Thursday, September 09, 2010

Food Vs Clothing in India

There is a great deal of debate, reports and analysis
about the shortage of basic needs in India,
esp about food, healthcare and education needs.

But so far, i have not seen anything on the second most important
of the basic needs : Clothing

there is too much data on nutriciton deficiency, malnutrition, crisis in
agriculture, farmers sucides, food production, etc. But so far nothing
about clothing.

Clothing and textile industry has been allowed to evolve into full
fledged capitalistic model with economies of scale, etc after LPG.
Hence there is no supply constraints and prices too have
faller drastically when compared to the 70s and 60s. the poorest of
the poor are now better

and fully clothed than ever before. I guess for those who lived thru 50s, 60s
and 70s, witnessed torn and old cloths worn by poor and middle class.
Clothing was a luxury and owning terlin shirt was a prestige issue. Now,
a poor labourer can buy a piece of cloth (s shirt or saree) with his/ her one
or two day wages. I guess it cost more than these wage rates in the
olden days.

Can we have an informed debate about this ?

and land ceiling acts prevented Indian agricultre into evolving into full
fledged large corporate farms of 1000s of acres of size (or collective
farms of communist states). Only coffee and tea plantations have
been exemtped because they will not be viable on tiny or small
scale. But the logic behind allowing very large farms of coffee or
tea equally applies to other agriculture farms like paddy, wheat,
sugarcane, fruits, etc.

Any inputs about the comparisons between these two vital
needs : Food Vs Clothing in India ? I guess the entry of Reliance
made a big difference in this field..


avvai7 said...

Very thoughtful. Simple, obvious and very incisive, like the earlier essay on economic "inequalities."

Too bad that I am the first to comment. A thoughtful blog like yours deserver more readers and debates.

I suspect, the leftists refuse to face facts and others, like me, agree with you, so dont have comments.

மருது said...

Wow ... What a Great inventiondone by you Athiyaman ?..

So you can live even without Food but you cant without Cloth ..

You can live even without healthcare but you cant without cloth ..

So you are trying to say Let farmers sow cotton rather than paddy or wheat.. Nice ..
Everything you are expectng is only the ecconomic growth of the country even when the people of the country are starving.

You are right enough to be a silent killer.

K.R.அதியமான் said...


what are you blabbering about without even trying to understand what i was saying. that food costs in India is too high when compared to clothing. mainly due to econies of scale and modernisation in cloth production.

first try to understand the basics and argue to the point instead of blabbering like a nut.

Anonymous said...


Sorry to post an unrelated comment.

I read in Jeyamohan's blog that you too have decided not to waste your time at Vinavu. Oh well.

If only the Vinavu team realizes the value of a discussion!

I am sure you would put the time to better use, my best wishes!

Raj K said...

I have read few posts about inequality poverty on this blog.
Do we have any solution to the poverty, health, peace, inequality and many more problems like this?
We all, the people of India should be aware of the root of every problem present in the majority of the population.
Problems exist or created?
I think it is not as simple to answer these type of questions.
I invite the people to discuss about the way and our work for for change:

Unknown said...

dear Mr. Athiyaman,
I read most of ur blogs today and enjoyed them a lot. u seem to have lot of deep acumen on these issues. keep up blogging. expecting regular updates from you,

Raj K said...

@மருது said..

I agree with your view.
Many people, who develop their thoughts on the basis of their experience, without any logical understanding of the issue mostly become opportunist or reactionary.
These points have done nothing to the society.
What we we see, what we learn, what we get and how we grows is decided by the society we are gowning.
So it is not surprising that this type of reactionary analysis are given by some one from our class.
Need your observation on :

Hari said...

nice thoughts
however, will large scale farms mean more landless laborers and slums?
large scale anything is usually dependent of cheap labor
the US has gone from about 80% rural population to less than 10 % rural population in a hundred years
a few large farms use pesticide and fertilizer intensive farming

K.R.அதியமான் said...

tnx Hari. yes, modern farms mean very less labour. the bulk of the population should have slowly over the decades, shifted to manufacturing and finally into services. as any mature economy is. but here there is distortion and chaos, due to stupid govt regulations.

eDoDe said...

I would like to add one thing to this debate. Please apologize, if found irrelevant. Its a fact about American pizza.

"The people of America eat around 350 slices of pizza each second, or 100 acres per day."

and please visit this link:

I would really like to know, if any interesting inputs like the above.

Rajeev Manikoth said...

Bad idea! Large scales of agricultural holdings will automatically take it away from small farmers. Corporations will then dictate pricing in the market where people will have no say. ( As we saw with pulses, onions, sugar, etc recently )

The downside is also that large holdings will necessarily have its location far from its markets, making food costlier with input costs being higher : transportation, refrigeration, preservation, logistics, taxes, etc. apart from the consumer having to make do with food that's not fresh.

We need radically new ideas to tackle future needs instead of trying to duplicate failed economic models from the West.

Rajeev Manikoth

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Readersarea said...

Nicely written article.. great post..

Readersarea said...

Nicely written post... great content..

மனு - தமிழ்ப் புதிர்கள் said...

In a large sense you are correct, but the govt is either actually interested in preserving small farmers right to live and continue farming or actually they want to keep them poor by keeping them at a trade which is loss making for them. Actually, it is certainly a problem to find alternate job for all people who end up selling their agri lands. But in one or two generations the opposite of the problem will happen, that of MONOPOLY. In either case I cant trust the Govt to make anything workable for people.

Unknown said...

I agree with you and other thing that you have mention is the releaty of our India.