South Vs North: India's Greatest Divide
Author: Nilakanthan RS
Published by Juggernaut Books
MRP: Rs. 599/-
Thank you juggernaut book for providing a media copy.
The book "South Vs North: India's Greatest Divide" by Nilakantan RS is a well-argued and thought-provoking analysis of the developmental divide that exists between the southern and northern states of India. The author effectively uses statistics to showcase the wide gap that exists across various indicators of education, health, and economy, with Tamil Nadu and Kerala as representative of the southern states.
One of the strengths of the book is the author's focus on federalism and how standardization across the nation can actually hurt those who are ahead on the curve. This is a valuable perspective on the debate between equity and equality, applied at a state level.
The book covers various facts on how different states have implemented policies for their people and how the Union government wants to take over the definition and implementation of these policies, which originally belonged to the States. This theft of rights can hamper the progress and growth achieved by these states, and the book discusses this in detail.
However, the book falls short in providing forward-looking examples and solutions to address the developmental divide. The heavy tinge of the "why we Tamilians are paying the price of the rest of the country being unable to catch up" hypothesis may also be a drawback for some readers.While the author talks about the Kerala Model not given enough focus, and talks about the literacy rate and other things, but conveniently does not talk about how the state was affected during the second wave of the pandemic. While going on and on about IMR and other topics in the health section of the book.
Overall, "South Vs North" is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in understanding the developmental challenges faced by India and the potential consequences of a centralized policy regime. The book highlights the need for a more nuanced approach to developmental politics, and its data-driven analysis makes a compelling case for the value of federalism.
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