Tuesday, 17 December 2013

What economic policies does India need to provide progress for the enormous mass of its poorest people?

A friend writes:

"What would you like to see in the manifesto of political parties on economic development in India?

"Can you lead a small team to help us articulate that, with a focus on the 75% of Dalits, Tribals, Minorities and BCs who are left out of the development processess and gains?

"On XXX (date) a group of about 100 dalit and tribal leaders are meeting at YYY (place) to discuss the way forward to the elections of 2014. Please support this initiative.

"If you are willing I'll set up the groupon Economis policy to work with you on this".

My response:

Dear ZZZ

The policies needed are simple:

1. Clean, efficient and just administration committed to encouraging development, not control (i.e. administration should stop interference in self-development efforts of the people, e.g. all impediments, such as the Foreign Contributions Registration Act, need to be revoked)

2. Good roads, drinkable water, basic health facilities, provision of an educational system that makes sense

3. A legal system that works (appointment of a sufficient number of *suitable* judges, committed to the values of the Indian Constitution - not people like the High Court judge of a Rajput caste who had to be ordered by a Court to release his 30-year old daughter from captivity because she wants to marry a Brahmin)

4. Liberalisation of economic activity (most of the licences, permits and registrations in our country are not only useless, they are counter-productive). A *very* few essential things need to be retained and those can easily be identified and agreed on.

The problem in our country is not "avidya" or lack of knowledge about what needs to be done.

The problem in our country is "paap" or sin (we knowingly do wrong things in order to benefit ourselves even if it results in great hardship for many other people).

We do not need more manifestos, we need clear commitment to undertaking actions. AAP and other such rule-of-law parties are coming together to create a national front. Let us support this new movement.

Congress and BJP are on their way out.

On that topic, I will send you an article, which is due to be published in the next edition of The International Indian magazine (Dubai).



Sunday, 1 December 2013

Interesting analysis of the configuration of India's political parties

Interesting point of view, that I haven't come across earlier:

1) The BJP, as is well known, is a front for the RSS, but it is now dominated by the Other Backward Castes, so the RSS wants the BJP to die as early as possible.

2) AAP is the other front organisation of the RSS. Kejriwal is a strong opponent of reservations for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes & Other Backward Castes.

3) From the RSS point of view, Modi's candidature for the post of Prime Minister is not for the purpose of defeating the Congress-led UPA, but for the purpose of defeating the (possible) Third Front, and that is because the third front is also dominated by the Other Backward Castes.

That is an interesting caste-oriented analysis. I'm afraid I myself don't think much in terms of caste-conglomerations. As one of my friends said in a post today, democracy has gone from being "a government of the people, for the people, by the people" to being "a government of the winning cluster of voting people, for the winning cluster of voting people, by the guys who got their maths right about which was the winning cluster of voting people."

My own view is that, when everything is up for grabs, it is better, naively, to support anyone who is willing and seems remotely capable of delivering an honest government devoted to the welfare of India's citizens.

In Delhi, at present, that's Aam Aadmi Party for me.

I'm sorry, but all the "science" of the psephologists doesn't impress me too much about India's future right now.