Why is the wealth disparity increasing in India despite it being a socialist country? Is India a socialist country only in name?

Even though the preamble to the constitution of India explicitly mentions India to be a socialist country, why is it drifting away from the values of socialism?

Edit: As pointed out in the comments, the Directive Principles of State Policy based on which the general direction of legislation is made also clearly spells out the socialist agenda of the country. Article 39 and 41 are very clear about this.

Source: Income inequality gets worse. Top 1% own 73% of resources

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    India is definitely not a socialist country. It has a thriving capitalist market economy. Apr 4, 2019 at 18:45
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    @Niteesh - It depends on what you mean by socialism, doesn't it? Some people will tell you that having public healthcare is socialist. Other people will say that it's far from socialism.
    – Obie 2.0
    Apr 5, 2019 at 4:47
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    Well, there's no country in the world that fits that description, really, least of all India.
    – Obie 2.0
    Apr 5, 2019 at 5:20
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    To pose a question like "why is India drifting away from socialism?" has a presumption in its structure that it was socialist at some stage, which is also not true. The textbook definition of socialism is also antithetical to the existence of governments and so it is even ironical for a government to state that its regime is socialist or that it will realize socialism. What we can consider here is that the meaning of "socialism" in Indian preamble implies "social democracy" and not "socialism as defined etymologically." That makes more sense and India has some features of social democracy. Apr 5, 2019 at 7:29
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    I believe the OP means Socialism as is seen in most European countries among other areas of the world. Social-democracy, democratic socialism, etc. In the case of India this was (is) particular important given some cultural specifics (like the caste system). As far as I know there has been a steady process of economic liberalization in the last decades. More recently there was also reductions to the budget of sectors such as environment and healthcare. So yes, India is moving away from those models.
    – armatita
    Apr 5, 2019 at 11:58

1 Answer 1


One of the reasons for growing inequality is "large dependency on the agriculture sector". The agriculture sector contributes to around 15% of the GDP while around 60% of the population is directly or indirectly dependent on the agriculture. remaining ~40% are dependent on secondary and service sector. As you can see, many people are dependent on the agri-sector. While on the other hand service sector contributes around 55% of GDP while employing not many people as in agri-sector. And if you see the growth rates of these sectors, agri is growing at ~2%, secondary at ~4.4% while service sector is growing at ~8.8%. So, it means that the lives of all these 60% of the population is more or less dependent on this 2% growth which is being divided among many people(60%) while service sector has high contribution, high growth and low population depended on, therefore their lives are better growing than in agri-sector's people. This is one of the reasons for the lives of people depended on agriculture not getting better of which is inturn causing the inequality.

Coming to the socialist part of India, I think that when Mrs. Indira Gandhi govt made 42nd amendment to introduce "socialist and secular" in the preamble, also the DPSP avenues of socialist agenda is roughly the feeling to promote equality among standards of living of people. "Socialist country" is a word which more or less points towards economic model of the country. India is not a socialist country, It is a capitalistic economy. I think China can be in someways called a socialistic country.

  • Are these your opinions or based of any facts, if so please present them
    – Up-In-Air
    Dec 19, 2019 at 20:07

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