Weekend Reading

Three news articles are on my reading list for this weekend. They may not look interconnected but they are.

First is the news report that Dr. Amar Bose donates his company Bose Corp. to MIT his Alma mater. Bose is will known for its high quality and extremely expensive speakers. One has to only experience their speaker systems to believe how wonderful they are.

There is nothing new about a student giving back to his college but when you see a person giving away almost everything back to his college it is logical to conclude that the student believed that he owed a lot to that institution. That sort of love and bonding doesn’t come easy. That is probably the strength of United States. They have built those wonderful universities that build characters like Amar Bose. Note that Amar Bose is an Indian he did not study at IITs.

In India probably only IITs have managed to develop that sense of pride among it’s alumni. However there is nothign great about IITs. They only do an average job. IITs are elite institutions not because of its systems and legacy but more because they get top 0.05% of India’s student population. These students who manage to beat almost everyone else in cut throat competition will probably succeed wherever they go. Real test of IITs will be when there will be around 50 IITs in India giving degrees to top 5% of student population.

Second article is about the so called civil society and their so called fight against corruption. Indian Express has been consistent in it’s criticism of the fight against corruption. I don’t know the reasons behind it but many of them resonate perfectly with me. In this news article  Adv. Shanti Bhushan who has been at the forefront of the movement for so long claims that the root cause of corruption is the post 1991 economic reforms which resulted into privatization.

Any person who is above the level of “idiot” can see that if there is any reason why the middle class in India like me and perhaps many of my readers can hope for good future is because of these reforms. Which again were not bestowed by Dr. Manmohan Singh but India was forced to do so otherwise it would have simply collapsed.

Another person named in that news report is Ms. Arundhati Roy. This attention whore does not need any introduction. When I saw Swami Agnivesh joining the movement I knew this lady will soon follow. When you see people like her joining a movement it is simple to predict where this movement will go.This lady has deep contempt for almost everything that the Indian middle class has respect for.

Despite this the middle class has been supporting this civil society which demands more government controls everywhere. Any person with an IQ level above that of a retard would perhaps see what is wrong with his argument and what it means for the middle class

“Liberalisation gave rise to the industry of privatisation. In the name of privatisation, and disinvestment, the government is now in a position to transfer thousands of crores of public money in the public sector undertakings to private hands. A similar thing happens when the government gives away natural resources, like oil or gas, to private companies. This has led to the creation of a corporate mafia,” Bhushan said. He claimed that futures trading, “speculative” market mechanisms and “non-transparent financial instruments” were all contributing to corruption.

Taking a swipe at the judiciary, Bhushan said that the new-found enthusiasm of the courts in matters relating to corruption was only a result of “a huge public awakening”.

I cant write more about this because I cant control my anger.

Third news item is the most important one. I am impressed with quality of articles that WSJ keeps coming up with.

While the civil society seems to be socialists with a different tag, this article explains why India is still so desperately poor and implicitly shows us why we have so much corruption.

Why are we so poor? It is because the economic activities that I can engage in are very limited. I would love to setup my own company, employ a small team and find an investor. But that wont happen so easily because as the article explains

A new start-up is required to go through 37 procedures to obtain a construction permit and obtaining a permanent water connection permit requires a waiting period of 45 days. Further, the overall cost of starting a business in India is currently the 99th highest globally, at a staggering 66% of per capita gross national income (compared to China at 4.9% and Russia at just 2.7%).

That explains why India is not very likely to have its own Google or Twitter or Apple. All we will have is X brothers running illegal mines and minting money.

This is not a co-incident. This is a plan. The ridiculous regulations and incompetence of our systems is not mere a reflection of our mentality but it is by design. These regulations act like entry barrier. What stands between you and wealth is this wall of regulation. To cross this wall you have to bribe. Everyone including a clerk to the minister.

The world behind that wall of regulations does not have intense competition and you pay bribes precisely to ensure that. Once competition is limited, there is very little scope for new ideas to come in which limits the innovation and hence opportunities. Thus the people who either cant pay bribes or don’t want to pay them continue to suffer and remain helpless and poor.

Slowly these people accept that this suffering is their destiny. They try to get close to the leaders who can sometimes let them make a little extra money. They develop this Stockholm syndrome and think that they are privileged.

That is why you see so many young lads in Panaji wearing t-shirt with “Babush” written on it. They think that by occasionally paying their hotel bills and lending them money sometimes the leader is doing a great favor to them. In reality he is the one who is standing between them and a fortune.

The end of corruption will not come by shouting slogans. Not certainly by joining hands with the civil society who demands more government controls and regulations.They are escapists who are taking path of least resistance and which certainly is a wrong past.

This change will come when we our-self get into politics. Writing blogs and posting cool and smart Facebook statuses is not the way. We must act in a way that has very direct impact on the political landscape around us.

Unfortunately we feel that the cause we fight for must be realized in our own lifetime. I don’t think that is necessary. It may or may not get realized. If it gets realized nothing like it. If it doesn’t, our predictions about the doom will come true or else it will teach us humility.

It is surprising how many people like this are working in this direction, may their tribe increase

And do not for a moment believe you are alone…There are many with you…many like you and me…people-like-us…Think of Nisha Singh. Read about Geeta Gokhale and Prahlad Pandey and Ujjwal Banerjee and many others, such as Deepak Mittal, Dr JP Narayan, Dipinder Sekhon, Sanjeev Sabhlok, Suneeta Dhariwal, Somnath Bharati, Sanjay Sharma RV Krishnan and his colleague KK Iyer, Surya Prakash, Vijay Anand, R K Atri, Promod Chawla – to name just a few…and of course stalwarts such as Swami Ramdev – who has publicly announced his intention of getting involved in active politics… [Source]

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