India’s Unique Brand of Populism Does Little to Tackle Inequality

India’s Unique Brand of Populism Does Little to Tackle Inequality
Clothes and other belongings of Indian laborers hang from a tree where they live on a roadside, Ahmadabad, India, Jan. 19, 2016 (AP photo by Ajit Solanki).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on income inequality and poverty reduction in various countries around the world.

A recent study by Oxfam found that inequality is on the rise in India, and that the richest 1 percent of Indians control 58 percent of the country’s total wealth. In an email interview, Vamsi Vakulabharanam, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, discusses income inequality and poverty reduction in India.

WPR: What is the rate of income inequality in India, what are the latest trends in terms of widening or lessening inequality, and what are the main factors driving income inequality?

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