These unpleasant features of the Indian economic landscape are precisely what have been crucial in generating the recent phase of rapid growth, even as they have allowed the persistence of backwardness and accentuated inequalities in the course of that expansion.
The ability of employers in India to utilise social characteristics to ensure lower wages to certain categories of workers (say because of caste, gender and other forms of social discrimination) has certainly benefited capitalist accumulation.
The complex nexus between politics and different levels of local, regional and national businesses has allowed for the appropriation of land and other natural resources that has been an integral part of the accumulation story and fed into the way that central and state governments have aided the process of private surplus extraction.
More overt economic policies such as patterns of public spending and taxation are only one part of this - a substantial part relates to laws, regulations and their implementation (or lack of it) that provide the contours for the expansion of private capital.
New forms of capital certainly do emerge and proliferate as a result of this strategy, but they do so in a wider context in which capitalist accumulation is based essentially on extraction: of land and other natural resources, of the labour of workers, of the products of peasant cultivators and small producers of goods and services.
This has reduced the incentives to focus on productivity growth and innovation as routes to more rapid growth, since state-aided primitive accumulation and socially determined extra-economic relationships provide easier and more reliable means of generating private surpluses. All this has actually been reinforced under globalisation, rather than being diminished by external competition.
Image: The woman at the centre of the big corporate tapes scandal that shed further light on the extent of crony capitalism - Niira Radia.