ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Political Economy of Poverty in Bihar

Alakh N Sharma The acute poverty situation of Bihar can be traced to the economic backwardness of both the agricultural and industrial sectors. While natural or technological factors such as floods, poor development of infrastructure and high population density play their part, the state's backwardness is related more to the inequitous and exploitative socio- economic structure, lack of political leadership and almost total collapse of the administrative and law and order machinery to the point where it is said that in Bihar 'the state has withered away', These conditions have created a milieu of non-development in which even large-scale poverty eradication programmes have had little impact. The only ray of hope is the increasing awareness and mobilisation of the rural poor, whose potential can be harnessed to improve the management of such schemes and to pressurise the state into making structural changes.

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