Amitabh Behar is the CEO of Oxfam India, a non-profit that recently released the report on the widening economic disparities since the Covid pandemic began. The report – which includes an – reveals that the pandemic doubled the wealth of the world’s top 10 richest men while lowering the income of 99 percent of the world’s population.
In this interview with Meghnad S, Amitabh explains why structural policy choices are a form of “economic violence” and why we need constructive economic measures.
“Black people die 1.5 times of Covid in Brazil than whites in Brazil,” he says. “If we look at the US, 3.4 million Blacks would’ve been alive today if they had the same life expectancy as the white population. This is the level of inequality we’re talking about.”
He adds, “The top one percent of the population emits double the amount of carbon as 50 percent of the global population. What does it lead to? Climate change. Who suffers most from the cyclones and floods it brings? It is the poor people.”
The conversation also spans the need for a better policy framework, the relevance of Article 38(2) of the Indian constitution, and the need to tax the elite.