Why is there so much economic disparity between the eastern and western coastal states of India?
I am with Jiji. Needless to say, I agree with that have said. But I do disagree with Jiji on one thing. Kolkata is like any other metro in the world. I live in Bengaluru and I have lived in Hyderabad and Vizag (Vishakapatnam) and I can say crime is very little (if any) in south India. Compared to south India, Kolkata is hell. But then our own capital is "affectionately" called the "rape capital" of the world. And Washington DC is known as the "murder capital" of the world. Bengalis per se are usually too busy arguing than commiting crimes. They simply don't have time. They can argue why ISS is falling apart or why ISIS is right and vice-versa but ain't got time to fix their fucking homeland. Yeah I say this being a Bengali myself.
Waited for Dr. Balaji Viswanathan to finish so that I don't repeat him. Thank you. I agree to a large part of when you credit the seaways with economic development. Historically, that should have made the British set up capital in Bombay rather than Calcutta. Company rule in India.
Understanding why the eastern coast is prosperous by delving into history would undermine the progress of the western in modern times. I am grateful to both of you for naming the exact states so that I can explain better. Maharashtra and Gujarat were one before 1 May 1960.
While both had ample sea coasts, what they did with the advantage is testament to why they have different rates of industrial growth. Gujarati are tradesmen and labour is beneath their dignity. Marathi are not ashamed to work the land and get their hands dirty. While Gujarat traded, Maha built factories. Both are revenue generating power-houses. Karnataka on the other hand is blessed with ample precipitation and ahead in software development. With agriculture, it has also attracted out-sourcing FDI to Bangalore.
Personally, I know that Bangalore employs cheap labour to supply garment markets overseas. If you see an embroidered and stitched garment in GAP or Bon Mache, chances are it was made in India. Orissa was and remains sadly ignored. I wish the Govt of India took notice of the drought, famine and natural calamities that revisit the state so often. But political leadership has taken no interest in the State. West Bengal is strangely home to the most intellectuals as well as social workers yet prone to Maoist violence. Tribal uprising in Naxalbari led to the coining of this brand of terrorists as Naxals. Why the State has not progressed industrially, is no mystery given how little attention the Centre pays North East. Kolkatta is the only metro I have not visited because I am told that anti-social elements roam the streets and police does not care.
Kerala is mainly agricultural because co unists have not allowed industry to grow. Tamilnadu has attracted maxmum investors from foreign countries and diverted the technical expertise to setting up their own plants in Chennai and Coimbatore. Although farmers do well in rural areas, they encourage their children to study engineering and follow a different career. LTTE was and is to this day, the only terrorist organization with its own air force. Andhra Pradesh has not utilized any of the natural resources to its advantage. Embroiled in political posturing and feudal wars, the State has yet to emerge as a major contributor to the GDP.
Hope this addresses your question. I invite you to correct my assessment by commenting so that I can edit this answer to your satisfaction.
Dr. Balaji Viswanathan
Historically, both Odisha and Bengal were prosperous regions. In case of West Bengal there are a variety of things where they went wrong. Here is my detailed take on this. Where did West Bengal go wrong?
While the western ports have some advantage due to its proxmity to India's traditional trading partners - Europeans and Arabs, in most parts the advantage is evened out due to other factors. Coastal Andhra [east] has greater development than coastal Karnataka [west] and in economic terms Tamil Nadu [east] and Kerala [west] are comparable.
Now, coming to the outliers - Gujarat, Maharashtra and Odisha.
Until the modern era, coastal Odisha and Maharashtra were probably comparable in incomes. However, with the arrival of Europeans came the discovery of the extraordinary natural harbor in Mumbai that was established 4 centuries ago. This superior port has made Mumbai among the most important city in the world and certainly the most important city in the subcontinent.
Until Paradip was built after independence, Odisha didn't really have a major port. While the port was built, Mumbai has all the other infrastructure built over centuries that cannot be rivalled. Odisha also didn't have major modern centers, until Bhubaneswar was built in the last century.
The Mumbai port is complemented by a huge fertile land - the black soil of the Deccan that grows cash crops such as cotton and sugarcane. Most of Odisha is dense forests with not as much agriculture. Marathas also had a upswing just before the British era and thus were able to get political movement going well into the contemporary era. Odisha's empires were gone well before the British and thus its political movement didn't get going for a long time.
Gujarat also has plenty of natural harbors and its close proxmity to the Arabs made a great trading point for getting goods into India. It probably has the longest coastline in India and unlike the Bay of Bengal in Odisha this sea is calmer, with less frequent cyclones and quick access to major trade routes. In the recent times, Gujarat has had some notch growth due to more market friendly leadership. Odisha's political leadership has not been as good.
given a chance, you would invest in your own home rather than someone else home.
till independence east india in particular bengal was the most industrialised in india since british had their base and things were focussed there..
after independence, central govt is controlled by people from west india and north india, they tend to be biased and focus on regions of their birth and even if they are impartial, the people from their constituencies tend to request for favours and not allow them to be impartial.
There are several factors that contribute to the economic differences between western and eastern states in India. Some of the main factors include:
Historical factors: Western India has a longer history of trade and commerce, which has led to the development of a more robust and diversified economy.
Industrialization: Western India has a higher concentration of industries, particularly in states like Maharashtra and Gujarat, which have attracted large numbers of migrants and led to economic growth.
Infrastructure: Western India has better infrastructure, including roads, ports, airports, and power supply, which has facilitated industrial development and trade.
Education: Western India has a higher literacy rate and more educational opportunities, which has led to a more skilled workforce and higher productivity.
Government policies: Government policies have also played a role in the economic differences between western and eastern India. For example, the government's focus on investment and development in the western states has led to greater economic growth and development in those areas.
Natural resources: Western India has a more diverse range of natural resources, including fertile land, minerals, and ports, which has led to greater economic opportunities and development.
Agriculture: Western India has a more developed agricultural sector, which has led to a more diversified economy and higher incomes for farmers.
Demographics: Western India has a higher population density and urbanisation, which has led to greater economic activity and opportunities.
Social and cultural differences: Western India has a more cosmopolitan culture and a greater presence of various ethnic and religious groups, which has led to more diverse economic opportunities and greater economic integration with the rest of the world.
Access to capital: Western India has a more developed financial sector and greater access to capital, which has enabled small and medium-sized enterprises to grow and develop.
It is also important to note that these factors are interrelated and that economic development in one area can lead to further development in other areas. Additionally, government policies and programs have been implemented in recent years to address regional disparities and promote development in eastern states of India.