Why are Indians resisting economic reforms?

As the government tries again to push for foreign direct investment, we ask what is spurring massive social resistance.
Inside Story, al Jazeera, 21 September 2012

India’s coalition government is once again facing political turmoil over new economic reforms approved last week.The plan includes opening up the country’s aviation and lucrative retail sectors to international investors.
                                             
The reform plan has sparked nationwide strikes supported by opposition parties and trade unions who say the move is a “betrayal of democracy”.Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, has justified the decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retailers.

He said: “I believe that these steps will help strengthen our growth process and generate employment in these difficult times… I urge all segments of public opinion to support the steps we have taken in the national interest.”

India has taken a number of steps to curb its rising budget deficit, starting with efforts to reform the retail sector.

The government wants to allow foreign investment in retail trade, allowing chain-stores like Tesco and Walmart to open megastores. Continue reading