule.
On February 13, 1856, Lord Dalhousie annexed Awadh to the Company’s dominion on the pretext of alleged misrule.
After world war second, European countries came up with the concept of developed and underdeveloped nations. Their motive was to usher inferiority complex among the people who are conservative, orthodox, traditionalists, conventional and old fashioned. The post-development school of thought points out that the models of development are often ethnocentric (in this case Eurocentric), universalist, and based on western models of industrialization that are unsustainable in this world of limited resources and ineffective for their ignorance of the local, cultural and historical contexts of the peoples to which they are applied. In essence, the problem post-development theorists see in development and its practice is an imbalance of influence or domination by the west. Post-development theorists promote more pluralism in ideas about development.
After World War II, European modernization was undertaken under ‘Marshall Plan’ to rebuild war-devastated economies of European countries. This became a prevailing western model of development – development through aid.
Western countries (which were later classified or talked about as economies) initiated the path of ‘Development’ in developing countries pretentiously, claiming that there was ‘underdevelopment’ in these countries and they were to be led in order to be modernized which was same as making them westernized. This model of development was more capital intensive and technology-centered and wanted to improve the techno-managerial aspect of administration.
The approach was countered by anti-developmental theorists whose proponents argue that it is not the matter of identifying the most efficient way of delivering development but they questioned the very concept of development. Traditionally development meant economic growth but scholars had begun to define it ‘in terms of human values: quality of life, distribution, the satisfaction of basic needs.’ They swanked that the concept of development is marketing which creates needs, wants and demands their products and services.
They opined that the real aim of western development is linked to modernization which is basically a way of increasing dependency of developing countries on of the western world.
Development processes undermine and destroy the diversity of social, cultural, economic and political systems. This diversity is replaced by the externally imposed homogeneous model of society. They focus on more and more production leading to more and more profit. This has resulted in severe exploitation of the earth’s natural resources. The financial costs have been enormous putting many countries into long term debt. A large number of people have been displaced from their homes due to the construction big dams, industrial and mining activities.
These theorists in an outright manner reject the western model of development administration. They are not anti-development per se. They say that there is no fixed approach to develop a country. This theory explores alternative ways of resource management, development of native industries, and identification of local needs, micro planning and sustainable development. It advocates for a strong involvement of civil society and community-based organizations. It is a bottom-up approach to development, unlike the western model in which solutions were imposed from above without understanding the ground realities.
Development, according to these critics, was a euphemism for post-war American hegemony; it represented the ideals and development programs of the United States and its (Western) European allies that would form the basis of development everywhere else.