Did Keynes figure his ditch digging and filling theory in India?

Having stayed much of my life in North and West part of the country, the shift to Southern zone has been interesting. Many (perceived) facts have become myths and new perspectives have been gained.

There is one thing common which I have  seen all across – fascination for digging, filling and re-digging roads and public spaces. So much so, I wonder whether Keynes learnt his digging ditches theory from India while on his stint at Indian sub-continent? I know it is a really random and weird thought but heckman it is no joke. There is a strong possibility that Brits did not allow as much digging as we as a society allow these days.  In that case, one needs to really understand how and where did this start and spread all over the country.

It is not just government officials which keep looking for excuses to dig and fill, the public does it as well without worrying about the law etc. So a new road is laid but my pipeline is creating problems, No worries I will just dig the road and make my pipeline work. TO hell with the road. People have to ride on it just like so many other digged roads. If the work cannot be complete in a day’s time, no worries as the rest of the road/public space could be used for managing the construction work. It has become an absolute nuisance to see public nonchalance and lack of rules in this space. It leads to further issues of hygiene and disease.

Though, one can doubt whether the ditch-digging and filling idea create employment… On that front, India should clearly have had a more job-full growth and not really a jobless growth as proclaimed by economists.  I mean we are just so involved in this economic activity (if I may call it). Or may be whatever jobs have been created this digging and filling theory plays a large role.

(There is another random linkage to Keynes’ fiscal multiplier theory –  Umaid Bhawan)..


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