Fundamental Change

Francois Gautier is one of my favorite journalists. In he asks why the Indian government considers foreigners as cows to be milked. Blatant discrimination against foreign visitors cannot go unnoticed and cannot but have an effect on the volume of foreign tourism.

Who are these bureaucrats that make such brain-dead decisions? How can we bring about a change in their thinking? How can we persuade these cretins about the need to be somewhat intelligent in their policy making? Is there any hope for India if we continue to make idiotic policy choices at every level of our economy?

India is poor not because of some divine decree but due to the combined weight of thousands of totally insane, abjectly stupid, stunningly mind-numbing, grossly mistaken choices made by anonymous semi-literate ignorant bunch of retarded self-seeking morons who hold the reins in this license-control-quota-permit raj that the British left behind.

It is enough to make a body despair.

We are poor by choice. Look carefully at the face of a hungry child begging on the streets of Mumbai and you will see reflected in those desperate innocent eyes the accumulated karma of the actions of a government whose objective is to maximize short-term revenues by instituting an extractive and exploitative system.

I have studied the Indian telecom sector in some depth because it was the focus of my doctoral thesis. The policy in that sector is so wrong-headed that it is difficult to imagine a system that is more detrimental to the goal of economic development. Indeed, I would find it more believable if someone were to reveal that the policy was actually made by an enemy government to sabotage any chances of India becoming a developed nation.

Why does India have the misfortune of being saddled with malevolent policy? My conjecture is that the context in which the government framework was built was one where the goal was not economic and social development but rather the exploitation of the economy. The government objective should have changed once it was a government of the people. But it did not because the administrative structure found it too hard to give up its control. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, as Lord Acton observed. The British government was the dispenser of India’s destiny — bharat bhagya vidhaataa — and it was not easy for those who replaced the British to not take on that mantle.

So what is the answer to India’s millions of woes? I believe that the government of India has to be re-invented. We need a “government of the people, for the people, and by the people.” We need a government whose objective is human development and economic growth. We need a government that is accountable to the people. We need a government that delivers on its promises. We need a government that values freedom and which does not chain the citizens of the country simply because it is easier to extract and exploit the system.

We need freedom from this whole sorry system even more than we needed political freedom from colonial rule.

6 thoughts on “Fundamental Change

  1. Nagendra Friday December 5, 2003 / 8:48 pm

    Reading your post regularly, increased my acidity levels. I dont know, how your are coping with so much burning inside.


  2. tsquared Saturday December 6, 2003 / 1:50 am

    Well said except for the last sentence. How could you draw a nice painting if you don’t have a wall to begin with? (ok. a bad translation of a famous Tamil proverb). I would reframe it as something like “Freedom from British was the beginning and not the end”. In the past 50 years, we have behaved as if independence was the end of the freedom story.


  3. AGD Saturday December 6, 2003 / 10:54 am

    My belief is that the “greatest” and “largest” democracy is the most “intelligent” system in the world, where capitalism prevails.

    The “politician” makes promises, declares populist policies, presents a congenial picture and milks the economy for its own. The beauracats who play along also get the scraps thrown along the way.

    The rural [slave] population is poor, uneducated despite various schemes and policies run by the “government”. In Fifty years where do we really stand??? Why is it that 60% [atleast] of the population is weak economically and do not have a proper voice???

    I believe that the reason for this is that it is easier to mould the masses in this state to garner the needful support.

    I have seen various policies hit the dust and not reach the right people. Majority of the supportive policies have failed in implementation.

    It is we the people who have to recognize this and need to build a network throught which this malaise can be checked. A bulletin board or a media agency can play a role in sharing a unbiased view of the happennings in the country to alleviate people from ignorance of rights.

    There are various models within the RISC which can threaten the economice existance of these policy makers. We need to tackle that also, as they can present themselves as a threat to disallow or latently dissipate initiative to any growth model which reaches the masses.

    Nobody can stop change. Realization will come. The question is when, how and at what cost. We really need to unite and build a network to share knowledge to the masses.

    “Power to the People” John Lennon.



  4. Ramdhan Y Kotamaraja Sunday December 7, 2003 / 6:32 am

    I am getting a feeling if we are going to see another Mahakavi SRI SRI, a great poet from AndhraPradesh, emerging in the form of Atanu.


  5. Venkat Ramanan Tuesday December 16, 2003 / 7:28 pm

    Hi friends,
    YES. i agree to the point made in the article. The Constitution needs to be scrapped and re-made. the one existing was made for India in 1948, not for India in future. Indian Laws are biased to accomodate the luxuries of devastating Politicians. why wasn’t Abdul kalam invited by Vajpayee Government to be the Education Minister? i bet Abdul Kalam wud have surely won had he contested election. he didn’t, because, in India, elections are reserved only for Politicians to contest but not for the elite educated people. Politicians have the say in anything concerned with the elections. And then come the cases filed against the opposition and previous rulers. don’t the rulers have any brains at all? aren’t they supposed to look at developmental activities rather than detrimental ones? I am literally burning! we have to do something or else, we may have to cry at the sad state of future india, dilapidated in the hands of corrupt officials and bureaucrats. and why is there still a course called IAS in India? all the silly IAS officials become Head Nodders to Politicians and go hand in hand with them for corruption. Even “justice can be bought” in our country. i may not be able to prove all these facts with evidences but we do know it’s true. A classic example to authenticate all the above stated malaises of a Government is the state of tamil Nadu which is reeling under the anarchic rule of the queen (i am ashamed to say so!).
    something needs to be done! as proposed by one more friend who has also commented on this article, we can form some media group or some Welfare Society for empowering illiterate people so that they donot get influenced by the short term fantasies of Politicians. Let’s make it for a clean and happy India in Future.


  6. kanakia kosal m Friday July 15, 2005 / 7:22 pm

    i think the article is not fairly represented in the correct light . it is partially right in saying india needs to untangle the telecom policy ;
    much of woork was done during the tenure of previous govt . these things do take time


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