2. Inability to distribute the fruits of growth judiciously as to specifically eradicate mass poverty or prevent the gap between minorities enjoying ‘modern’ consumption patterns and the rest of the population from widening. 3. Inability to accord to masses of the population either the reality or the feeling of participating in developmental decision-making.
4. Societal disruption and rising levels of violence and crimes of several kinds. 5. Violation of basic human rights by groups holding power. 6. Squandering of non-renewable natural resources and environmental degradation.
7. Unmanageable rapid population growth and population concentration in cities. 8. Emergence of slums, ghettos and shanty colonies in urban agglomerations. 9. Unmanageable rapid population growth and stupendous migration from rural to urban centers.
What should be the style of development for the Third World countries? Apparently there can be no universal style except in the most general terms. Each country has to evolve its own style keeping in view its cultural heritage, resource base, stage of development, and so on. One thing that is clear, however, is that it can be none other than a self-reliant style directed mainly to ensure a strong nation-state committed to protecting the legitimate economic, political and social rights of its citizens, especially the poor. It is a style which gives top priority to eradication of poverty not only by the slow process of raising the standard of living of the poorest among the poor but also by the revolutionary process of reducing the level of conspicuous consumption by the richest among the rich; and which fosters egalitarian values not in any doctrinaire sense but in a sense which encourages individual initiative without jeopardizing the interests of the community as a whole. The United Nations have suggested seven criteria to evaluate a development style. These are: 1. The extent and nature of national autonomy. 2.
The extent and nature of popular participation. 3. The emphasis given to production in general, to specific lines and techniques of production, incentives, and forms of control over the means of production. 4. The distribution of the fruits of development and mechanisms for redistribution. 5. The encouragement or discouragement of specific forms of individual or collective consumption of goods and services.
6. The extent and nature of protection of human environment. 7. The extent and nature of protection of human relationships contributing to solidarity, security, self-realization and freedom. All these are interdependent.
If a country allies itself completely to one of the super-powers, it cannot evolve an independent style of development. In that event all other aspects will also follow the pattern dictated by the exigencies of the alliance. It is not to suggest that developing countries should cut their relations off with other countries. On the contrary, the idea is to have maximum autonomy with maximum interred- pendency. The objection is to ‘dependency’ and not to ‘interdependency’. Popular participation, an unusual subject matter of seminars and conferences, presupposes equity.
Beggars cannot participate with landlords except in terms that make a mockery of the very concept of popular participation. Participation means involvement in development, not only in raising hands or casting votes to legitimize what the government wishes to do. Similarly, the patterns of production and distribution will be governed by the style of development. What is produced, how much, for whom and at what cost are questions which are highly pertinent.
To produce anything just to raise the GDP is not developmental in the real sense. A desirable style of development must have the imprints of the past and must ensure a bright future for the society in question. It is not something that is available in the market place. It requires a conscious and concerted effort on the part of national leaders. It needs several things, but above all, it needs wisdom.
Unfortunately, however, wisdom is becoming scarce as knowledge doubles each decade.