Upcoming elections in Goa – Part 2

What constitutes freedom ? What is that compelled us to throw out the British/Portuguese rulers ?

Today I wonder if it was just the difference in skin color. We thought freedom means being rules by someone who resembles us in appearance.

What happens under a foreign rule ?

1. You are not treated as equal to those who are in power.

2. You need to take explicit permission from government before doing whatever you want, from building the house to purchasing a gun and govern tries to discourage you from it to the extent possible.

3. There is no assurance of your life and property.

4. There are restrictions on things you can talk about and write about.

5. Women in your house are not really safe.

6. Natural resources are exploited mindlessly to benefit those in power.

7. The entity in power does build roads, railways and so on but only to addresses their own concerns and interests and not those of people.

Now wait for a second and think our current situation. Almost all above point applies to current government as well.

We lack the freedom to achieve our dreams. You are thinking of building a home? Take a zillion permissions and bribe 100 people. I dont see why that fucking clerk in government office is entitled for monies when you build a house out of your hard earned money.

We are far away from the freedom that a society needs to prosper. We are growing but that growth is of cancer which will eventually implode if we dont ampute the cancerous parts of our society.



Upcoming elections in Goa – Part 1

Goa will vote on March 3rd. We dont need any rigorous proof that what Goa saw in last five years has been nothing but an example of kakistocracy. That is rule my most corrupt and least principled.

Let us look at few examples.

Political achievements

1. Education ministers educational qualifications were questioned.

2. His son was involved in alleged rape of a minor.

3. There were allegations of home ministers son being involved in drug trafficking.

4. Chief minister was seen partying with a person charged with rape.

5. One minister went absconding after charged with murder. Later he surrendered.

6. Allegations that PWD minister is charging 15% over every tender awarded.

Given these serious crimes, other crimes such as PWD minister distributing free water tanks without any scheme or approval from government money would seem like petty thefts.

Current congress government has been taking pride in it is so called “inclusive growth” and “secular” (whatever it means) principles. Let us look at achievements in that direction.

Society and Culture

1. Two people belonging to SC/ST category were burned alive. This almost Bihar/UP type incident happened few months back.

2. Goa’s first riots (in recent times) took place in Savordem under Digamber’s rule.

3. Margao escaped a similar riot almost twice.

4. Community stands divided over the medium of instruction issue. Despite sever opposition from majority of the population the government tried to force it’s policy under people’s throat.

5. Uncountable number of temples in Goa were vandalized be elements that are yet to be caught.

6. MINING. This is single most important problem of Goa.

Law and Order

1. A major drug traffickers was caught and let off by Goa police.

2. DGP Arya was illegally transferred because of his tough stand against prostitution and drug trafficking.

3. A lot of Goan land was usurped by land sharks and mafias.

4. Several tourists raped and killed.

5. Serial killer Mahanand is being let off over many murders because of lack of evidence.

6. Once the police attacked an MLA’s home and ransacked his house, in another incident two Police group fought among themselves.

The real problem I feel is yet to come to public notice. Ask yourself the simple question. Who are the richest people in Goa? What is their source of income? How they are benefiting the society ?

Let me be very clear that I do not subscribe to the thinking that rich people are bad. But in the current scenario the richest people in Goa are the people who owns mines. They are not engineering firms, service firms , retailers and so on. This suggests that we have not climbed up the value chain at all. Secondly, this source of income is not entirely legitimate. Few miners have colluded with politicians to form a nexus where very few of them control all aspects of the business which involves digging the earth, transportation and export. These few people have created their monopoly via every possible means.

There is a lot of money in mining and a lot of mining activities are not fully legal. Hence the MLAs and other people in the power have developed a rent seeking attitude. They think that because they are in a powerful position it is their right to seek commission over everything. What is started and encouraged by mining industry is spreading to all other aspects of the governance.

I feel the rent-seeking attitude of people in power is at it’s maximum today. This is counter productive to economic activity and hence single biggest hurdle that Goans need to overcome before they pull themselves out of poverty.

People are to be blamed for this. They elect the people who gives them maximum dole. They themselves have legitimized this rent seeking attitude. The moment government advertizes a job, there are people who line up to “bid” for the post. These people are loathsome and in a way they get what they deserve. It is just that I feel bad for them for they dont know what they are doing.




The magic wand of Manmohan Singh

Honestly I find it silly to waste time writing about a dishonest and despicable man like Dr. Manmohan Singh.

How much is too much? I guess you know it’s too much when it stops giving otherwise expected results. For example you know you have had too much of chocolate cake when you fill nausea instead of happiness in eating the next bite. Ghalib has put it in more beautiful words as “Dard ka had-se gujarana hai, dava ho jaanaa”. Too much of pain is when it starts acting like a medicine.

Dr. Manmohan Singh will be the last men I would like to see lecturing my kids. But when you are heading a government that cares a damn about what it’s citizens think and feel he has the freedom to do whatever he wants. As a result he has plans to send a message to 11 lakh government schools.

“Education gave me a new life,” it will say. “Education is the magic wand that can help us meet any challenge.”[link]

And after that sentence the message will have usual Manmohan Singh at his best that is boring an uninspiring sentences full of lies. Manmohan Singh’s biggest skill is his docile nature and that is what helped him climb in life not really his Phd. in economics. But Dr. Manmohan Singh will not be truthful.

“I promise that India will provide opportunities to all of you to fulfil your hopes and dreams. I am confident that education will help you scale new heights.”

This in my opinion is the biggest lie. Congress government is like a concoction of the worst of both socialism and capitalism. What we have right now is a state conspiring with greedy companies to screw we people. Most of the school kids that Dr. Singh is addressing are likely to serve these companies who will pay them peanuts, rest will probably struggle to get a government job by bribing politicians.

I wonder if Dr. Singh can point out any steps his government has taken to ensure that new business come up in India, that they get to compete on a level ground, any attempts to push India up above the value chain. Even today the biggest companies in India are not retail and technology but coal, mining and oil. The billionaires India has are not those who came up with good ideas and turned them into business but those who bribed politicians to create monopoly in the market.

Dr. Manmohan Singh is now misleading school kids. However as I pointed out earlier I don’t think it will bother anyone anymore. He has mislead us so many times and in so many ways that it has become “too much”. He has crossed the limit where we could take him seriously and transgressed into and area where he will continue to live as a joke.

Hindu activism outside the Sangh by Dr. Elst

Very few people are bestowed with the skill of rational think as Dr. Koenraad Elst. When it comes discourse on religion and politics in India, I hold Dr. Elst in very high regard.

Those who have worked with RSS or related organizations at some point of time in their life will probably realize that the organization has a very different attitude towards criticism. When their sympathizer criticises them, they will haul him over the coal, but when their ideological opponent does it to them they will chicken out. In fact this chickening out is pretty common with RSS.

RSS might have many faults but that should not give legitimacy to the self proclaimed secularists and leftist any way. Most of the secularists and leftist label any hindu sympathizer as RSS man.

That is how Anna Hazare becomes a RSS man.

The problem with most critic of RSS is that they are not sensitive to the problem of Hindu society, in fact they will completely deny existence of such problem. Sometimes they will attribute the problems to Sangh itself. Their main objective is to strengthen the understandings an misunderstandings of their own vote banks/fan bases about RSS.

There is a set of RSS critic though, who understand the Hindu society’s struggle to have an independent identity and also understand that RSS is doing more harm to Hindus than benefit.

Dr. Elst in my opinion is one of those observers who gets many things right about RSS.

His recent blog post which talks about RSS’ shortcomings as a voice of hindu society and gives some glimpses about possible alternatives is a must read. It is very long but Dr. Elst’s logical flow will keep you engaged.

Here is an excerpt.

Most supposed experts refuse to see the existence of Hindu activism outside the Sangh and instead reduce any Hindu sign of life to “Hindutva” (thus incidentally flattering the Sangh). One reason is purely political: in the struggle against Hindu activism as a whole, it is simply more useful to extend all prevalent criticism of the Sangh, e.g. that it murdered Mahatma Gandhi or committed “genocide” in Gujarat 2002, to any and every form of Hindu resistance. It implies that if you hear a Hindu complain about, say, Christian missionary demonization of Hinduism, you must stop him for he is about to commit murder if not genocide. In the Indian media, this kind of innuendo is frequent enough.


The RSS has never abandoned the working style introduced by its founder Dr. Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, who had been formed by the Revolutionary movement and adopted its secretiveness, discouraging written communication in favour of personal communication through travelling office-bearers. A lot of physical locomotion is a status symbol in the RSS hierarchy, but motion is not action. The numerous RSS self-praise brochures boast about mass campaigns with millions marching, but these have rarely translated into the realization of their stated goals. Thus, the anti-cow-slaughter campaign of the late 1960s achieved nothing, and the Ayodhya campaign in spite of its unprecedented magnitude has not realized the construction of the projected temple even twenty years later. Though it is part of Hindutva culture to deny failure (vide the way the California Hindu parents tried to present the disappointing court verdict in the textbook case as a victory), inevitably at least some people had to draw the logical conclusion from these failures and try something new.


One reason for the Sangh’s respectability among the Hindu masses, though you might not know of it if you only read the expert studies on Hindutva, is its massive presence in social and relief work. After an earthquake, Sangh relief workers are the first to arrive in the disaster area. That doesn’s prove anything about its politics, and could be likened to the motivated social and relief work of the Christian Missions or the Hamas; but at least it ought to be noticed and reported. It helps explain why most criticisms of the Sangh among Hindus are restrained by an acknowledgment of its undeniable merits. But now it is dawning upon an increasing number of Hindu activists that all this charity is no substitute for ideological clarity. 


In the case of Hindutva, nationalism is proving to be the last resort of blockheads unable to construe conflicts and power equations in ideological terms. While Christianity has changed race several times in its history (from Levantine to North-African and South-European to North-European to non-white), and while most missionaries in India are now non-white and generally Indian-born, Hindutva polemicists keep on ranting against “white racist Christian missions”. This saves them the trouble of studying the scholarly critique of Biblical truth claims and the challenge of arguing the religious case for Hinduism and against Christianity with fellow Indians who happen to be Christian. One very useful experience of NRIs and PIOs in their non-Indic surroundings is that religious issues exist in their own right, by virtue of the distinctive mores inculcated and the truth claims of religions, and regardless of the ethnic origin of a religion’s followers. The modern identification of Sanatana Dharma with the geographical entity India, explicitly proposed by Hindutva ideologues, is negated by the NRI-PIOs’ experience, where Hindu traditions turn out to remain meaningful even after being severed from their geographical cradle. This makes them more receptive to the universalistic understanding of Hindu tradition as expounded by Goel’s mentor Ram Swarup and by some globe-trotting Gurus. 

Go read it full. 

Beware of Anna

Parinda was a classic movie which featured Nana Patekar as villain. His name in that movie was Anna. It was some real kick ass acting by Nana.

Anna Hazare and his team will put any actors to shame.  I had stated that Anna’s movement will reach it’s end with either Rahul’s intervention or modifying Janlokpal bill to give more powers to NAC. The gang of chosen few , not by people but by Sonia Gandhi.

Anna and his team was very conscious about not hurting the Gandhi family’s ego right from the beginning and keep enemies of Gandhi family at a bay such as BJP and baba ramdev. Anna used their support to increase his own mass base but ditched them at the right moment.

Now Anna has made a statement that he will only talk to Rahul Gandhi or PM. That is where Rahul Gandhi will be projected as a hero.

Secondly Aruna Roy, member of NAC came up with another Janlokpal bill which she said might be acceptable to both sides. The very fact that NAC has drafted it will make is acceptable to congress people, question is whether Anna is going to accept it.

In my opinion laws dont make good systems as much as good people do. If the same nincompoops of congress party are going to get elected in 2014, it is irrelevant whether there is a Janlokpal or not.


Destiny’s game

I thought Uday Chopra was the most pitiable actor in the Bollywood. If it was not his family lineage, the security guard of film studio would not have let him in. Ravidra Jadeja was probably the next pitiable man in the line. But if there is anyone who beats both these two people by great margin then it must be Dr. Manmohan Singh.

A young disciple was frustrated with his life and poverty went to his guru. He said, “Oh master, please pray to the god that let him end my sorrows and give me the wealth I need”. The master refused. Master said he can not utter those words. He asked the disciple that he should pray for himself. Disciple argued that the Guru was in good books of the God unlike him. Had he been in the God’s good books God wouldnt have let him into this difficult situation in the first place.

The master asked the disciple to go inside the secret chamber where there was an idol of a Goddess. He asked him to go and pray to her whatever she wants and it will be granted. The disciple rushed to chamber but as soon as he entered it he was stunned and could not demand anything from the God. He returned. The master asked him if he put his demands before the Goddess. The young disciple realized that he had gone inside for an entirely different purpose. Master asked him to go inside again but the same thing happened.

The young disciple then realized that wealth was not something that he was truly seeking. It was something entirely different. He was not meant for seeking wealth and worldly pleasures. He was probably designed for a different life.

What is the moral of the story and how does it relate to Dr. Manmohan Singh ?

Imagine the guru had instantly prayed to the God on his disciple’s demand that he be bestowed by wealth and all other material pleasures he is seeking. Assume that the wish was granted. The young disciple would have got stuck into a life he was not actually meant for. He would have lived a life of dishonesty. The man would have hated his riches and would have longed throughout his life for something else. That life would have been pitiable.

Imagine Dr. Manmohan Singh’s life. Let us consider Dr. Manmohan Singh in 2004. He had a rare kind of resume. He had decorated posts that would fetch envy of even the brightest scholars in the country. He was supposed to be an economist. Most importantly he had done what actually few economists manage to do. Turning around the fortune of a nation. In our case nation of a billion people. He was being viewed as an architect of 1992 reforms which partially broke the chains of socialism that our country was tied in. It gave us hope for a better future and because of that today several people managed to get themselves out of poverty. The reforms were half hearted but no one blamed Dr. Manmohan Singh for that, the political leadership was blamed for the negative aspect of reforms or lack thereof.

Someone recently asked Dr.  Swami a question.

Why a person like you is not made prime minister of this country.

Dr. Swamy’s reply was very astute.

I may not have become a a Prime Minister but I have become everything else. I have enjoyed all that. On the other hand, if I had become a Prime Minister may be I would not have enjoyed so much. Look at Dr. Manmohan Singh. He became prime minister but for that he lost all his reputation that took years to build.

Just like the young disciple in the story, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s gravest mistake was probably his failure to understand his own limits.

Today look at Dr. Manmohan Singh’s image.

The hypothesis that he is weak is being upheld by almost everyone. Every person who was singing praises for his unquestionable integrity today is finding out that he happens to lead India’s most corrupt government ever. Not just that but the only defense that he has to present is that he was personally ignorant of any scam. The man who was once praised as an intellectual today fears to address the nation. He conducts closed room interviews (probably scripted) with chosen people. Once a renowned bureaucrat today can not keep his subordinates into his control. At every stage, at every occasion he seems helpless. Indeed he has lost all his reputation in return of two Prime Ministerial terms.

In my opinion Dr. Manmohan Singh was made to take orders and execute them swiftly with precision. P. V. Narsimha Rao had given him a budget to present in 1992. He merely read it out and took credit for is as directed. Fate landed him in a position that required him to do many things on his own besides taking orders from Sonia Gandhi and Dr. Manmohan Singh failed miserably in the former part. If you notice he has done very well when it comes to executing Sonia’s orders. Quatrochi was let off. Black money issue was killed by confusion. NAC was given a major role into everything. Baba Ramdev’s agitation was suppressed with use of force. Several cabinet ministers were given a free hand to do whatever they wanted. Special favors were granted to Robert Vadra and so on. Dr. Manmohan Singh has executed all Sonia’s order with great efficiency.

But look at the issues where he had to take his own decisions. Sharm-el-Shaikh, 26/11, indo-pak peace talks, Relationship with china, reforms 2.0 , 2G scam and so on.

What looked to be the Anakin Skywalker, the boy who was supposed to restore balance to the force has turned out to be Darth Vader, the evil himself.

BJP’s faultlines

Sadanand Dhume is among the few journalists who actually makes a point when he writes something. Indian media overall doesn’t really write about BJP and if it ever writes something it seems as if congress paid them to write it.

In his recent article of WSJ he makes some astute observations about India’s so-called right.

As long as it continues to be limited by a narrow focus on identity politics, and as long as it pursues policies based on opportunism rather than on principle, the BJP will fail both India and itself. [Source]

I think this description of BJP is spot on. BJP’s stand on most of the issues does not reflect their ideological position but clearly reflects their sense of opportunism.

As Dhume explain BJP is probably the only party on horizon that can stand for economic freedom, strong and assertive defense strategy, strong counter terrorism strategy and so on. But party risks this status by supporting Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev and their bizarre ideas.

Probably the BJP leadership thinks that they should not lose an opportunity to build a negative image of congress party in the mind of people. It probably thinks that it should ride the “popular” wave in order to  win elections and that is where the line between BJP and Congress begins to get blurred.

As Dhume continues:

In recent months, for instance, the BJP has attacked the government’s tawdry record on corruption not by demanding less government and fewer cumbersome regulations, but by backing assorted crackpots and activists: from lawyer Prashant Bhushan, to yoga guru Baba Ramdev, to ardent alcohol-prohibitionist Anna Hazare. Mr. Bhushan believes that corruption in India has soared on account of too much liberalization rather than too little. The less said about Mr. Ramdev’s bizarre views on currency valuations and punishment for tax offenders, the better.

BJP in that sense has been behaving like a Kati Patang. I feel the party only reflects the character of its leaders. People like L.K. Advani and Arun Jaitley are currently sitting on top. Problem with these people is that they dont stand for anything. Advani made some insane attempts to build his image and in the end made a fool of himself. It is a big question why he is still sticking to his chair.

Arun Jaitley’s case is a bit different. Outside politics he is a very successful lawyer. His political image perhaps only helps him in the private business. He is capable of arguing for a point and two days later he can perhaps put up even more splendid opposition.

Nation expects a lot from BJP. Whatever Vajpeyi started they need to take it forward. The party needs to clearly state that they are FOR more economic freedom, more individual freedom, less and less government interference, more aggressive foreign and defense policy.

In the end, it is not enough just to claim that you believe in something, your belief gets tested only when you are ready to take something on it. In BJP’s case the stake is probably electoral success in short run but it will surely rip good results in long term.

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]

Postscript of the Anna Hazare Show

I am not sure if I should waste my time writing why I oppose Anna Hazare. You can not really prove axiomatic statements. If we believe in democracy then the reasons why one should oppose Anna Hazare and the league of “civil society” are axiomatic.

I am however deeply upset with the political parties in the country. Not even one of them has shown the guts to oppose Anna Hazare in clear words. Unfortunately it reflects the sad state of these parties as institutions. Most of our parties including my favorite BJP have become parties of few. None of them have any ideological clarity on where they should stand on this issue. None of them has that strength where they can engage and convince their voters why they are doing it.

I suppose the lack of ideological clarity comes from lack of self-belief. When can one say “I believe in X” ? It is when you are ready to stake something important for X. A man can not say he believes in ‘honesty’ if he can not fire his corrupt minister lest he lose his own chair. That man believes in sticking to the chair and not in honesty as a principle.

Why cant BJP as a party clearly stand like a light-house for those who want to see corruption ended ? Why cant it provide a strong ideological base to this mass anger ?

It is not very difficult to see that the root cause of corruption is not the lack of some kind of “Law” but the kind of society we have. Our leaders reflect our society, to change our leaders we must change the people first. To bring that change in the people the party must engage it’s electorate at various levels instead of just playing along the popular side. People will believe in the party only when party shows deep commitment to it’s own principles. People will follow you automatically when you learn to take an uncompromising stand with the core principles.

But all this will take time. It will perhaps take decades. Those who believe in the interest of the party over a long term will take that hard route. The individuals who are in party for their personal benefit will take the shorter route of playing along with the popular sentiments. While that happens all the parties tend to the same destination. People don’t see an alternative and people like Hazare take advantage of that.

Willows that sway to every passing breeze do not attract birds.

The illusion of freedom and the reason why we are poor

Atanu’s writing have been always very insightful. He is repetitive for someone who has been reading him for a long time but most of the points he make are worth repeating.

In the April issue of Pragati he write about our illusion of freedom.

It is worth noting that Indians do quite well outside India. In the US and other developed countries, they are extraordinarily successful. Their ability to prosper outside India is in sharp contradistinction to the inability of their counterparts within India to prosper. Could that imply that it is not nature but rather something in the Indian environment which accounts for Indians not prospering in India? Since it is the government which largely creates and controls the environment, could it be that India’s greatest handicap is the quality and nature of its government? [Source]

Transforming India into a developed country within one generation by 2040, is possible if, among other things, Indians gain comprehensive freedom. For that to happen, a new set of politicians and policymakers have to enter government and in effect change the government objective. Given India’s democratic setup and the Indian preference for non-violence, change will have to be brought about at the polling booth. This means that the voters have to elect a different set of people to office, people who are honest, committed and visionary.

Change of awareness precedes change in behaviour. Therefore for the citizens to vote differently there has to be a change in their understanding of reality. Most Indians would reject the idea that they are not really free and that the government may not have their best interests at heart. As Ram Dass pointed out, “If you think you’re free, there’s no escape possible.” The illusion of freedom is as good a prison as ever constructed. For India’s transformation, the challenge therefore is to make people aware that they lack freedom and that they have to struggle to get them. [Source] [Emphasis added by me]

We lack in economic freedom. To do any economic activity you have to take a zillion permissions which are entirely at the discretion of the people in power. May it be Sarpanch or the Minister. You are completely at his mercy. It is that power that helps them gain money through illicit means and probably is at the root cause of corruption. Unfortunately the recently discovered “Civil Society” is supporting more government control instead of freedom in the name of fight against corruption and the middle class who is the beneficiary of any little freedom we have is actively supporting it.

Many people claim that the early leaders had no idea about the kind of corruption their polices might lead to. Well, there is a negative evidence. Read what Rajaji had to say about Nehru’s policies.

Centralization and Over-government was growing in such a manner that even the Panchayati raj, Rajagopalachari charged had turned out to be a fraud to get the Conrgess Party’s work done at the state expense.

How many frauds has this party caused since then and we still continue to hail its leader as visionaries and name our toilets to ariports after them.