One of the ideas that a group of us have been thinking is the creation of a centre-right policy foundation / think thank. Amit Malviya and I, with help from a few others, have put a concept note on the idea. We would be keen to get your feedback on this.
India since Independence has seen politics of convenience, one that is driven by individual preferences and often catering to compulsions of electoral politics. In the process, public policy-making and delivery are severely compromised. It is ironical that the Congress party has at its convenience oscillated from opposing Socialism to being a strong proponent of it and then embracing free markets when driven by compulsion. The Party has straddled these positions all in a matter of a few decades. Likewise, the BJP when in power, neither emerged as Right of Centre nor did it espouse the cause of Swadeshi. Popular perception is that the two major national parties have little to distinguish their economic policies and are often accused of being opportunistic and short sighted when it comes to policy related matters.
As a result, it is no secret that India as a nation has not realised its potential even after six decades of Independence. Our agriculture is in dismal state, internal security is compromised with alarming impunity, manufacturing sector is not robust enough to employ the vast semi skilled work force, education is highly regulated, health services are woefully insufficient and infrastructure is grossly inadequate. A nation of over a billion people is ruled by absolute adhocism. We are invariably held hostage to one of the pressure groups operating to services the narrow interest of its subjects.
In essence, India suffers from a lack of critical thinking on several key issues of national importance. The thinking that goes on happens within the confines of government – the civil service and the cabinet. There is almost a complete absence of groups outside the formal establishment who develop new policy ideas and actively engage with policy makers to see the ideas through.
It is this state of affairs that has prompted the idea of creating a Foundation which will work towards creating a better future for India.
Tomorrow: The Solution