TOPIC: Will equity lead to equality?
Moderator: Mrs. DhanyaRajendran, Editor-in-chief, The News Minute.
Panelists: 1)Mr.M. Satya Kumar, Chartered Accountant, Economic and Public Policy Thought Leader
2)Dr. Santhosh Mehrotra, Prof. of Economics, JNU
3)Mr. T R Raghunandan, Co Founder-Avanthika Foundation
4)Dr. TrilochanSastry, Founder and Chairman, Association for Democratic Reforms
The Crossfire started with the moderator introducing the panelists on stage and announcing the topic for discussion- “Will Equity lead to Equality?”. All the panelists were asked to give their opening remarks about the topic, after which the debate was initiated on a more serious note. The different speakers brought up various ideas of equality to the forefront, some of them being gender equality, economic equality and social equality.
Mr. Satya Kumar described that when equality is put as a measure of equal share of income, the society doesn’t get empowered, thus it doesn’t lead to equity. He said equity is an enabler for equality and empowerment is a bridge. Though the budget allotted by the government for ensuring equity exists, he doubted if it reaches those people whom it is aimed at. So he vouched for removing this uncertainty regarding the government schemes and the removal of middlemen in the disbursement of funds. He also stressed on the need for political transparency in education schemes and development of entrepreneurial skills armed with sustainable growth among the youth of the country.
The moderator then raised the issue of the suicide of RohithVemula and the social oppression faced by similar youth in the journey of their education and asked what the educational institutions can do to mitigate this problem. To this Prof. Sastry said that we should change our perspective of looking at a problem as something about taking sides to a more broader sense of finding a solution to the problem. He was of the opinion that only if we connect on a humane level is this problem of equity and equality be solved. At this point Mr. Raghunandan expressed his view that those who have already obtained the privileges should voluntarily give them up to facilitate the empowerment of the weaker sections. And Mr. Santhosh told that the economic condition of the population can be improved only when they are educated about the financial situation in the country and are encouraged to speak up.
Later the moderator Mrs. Dhanya ended the crossfire by summarizing the key take-away points from the discussion. As she put beautifully, “Let us all try to grow prosperous and support one another in this endeavor”.