What is your perspective on the ongoing farmer protests and strikes in India over the dramatic changes the government has introduced into the economy?

post by Evan_Gaensbauer · 2021-05-03T00:35:24.391Z · EA · GW · 2 comments

This is a question post.


    Tejas Subramaniam

I would especially be interested in perspectives from experts or specialists on public policy, development economics or India, especially at the intersection of those research subjects/fields. Perspectives from those who are from, have lived or are currently living in India would also be greatly appreciated.


answer by Tejas Subramaniam · 2021-05-06T02:03:35.341Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

My current (weakly-held) opinion is that the farm reforms passed in 2020 were good. Some useful sources are Shruti Rajagopalan’s op-ed on this, Sadanand Dhume’s WSJ piece on this, and this article. I also recommend Shruti Rajagopalan’s interview of Shoumitro Chatterjee.


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comment by Aaron Gertler (aarongertler) · 2021-05-05T07:35:54.187Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

What do you mean by a "perspective"?

I think you'll be more likely to get useful responses to this question if you ask some sub-questions related to what interests you about the protests, or share your own "perspective" so that people have something to respond to.

Replies from: Evan_Gaensbauer
comment by Evan_Gaensbauer · 2021-05-06T00:30:38.569Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Summary: You're right that I should clarify what I'm trying to ask to get a better answer. I was just being lazy and was hoping someone would have a confident expert opinion to assuage ignorance. To reform my understanding to ask (a) better question(s) on the subject, I will need to do some research to learn more that I was trying to avoid in the first place when I asked this question.

I asked because whether tens of millions of people in India continue to languish in poverty for at least several more years seems to depend on what the ultimate outcome(s) will be in the aftermath. That seemed important enough on a global level and from an EA viewpoint that I wanted to have a better understanding. I was hoping to receive an 'expert opinion,' but I felt like 'opinion' was too subjective when in EA discourse the goal is to keep things as evidence- and fact-based as we can. I couldn't think of a better word to replace 'opinion' with than 'perspective.' Yet it's another word generic and clunky enough that it doesn't leave anyone who would answer this question much to work with.

Yeah, I'm not much more familiar with how things have progressed in India therein anymore than a random layperson who still happens to occasionally consume international news. I've only followed it through reading one or two short articles on new developments every month. This has left me with only a shallow and superficial understanding of the matter. When I asked this question, I was taking a shot in the dark that there might some expert/specialist in EA who had been following this closely and give me a confident perspective I could just take as my own instead of forming an original one. That hasn't happened.

Of course, one of our community peers with relevant expertise would better be able to analyze the subject matter better than I can. Yet you're right that to get to that point I'm going to have to form enough of my own initial perspective and ask sub-questions to give enough for someone else to work with. That just means I'm going to do a lot of research on my own that I was trying to avoid in the first place by getting an answer to this question.