Effective governance first? Or addressing social inequalities first?
The question becomes even more interesting when one looks at the comparison of social versus political reform, or rather, social reform versus political administration reform. This is the core, big question being debated in India right now.
The recently elected Prime Minister - Mr. Narendra Modi - is dedicated to the agenda of "development", "governance", "efficiency", and administrative reform (especially the idea of a "lean government"). But his communal past haunts him and his critics. Given his rhetoric of administrative reform and his [carefully created] reputation of being a stellar administrator, his mysteriously poor performance during the communal riots in Gujarat is especially troubling. This is not helped by his party - the BJP - having its ideological roots - and quite literally its grassroots - in its right wing fundamentalist allies.
So which should such a ruling party prioritise as a first step in the journey toward better governance? Social change that allows marginalised sections of society to access the fruits of existing "development"? Or development strategies that grow the national economy by first strengthening existing, dominant social groups?