Ashish Bose, demographer who coined the term Bimaru, dies at 83
Bose had been unwell for a year
New Delhi: Ashish Bose, India’s foremost demographer, died on Monday morning in Delhi. He was 83.
Bose had been unwell for a year, and had a fall three days ago from which he did not recover.
In the early 1980s, Bose made headlines after presenting a one-page synopsis of a research paper to the then prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, blaming the “Bimaru” states for India’s burgeoning population. The now well-known acronym stands for Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The paper argued that if India wanted to control its population, the government would need to focus on the states in the North as they accounted for more than 40% of India’s population. Although many politicians belonging to these states reacted angrily, Bimaru continues to be used in the government lexicon when describing the development failures in these states.
Pronab Sen, chairman of National Statistical Commission said Bose is the most imaginative person that he had known. “With his high level of technical skills, very few people have that kind of imagination. Though he was not an economist, he contributed immensely to the way economists think about development,” he added.
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