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...For China the figures are 73rd and $8,000. India had the potential to be at least a middle-income country with negligible poverty by the turn of the century. Why has India failed to realize that potential despite the fact that Indians are as capable of creating wealth as any other people. A country would have reason to be poor if it suffered adverse conditions such as periodic devastating natural disasters, protracted civil strife and foreign wars, or insufficient human and natural resource endowment—none of which is true for India. Assuming that the gods are not maliciously inclined towards India, we can rule out divine decree as the cause of India’s poverty. That leaves us with economic policy as a proximate cause. Centuries of economic history teaches us that bad policies fail to produce economic growth. The claim here is that India’s lack of progress is due to the Constitution since that determines the nature of the government, which in turn dictates those policies. ...Live Mint on Dec. 5, 2016, 11:49 p.m.